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Using Epoxy Clay

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Walter Martinez, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Walter Martinez

    Walter Martinez

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    Would like to know different ways to changed the color of epoxy clay w/o having to al the different colors
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    You can add Trans Tint dyes. I have been playing with Epoxie Clay. Don't like it. It must have silica in it or something. Dulls tools instantly. An I mean dull enough to not even cut. Not worth the hassle. Milliput on the other hand works quite well. If you want to add color use the white but I find I can't get really intense colors, just pastels. It's a pain in the butt even then. You have to add some dye and then roll the stuff in your hands folding it over and repeat about 1000 times until the color is consistent. Then you may need to add more color. I hope someone has a better method.
     
  3. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    ? What is epoxy clay ? Perhaps a definition would be helpful as in how does it differ from the standard hardware store epoxy putty.
     
  4. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I'm thinking of giving this stuff a try for colored crack fills I want to do. I've read online and looks very interesting - 24 hour cure time, no heating or baking required, can sand, carve, etc. The mixing doesn't seem too complicated but as John says, adding color does sound like some work but might be less messy than liquid 2 part stuff. I don't plan to use tools on it after and hope I can smooth into the cracks then go after it with 80 grit. This is the only thread I could find on it here so will let you know what I find out and if it works.

    Followup - in reading a bit more it seems mica powder is the recommended colorant. That does seem tedious to mix in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
  5. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker

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    PC-7, JB Weld, and others have an "epoxy clay" consistent product in their line. Usually these are filled epoxies that utilize ceramic, steel, silica or other chemically neutral additions that cause the epoxy to be extremely hard when cure. Some advertise that it is possible to drill, and thread into them. All of them I know of are much, much harder than wood. I have heard of Milliput - and should try it because I know it is very popular for use as a wood filler.
     
  6. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    There is a clay like substance called Epoxie. Don't use it. It seems to work the same a milliput but it dulls your gouge instantly when you try to cut it. I made one pass over the stuff with my Thompson gouge and it was so dull it would not make another pass. Fortunately I have a good selection of Hunter carbide tools and those did cut the stuff. JB weld and PC'7 cut pretty well with HSS tools but you really can't color those. PC-7 is really hard to use to fill with because it sticks to whatever you are trying to use to spread it. regular epoxies are just too runny to function like a clay. You can color them and even thicken them so some degree but they won't get thick enough to not flow as they cure. At least the ones I have tried.
     
  7. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    Thanks. My white Milliput and assortment of mica powder colors arrives this week. Looking forward to giving it a try.
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I will be interested to see how the mica powders work. I'm going to try powdered tempera paint tomorrow and see how that works. Also going to do a bonding test to see how strong the bond is.
     
  9. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I've watched a few videos on it - all I've seen comment on how it sticks firm to everything and anything, does not shrink, rock hard, sands well. Very popular stuff with model builders. Carl Jacobson has a good video on it doing some inlay work. I noticed he did use carbide tools to turn it. Watching how much you have to roll it around to mix it I'm hoping the mica powder mixes throughout and isn't blotchy. If so then maybe I'll try a liquid dye. Let me know how your powder works. My stuff arrives Wednesday. A "trick" I saw on one video shows him using alcohol to thin it after mixed so he could paint it into small cracks like a paste.
     
  10. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Thanks for the alcohol tip. I've had things to finish this morning but will.get around to the testing in a little bit.
     
  11. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I'll see later today how it works. I tried mixing powdered tempera paint with the white milliput. Did not work very well even though I've done it with liquid epoxy. I tried mixing some alcohol with it. That did not work at all. Then I tried a bronze powder I have. It's not as thin as flower but not far from it. I rolled the clay in it and rolled it up and made a snake and repeated this many many times. It never did get anywhere near the bronze color. Sometimes things change when it cures and I cut into it. Will do that later today. I'm not sure how to mix alcohol with the clay. Will try that in a few minutes. I guess I can put the mixed up clay in a container and try to sort of push and stir into the alcohol and see if that works. I've used alcohol to thin regular epoxy but this stuff is really different.
     
  12. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    Well bummer. Have a nice pretty box of mica colors here and was hoping it would work. Will try my hand at it as well. Friend of mine says in the past he had better luck mixing the color in with one of the 2 parts first, then mixing the two together. Also helped know when the 2 parts were blended well. In the youtube video I saw he did just that. He put a small donut of it in a small dish then brushed on the alcohol in small amounts to create a slurry in the donut hole.
     
  13. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    well here is a photo. I glued 2 pieces of pine together with the Milliput and turned away one piece to reveal the color and how it turns. I mixed what I thought was huge amount of yellow powdered paint into the epoxy. It really didn't change it much and after it cured almost no color at all. I mixed in the bronze powder and you could see some nice bronze streaks and little color change. After it cured you can't see it at all. All it did was change the epoxy to a gray. the photos are below. As far as bonding strength. Not very good. I bonded 2 end grain to end grain pieces of pine. This is the same test I did years ago with a bunch of different glues and epoxies. I popped the 2 pieces apart with very little hand pressure. Now to keep the record straight when I did this same test with other glues all of them broke fairly easily except PVA glue that I had sized the joint with dilluted glue first. West System epoxie and Loctite syringe epoxie were far superior. So the epoxie clay might be good to fill a void but don't expect it to hold a bowl together with a large crack, it will fail.
     

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  14. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I had pretty good luck I think with my first small try. The mica powder seems to dissolve well into the water I had on my hands/gloves and mixed in. Will take more than I expected but I didn't use but a little. I had heard a little goes a long way. I did mix the color into one of the parts first before I added the other. Both are white so not sure which is the hardener. I used a light turquoise color and found an old mesquite chunk with some knot holes areas. It's even in color and I think a little more powder would have made it just right. Hit it with some 120 to smooth it off a bit and here it is. That said, the stuff is messy to deal with for sure. Agree, don't think it's intended as a "glue" substitute to hold things together. In fact their web site, which has some good info, says it's not intended for that.
     

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  15. DON FRANK

    DON FRANK

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    Industrial arts supply in Minneapolis( 952-920-7393) sells a sample pack of their powder dyes. (#80PP)There are eight colors in little sample packs. I think it sells for about $10. These powders are very intense and concentrated. They will do a very good job of coloring any kind of resin, (epoxy, polyester or urethane) and also any of the putties like Milliput or Apoxie sculpt. I use a lot of Apoxie sculpt in my day job and often tint or color it using powders.
     
  16. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I tried to.look up the powders in their online catalog and could not find it. I will try again.
     
  17. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    My conclusions on milliput so far are that it's a great filler. Sands very well to a very smooth finish, fills well, no voids and when finished sanding you can't feel any ridges or transitions from wood to filler. Even carved a gap up and around into the neck of a hollow form and easily filled and shaped it to match. It's a challenge to add color, keep your hands/gloves damp and work the color into one of the pieces first, then add together to start hardening process. I sanded mine after a little over 4 hours of cure time. Was completely set. Also discovered that they just this past year introduced a new stock turquoise color. It doesn't pull up on their web site by default and you have to search for it by color name on amazon to find it but it looks like a good color. If you want that color I would get it vs adding the color to white. Not sure how much I'll use it but a good option when needed.

    Follow-up - I tried a different color, gold. It turned out a dull brown and was almost impossible to mix. Maybe a different kind of dye works better but the mess of mixing was just too much. I'll use it in standard colors perhaps but not a lot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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  18. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I just went to the milliput website. they have more colors so I went to amazon and ordered the Terracotta, silver gray, and turquoise. Should be fun. I'm thinking I will use one of the colors to turn a Christmas ornament bell with the zig zag at the bottom. Not as quick and easy as using texturing tools but should be fun. Similar to my ornaments where I use this technique
     

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  19. DON FRANK

    DON FRANK

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    John, Try powder pigments as the key word instead of dyes. My error in using that word. In their printed catalog its on page 13. The ones I have are titled- 8 pack of opaque pigments #80PP.
     

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