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Old 04-06-2017, 01:49 PM   #1
SJSpear5
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Poured Epoxy Track Coloring

Hi All,

I'm finishing up my first speargun build (pictures coming soon). It's a relatively short gun, approx. 85 cm (34"). I live in New Jersey and water clarity is usually 5-10 ft vis inshore so that length gun is useful.

I am already thinking about my next gun build. It will be a longer gun - probably a 100-110 cm. I'd like to do a poured epoxy track for it.

I've done a ton of reading of pouring epoxy tracks. I have West Systems 105 resin and 206 (slow) hardener. I've read a lot on the mixing, pouring, reducing air bubbles, adding microfibers (403), adding graphite, etc.

I really like the look of colored epoxy tracks and was wondering what pigments/dyes/powders other builders have used to color epoxy tracks. Also, I've read not to add more than ~5% (w/w).

What are some other people's experiences pouring colored tracks? Did certain pigments/dyes/powders work better than others? How much did you need to add? Did adding color have effects on resin (reduced viscosity, longer/shorter cure time, etc.)? All tips, tricks, lessons learned, etc. are appreciated.

Thanks in advanced for your advice/help.
-SJSpear5
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:59 PM   #2
Skeeter
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Re: Poured Epoxy Track Coloring

West systems makes an epoxy tinting paste, which I have used before. Only a tiny bit is needed. But I learned that once you add black graphite into the epoxy any color will pretty much just turn brown. I prefer just using graphite and 403 for a black track.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:46 PM   #3
Grizzlestomp
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Re: Poured Epoxy Track Coloring

I prefer to use fine powders over liquid dyes. Had some bad experiences with epoxy not setting right even when mixed at the right ratios. There are some pretty cool ultra fine powders out there. One company "SmoothOn" makes some I like in a variety of colors.

I still use graphite for my tracks though. Add enough and you get just a little bit less friction.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:34 AM   #4
SJSpear5
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Re: Poured Epoxy Track Coloring

Thanks for the responses.

Grizzlestomp - thanks for the recommendation for Smooth-on. I checked out their website and it looks like the pigments they have are liquid. Do you remember what type you used from Smooth-on?
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: Poured Epoxy Track Coloring

I don't use their pigments. They have a line of powder colorants as well. Some are very fine metal powders, (I'd only use aluminum on a speargun because the others could react to salt water if they aren't covered by a clear layer of epoxy).

The "Cast Magic" line is great for different stylistic effects and there are a bunch of colors/options. Some are a little too glittery and tacky for my tastes, but they mix up great and offer a lot of options.

https://shop.smooth-on.com/cast-magic-powder

I use these a lot with certain other inlay, woodturning, and furniture projects.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:00 PM   #6
SJSpear5
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Re: Poured Epoxy Track Coloring

Thanks Grizzlestomp. I also ran across this article in my searches --
http://www.westsystem.com/ss/adding-pigments-to-epoxy/

West System tests various colorants at various doses and reports results related to adhesion. Thought it might be helpful if you're looking for alternatives or different colors.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:53 AM   #7
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Re: Poured Epoxy Track Coloring

I buy pigments from several different sources.
FGCI.com has about 7 or 8 colors...pretty standard stuff.
Mudhole.com has several pigments for "marbeling".
Resin obsession has some pretty cool colors.
And if you want to go the route of powder pigments, there are a number of mica pigments on the market.

I usually mix 500g at a time and add only 3-4 drops of pigment per batch...little bit goes a long way.

You can add two or more colors to create custom colors or swirls. You can also layer colors one on top of the other and create some pretty cool combos.

Clean up...most of the pigments I mentioned can be cleaned up w alcohol.

Most of the liquid pigments are suspended in resin so be careful how much you use as adding too much pigment, or not mixing it well, can f-up the ratio and inhibit curing.

I usually use a swirl technique when trying to color match as I get a color range instead of just one color...and I like it better.

I add white to almost every color to lighten it up...white is titanium dioxide unless the manufacturer state otherwise.

You can always contact me if you have any questions. Good Luck.


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