Sometimes known as epoxy, sometimes known as casting resin and sometimes known as "epoxy resin," pourable liquid plastic is handy stuff. Unfortunately, if epoxy resin is mixed, handled or poured improperly, the results can be messy and unsuccessful. Whether you're using epoxy as a glue or as a moulding or surface-coating plastic, take care to mix and handle the ingredients properly to ensure a quality finished product.
Choose a working space that's well-ventilated and of normal room temperature; epoxy has strong fumes and won't set up properly if it's cold.
Read the instructions on the epoxy carefully, paying special attention to the setting and curing times for the formula you have. Different epoxy products have different set times, which will affect how much time you have to work with the mixed epoxy before it sets up (you will not be able to save it by covering it; it will cure anyway).
Pour equal parts resin and catalyst liquids in a disposable container. Mix as much as you think you can use in the amount of curing time you have. Err on the side of having too little to avoid wasting epoxy, as you can mix more later.
Stir the epoxy components vigorously with the craft stick. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes cloudy, as this means it's fully mixed. Don't stop stirring until this point, or the epoxy won't cure properly later.
Apply the epoxy using the craft stick. If you're pouring a large amount into a mould or to cover a surface area, use the stick to scrape the resin out of the mixing container, but do not stir or disturb the liquid once it's in place; let it naturally settle. To apply a smaller amount of epoxy as a glue, dip the tip of the craft stick, or a toothpick, into the epoxy to gather it on the tip. Press the tip of the stick to the item you're gluing and spread the glue. Press the second item in place. Avoid touching the epoxy with your fingers.
Leave the epoxy undisturbed while it sets. Prop or clamp glued items so they'll be held in place until the epoxy finishes curing, as it won't be very sticky or provide a strong hold until them. Lay moulds level to avoid an uneven slope to the bottom of the finished piece. If the epoxy is poured out and coating a surface, run a house fan across the surface of the epoxy while it hardens to prevent dust from gathering on its surface and sticking there permanently.
- "The Complete Guide to Glues and Adhesives"; Nancy Ward and Tammy Young; 2001