Epoxy resin is a thermosetting polymer that becomes an extremely versatile and flexible plastic. It is formed from mixing a resin (epoxide) with a hardener (polyamine). Its applications are many. It can be used as a filler or a general adhesive for glass, metal, plastic, china, wood, and in arts and crafts. Epoxy resins are ideal because they can be mixed to be flexible or rigid, transparent or opaque, depending on what you need for your project.
Epoxy resin is usually mixed in a one-to-one proportion in small amounts. Always pour the hardener into the resin and mix for one minute. The amount of time needed to dry completely is called curing time. The curing time will vary depending on the humidity and the amount of hardener used. It is best to use epoxy when the humidity is low for optimum hardening. There is also a specific amount of time you can work with an epoxy before it starts to thicken---usually about 10 to 15 minutes. That is why it is advisable to work in small amounts. Once the epoxy is cured, it forms a very durable, long lasting bond. After five to seven hours the epoxy will form a hard plastic. Complete curing takes up to seven days. Use vinegar or rubbing alcohol to clean up any spills and to keep you brushes and tools clean.
Caution must be taken to mix epoxies. It's very important to follow the manufacturer's safety precautions when using epoxy because it is very toxic. To avoid inhaling the fumes, always work in a well ventilated room. Also, be careful not to inhale the resin dust. Epoxy is a skin irritant so be sure to wear rubber gloves and protective eye goggles. Also, keep your work area well protected with newspaper or a plastic tarp to keep from making a mess. If you get any epoxy on your skin wash immediately.