Thursday, December 17, 2009

Epoxy Crisis!

I don't know if anybody goes on this blog anymore, but I thought I would give it a shot and see if I get any bites.

Ok, it’s not a crisis, but I could use any help or advice about epoxy.

I have 307 pills and capsules I made out of clay and wood and I recently coated them in enamel paint. I will attach them to a canvas painted with enamel paint as well. Enamel creates a plastic-like effect once dry. The pills and capsules fit easily in the palm of one’s hand.

I know that I will need to use epoxy to attach the pills to the canvas, but when I went to the store, I didn’t know what epoxy to purchase. There are three types: instant drying epoxy, epoxy plastic, and epoxy gel (there may have been an all-purpose one too, but I can't remember since there were so many brands available). What is the difference? I want to use whatever will keep the pills on the best and not something that will snap off too easily. Any advice would really help.

Some pictures of the pills:

(I just added color to the pills today. I will remove the blue tape once they're dry.)




  1. Leslie,

    You want to stay away from any of the instant or quickset epoxies for the job you are doing. Using a slow cure two-part epoxy will allow you to mix up a large quantity and you can take your time individually attaching the pills to the canvas.

    Attaching the pills to canvass is somewhat problematic. The epoxies cure to a very brittle state and the flexibility of the canvas will make durability an issue. Another issue is the possibility that the enamel, once epoxied to the surface of the mounting substrate, might not be bonded to the pills and capsules strongly enough and the paint will peel off the pills.

    An alternative would be to mount the pills and capsules to some sort of Masonite or hard board. This would allow for a mechanical fastener such as a screw from the backside. If you want the look of canvas the board could be covered and then the pills mounted.

    I will monitor the blog over the next few days or you can call me at 510-568-1222 (home). I lost my cell phone, but when I get a new one I'll let you know.

  2. Thank you so much for responding and providing me with incredibly useful and informative advice, Michael!!!!

    I originally wanted to use Masonite or a hard wooden surface of some sort, but someone told me that it would have been too heavy to mount on a wall because I wanted the dimensions to be 36" X 36."

    Is 36" X 36" too big for Masonite or wood? Or is there another kind of glue/adhesive I could use that may last a little longer and cause less damage?

    Arg! I should have thought about this before I created these pills. I also had to learn the hard way that enamel is a really stupid paint to use because it can have bad chemical reactions with other paint products that cause it to peel.

    Thanks again!!!!!!!

  3. Leslie,
    36” x 36”is not too big and heavy to mount on the wall. A simple framework attached to the back of the Masonite would allow for mounting attachment points would be a simple fabrication project. I will e-mail you a crude sketch of what I was thinking.

  4. Thanks, Michael! I don't know a lot about woodworking, but what your saying doesn't sound too difficult. If you wouldn't mind, I would like to see a sketch of what you were thinking (there is no rush on this because my show is not until May).

    If it makes it easier, my personal email is

    Thanks again!!!

  5. Blog on bloggers nice to see you are still at it. A good resource for different epoxys is "Douglas and Sturges" they are located on Bryant st in SF.. They also sell a lot of mold making types of things so if any of you other guys are interested in fabricating latex and rubber type things this is a great resource... btw Mike nice post!

  6. Thanks for the resource, Kirk! It's nice to know where to find places that specialize in certain fields, because they're sometimes tricky to find (or at least I've always had some difficulty).