Saturday, September 11, 2010

Best epoxy?

So, I've been making a lot of my chainmaille knotted earrings, as my last blog post suggests. Well, yesterday I managed to torque a pair of them enough (sometimes I think I'm harder on my work than anyone else ever would be) to actually snap the adhesive I used on them. Ack! Granted, the pair I torqued was probably not fully cured yet, but still. It concerned me greatly, as I was about to pack up a recently sold pair. Could I trust the epoxy? It certainly freaked me out quite a bit.

So, I decided to try my 30-minute 2-ton epoxy that I usually reserve for other types of projects (casting, etc). Well, I think beyond a doubt that this type of epoxy is worlds better than the stuff I'd been using. Yes, I have to allow it to set up for at least 15 minutes before actually applying it to the earring pad, but the final bond is rigid and so much stronger that I think I'll be suffering through the process in the future. I even re-bonded the sold pair of earrings using the stronger epoxy because more than anything, I want my customers to be happy.

I've decided to experiment with shorter-cure time epoxies, though. The original one I was using has a pretty long cure time and produces a waterproof, chemical-proof flexible bond, which for many applications is a great thing, but for others, it's a disaster in the making. Today I'm planning to pick up some 1 and 5 minute epoxies made by the same company as my 30 minute 2-ton epoxy. Time will tell if these are up to the challenge!