Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Easy Way to Remove Cured Epoxy

A frequent complaint I hear from amateur boatbuilders is the dificulty they experience removing excess cured epoxy from glued joints, glass cloth, and fillets. Most people seem to attack the epoxy with a power sander or a chisel, but not only does that make an unpleasant job time-consuming - it also generally results in damage to the surrounding timber.

The use of masking tape alongside glue joints goes a long way towards keeping the job clean, but it is inevitable that clean-up of cured epoxy will have to be done frequently. I have attached a short video clip explaining the use of a heatgun and scraper for epoxy removal, but always try to be as neat as possible in the first place. When using a heatgun, be careful to use the heat to the minimum extent necessary to remove the material, and keep the gun moving so that you don't get deep penetration of heat into the joint.

Here is the video we made in the workshop - I hope it helps.


  1. Re the comment "The use of masking tape alongside glue joints goes a long way towards keeping the job clean" I did this with cheap white masking tape. The way my canoe build worked out i left it on for 2 weeks becasue i got distracted by family stuff. When i came to remove the tape it pulled off a strip of the ply laminate with it!! Which was quite heartbreaking after the excitement of stitching & filleting the hull together.

    1. that can't be very good plywood. I hope you are going to use lots of fibreglass.

  2. Thanks for the video Ross.
    Very helpful.

  3. Epoxy is definitely a very hard material to remove. That’s one of the reasons people use this. However, when it comes to removing the cured epoxy, it wouldn't be as easy as applying it. You need to have the right materials, like what you mentioned here, to totally and properly remove the epoxy. This video instruction would definitely help a lot of people. @ Adhesive Systems, Inc.