Removing Defects From Epoxy Resin Scales

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Defect in Pink Ivory Scales
Resin can be problematic because of the long cure time (3 days). The gloss finish will show any little defect, the worst of which is a spot of dust. There is just no hiding any kind of defect in a high gloss finish.

If you have a problem with the finish you have two options. You can sand it out and recoat it with a gloss urethane or another coat of epoxy on it. The down side, it takes another day to 3 days for the finish to cure and you still run the risk of having another spot of dust falling on it.

The other option is to sand it out and then sand/buff the gloss back into the finish. I had a set of pink ivory scales that had gotten a speck of dust on one side. So I figured this would be a good time to document the process.

Originally posted by cannonfodder[1].

The Tutorial[edit | edit source]

There really is not much to it. You need:

  • some micromesh sandpaper (I have a set that runs from 1500 grit to 12000 grit);
  • some white rouge;
  • wax;
  • a padded sanding block;
  • If you have a buffer, it makes the final step a little easier.

Sand[edit | edit source]

You start with the 1500 grit paper and wet sand your way down to the 12000 grit. One thing to keep in mind, sand too much and you will expose the wood. If that happens, you have to refinish the scales. Sand the defect out at the three higher grits. Once you get past 3200 grit you are not removing much material. If your spot is not removed by then, you need to go back to 1500 and sand a little more. Keep the pressure light, remember you are sanding off a hairs width of finish. Don’t spend too much time around the edges, the sides will be a little thinner than the top so they are easy to sand through. Keep the scales wet while you sand.

Polish[edit | edit source]

Once you get through the 12000 grit you will have a nice gloss, but it still needs a little more polishing. For that, I use white rouge and my buffer. You have to be very careful at this point. If you go too slow or use too much pressure, you will burn the finish and have to start over. A couple of basic tips, keep the edge on the outward side of the buffers rotation. If you get a corner turned into the buffing wheel, it will grab and throw your scale across the workshop, break the scales or break your hand. The basic safety rules still apply, no long sleeves, no dangly anything that can get caught in the wheel, wear eye protection yada yada yada.

Wax[edit | edit source]

Once you have them buffed you will almost be there. The shine will be back but to match the original high gloss finish you will need to give them a final wax and light buff. Then you will be ready to drop in your blade.

Tips[edit | edit source]

If you are going to give your scales a coat of gloss urethane instead of buffing them out

  • Do not sand them too fine.
  • If you do not have micromesh, you can use regular auto body sand paper.
  • Do not go beyond 1000 grit. You can actually go too fine.
  • The finish needs something to grab onto, the light striations give the urethane something to bind with.[2]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Epoxy resin finishing scales

Notes[edit | edit source]