Anyone know a trick or a source for micro pumps for mixing West System
epoxy? I often need only 1cc to 10cc and end up wasting a tremendous
West System must be aware of how much is wasted. I believe this is
why they have never offered a micro pump. They probably sell a lot
more epoxy that way.
A guy in Florida has plans for a micro dispensing system but I can't
make heads or tails of his posted design.
You can use any other technique to measure the 5:1 ratio. I've done
it with drops out of the regular pumps, or fractions of a pump stroke.
It can be done with a gram scale too, if it's accurate enough. Or
teaspoons (use two, of course).
I have used glass syringes for mixing small amounts. Becton Dickinson
manufactured them but I got mine from VWR, a lab products
distributor. I have not tried using standard syringes to see if the
rubber plunger would degrade in the presence of either component but
if it holds up for any amount of time you may be able to buy a variety
of syringe sizes from your local drug store (or drug dealer, depending
on your neighborhood).
Just for yucks, I will try to test some rubber plunger syringes this
weekend if my West System components are still liquid. (Have not used
them in over a year, don't know if they degrade). I'll get back to
you on Sunday.
I've used epoxies of many kinds since the 1960's and always prepared
my mixes by weight. Its the easiest thing in the world to get a modest
cost postal scale for that purpose. Most slower curing (and stronger)
blends are pretty tolerant of actual ratios within limits. For micro
size needs, its easy to use a bit of poly film for a container and
keep the epoxy puddle and hardener puddle separate until you are sure
of your weights and then mix well. if you accidentally mix too much it
can popped into the freezer real quick and will remain viable for a
couple of weeks. A few seconds in the microwave will bring it up to
working temperature. Some very pure epoxy resins will crystallize in
storage and a quick trip in the microwave will liquify them nicely.
Commercial resins are blended with other ingredients to keep
crystallization from occurring. HTH
I tend to save tic-tac containers for small parts, brads, etc. I have
found that since they don't taper, I can mark measurements on them with a
rule, and then pour the epoxy to the lines. Care while pouring is
essential. I have had good luck except when the small container is too
full (mixing isn't easy).
BTW - this is with the West System 5:1 ratio mix. Yeah, I agree that
scales would be better, but when you need a small amount, real quick, on
a non routine basis, the Tic-Tac method does it for me. Doesn't improve
the smell of the epoxy though.
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