Epoxy Scales Revisited
by Pat O'Leary - Crosshaven, County Cork - Ireland

Recently someone asked about alternative balance point arrangement for Joe Tribulato's Epoxy Balance/Ratio Scale.

I had printed off Joe's original version and carried it around for a year or so never quite getting round to making it. Well,a couple of months ago I found myself needing to make up a small batch, no neat containers around to make the 5:1 by volume ratio measurement (I use SP Resins) and dusk coming so time was of the essence. I grabbed a piece of cedar, ripped it to a reasonable shape and made what I consider to be my contribution to this device - I cut a slit at the centre in the bottom with my lovely sharp and thin Japanese pull-saw (from those folks in Alameda). I cut about a quarter off one of those freebie and most useful store cards (you know the ones they keep pushing on you - loyalty cards or gift cards (before being "loaded" with value of course)) etc. - and this became the balance point.

click to enlarge

I grabbed a piece of cedar and ripped it to a reasonable shape.

I think I will at some stage make a nicer, neater version of this using some thinner but stiffer wood, perhaps even carving some shape into the width, and insert plastic card slices under near each end as well to give a less sloppy action - or maybe this ole thing will still be there serving its purpose when they come to pick me out of the wood shavings and cart me away.

I checked the accuracy of this device when I got home - it is VERY accurate indeed. Since I started using it I haven't had one bad mix, or even a worry that one might be "iffy". In my case the actual weight ratio is 100:18.

Instructions for use: As already noted in Joe (and Tom Hamernik's version) the method is to

  1. put the container (yoghurt or Muller Rice pot or similar plastic container, maybe even cut down milk carton but what about the wax?) up against the end.
  2. adjust the balance weight to get the scales "nice" ie balanced - a little nudge on either end will make the scales tip or bounce.
  3. put some suitable weight at "R" for resin - I use 1,2 or 4 large washers as needed - for small jobs anyway.
  4. Pour the resin in to the pot until the beam tips. If it's cold and the resin "glops" putting too much in the pot don't panic - just add some small weights (a nail or something) at "R" until it is nicely balanced again.
  5. move the weight (or weights) from "R" to "H".
  6. pour (carefully) the hardener into the pot until it starts to tip.

Maybe another solution would be to put a small container at R and use water to balance the overpour of resin - of course both the weights and the small container must be moved from R to H for the next bit.

As I tend to do "wet on wet" or wet with unthickened, then mix up some thicker for the glass weave or a fillet, then another lot of unthickened to finish off, I I am making batches every 30 minutes or so - and so far I have had no problem re-using the same yoghurt pot for the entire operation - however the balancing weight does need to be adjusted every time.

I have the rather overpriced dispensing pumps and they are a pain for small jobs - need to be cleaned regularly and I have had a few mixes where I pressed the pump and got a less than complete dollop of liquid - leaving me very uncertain about the accuracy of the mix. Decanting from small containers is messy and I feel inaccurate with all the resin and hardener that gets left behind.

I really strongly recommend such an epoxy balance - you'll never go back to pumps or decanting from containers.

PS: that store gift card - I collect these - most useful for spreading epoxy on flat surfaces, carving to shape for epoxy fillets and so on.

Pat in Crosshaven.