Intro: Stuck on You!
I work construction and often find partial/almost empty double cartridges of epoxy which are deemed either too much hassle to deal with for the next time they may be needed or may have too little left to be worth saving....(obviously, the 3-Rs don't get much attention at some of these construction sites...)
I've found that often, there is more material left in the tubes than what you get when you buy the little 2-tube epoxy packs from the hardware store for... (I'm not even sure what they cost anymore, it's been so long) $5?
Admittedly, most people will buy those packs and use, at most, maybe a chocolate chip's worth of each at a time for what their needs are. Well, let me tell you some of the things possible if you have several tablespoons worth available.
Remember that most epoxies of this type are usually mixed in a 1:1 ratio. 1 small blob of part A and an equal size blob of B. Many of them come in (2) different colors for each part so mix them until you have a uniform color with no streaks of one or the other.
Also remember that once they're mixed, you've started down the road of no return...you need to use it because it can't be stored for use later...
Step 1: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...
You may have noticed that many older mirrors start to lose the silvering around the edges first. This use of epoxy gives new life to an old mirror.
Carefully remove the mirror from the wall (or ceiling, as the case may be...heh heh). If you have even the slightest concern about the possibility of chipping glass, remember SAFETY first. Wear glasses and gloves. *Remember that there is NO project you can do which is worth the loss of an eye (or any other irreplaceable body part). So you suffer a 5 minute delay while you try and find your safety glasses....pretty minor inconvenience no?
Lay it flat on a smooth surface (table or whatever) and work out a design for a glued-on frame using any left-over tile, beach glass or whatever you'd like to see on there.
Once you have your mental picture of what you want, clean the area well and maybe wipe it down with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils. Allow it to dry while you mix your epoxy.
Mix less than you think you'll need each time, 'cause you can always mix more but can't un-mix what's done. I have an artist's paint spatula I use, but an old table knife, popsicle stick or some such would work.
With the application, again, until you get used to how it squishes out, use less than you think you'll need. It doesn't take a lot of glue to hold a 2" X 2" tile on and it prevents having to clean up any material that squeezes out. Once you have it set down, you can kinda see the reflection of the back to see the coverage of the epoxy.
Another reason to mix less than you think you'll need is that if you mix too much at one time, you may still be arranging tiles and your glue has already hardened...
Leave it all alone for a few hours, anyway and let it all set up well before remounting the mirror.
A word of caution: I've found that before the material sets up, it has a tendency to flow so if your mirror is not sitting flat, the tiles may slowly slide one way or the other depending on the slope...
Step 2: Let's Table This Discussion...
You can use the same procedure to give new life to an old side table or dresser top or even counter top.
If you wish, you can grout (using standard tile grout- your choice of color/s) between the tiles for a more even surface.
Step 3: Slippin' Away...
A favorite pair of slippers with a lot of good life left in the soles but the strap at the toe is starting to pull out. What to do?
Clean the area where the rubber layers have delaminated around the strap end and work some epoxy in there. Open and close the flap a few times to distribute the glue around, then cover the torn area with a piece of plastic bag , set a small block of wood over this and clamp it all together.
When you think it is well cured, you can remove the clamp and may have to tear the plastic away. Any material that has squeezed out and hardened into pointy edges can be sanded/filed down.
Slip them on and...keep on truckin....
Step 4: I Can Handle This...
You can make a custom, fit-your-hand grip for a machete using epoxy.
When mixing your epoxy, this may be one case where you might mix more than you think you'll need as you can kinda mold it around a bit.
You will have to estimate how much you'll need but you can try and visualize an amount equal to a strip of corrugated cardboard wrapped around the handle. I'm guessing that would be +/- 1/8" thick and +/-4" X 6".
Mix the epoxy well then pour it out onto a sheet of thin plastic (not too thin, like "cling-wrap" as the epoxy does heat up as it activates and I suppose could melt the thin plastic). You can even make a tray out of tin-foil to the approximate dimensions above and set the plastic in there if the mixed epoxy is too watery.
Now, depending on the type of epoxy you have and its set-up time (something you may have learned from past experience) you will need to be patient and vigilant because you need it to start setting up so it is no longer liquid but it still hasn't hardened too much to stick to itself.
Keep testing the state of the epoxy with a nail or whatever. When it seem like it is still soft but will not flow/ooze anymore, pick up the plastic sheet and holding it in the palm of your hand (wearing some disposable gloves if you like) grab the handle of the machete and squeeze it enough to leave your hand impression. If it is not too hot to hold, hold it for a while to make sure it doesn't flatten out again.
*Note: when you wrap it around the handle, make sure that there is epoxy to epoxy contact and that the plastic is not getting in the way when the sides meet.
If it doesn't work the first time you try it (it didn't for me, I waited too long and the epoxy sheet cracked when I tried to wrap it around the handle) learn from the first time and try again.
Once it has set up, you can sand/file any sharp or uncomfortable areas.
I suppose one could be creative and add ground up cork or a similar material to the epoxy mix at the start to give the grip some texture. Play with it....
Step 5: Unionize!
I needed an 1 1/4" union for a submersible pump at the pond and had 2" piping and wanted a low profile overall so I didn't want to have to use a combination of adapters (1 1/4' to 1 1/2" to 2") so I made my own.
I cut the treads off a 2" union, and it happened that an 1 1/4" male adapter (slip X thread) fit pretty well inside the end of the union. I cut the threads off the union and scraped away any flash.
I then mixed some epoxy and coated the end of the male adapter and fit it into t he union using some additional epoxy from the open side to squeeze down into any gaps between the two pieces and let it set up.
Voila, a custom made fitting!
Step 6: Brace Yourself....
A nice oak table with a broken leg support. Made a new support, test fit it in place and then epoxied it on.
Step 7: Stone Works!
I wanted the handle for the shower valve to match the background blue stone instead of the white porcelain one that came with the set-up.
Unfortunately I didn't take pictures while I made it but maybe an explanation would work...
I cut 2 pieces of stone 1" X 1" X 4" long and using a diamond grinder (wearing eye and ear protection, of course!) cut a +/- 1/4" deep groove down the middle the length of each stone for the long screw that came with the valve assembly.
I epoxied the 2 halves together with the grooves facing each other then ground and sanded it to length and shape. I tapered one end to fit inside the valve handle.
Step 8: And Then There's:
Plugging a hole I drilled in a drain pipe where I had to use my mini rooter: https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-mini-rooter/ to clear the drain for the shower.
Gluing on a strip of teak to make a lap top laptop desk (instead of using nails or whatever). Do these things have an official name?
Use it to reassemble a kitchen appliance with a plastic case that I had to disassemble to lubricate the bearings.
Use it do body work: I got a ding in the back bumper of my car so I made a dam out of masking tape, poured/worked some epoxy down in and after it started to set up, I peeled the tape off and rough shaped it. When it was hard, I sanded it then masked off the surrounding area and spray painted.
The pocket clip on the underwater penlight snagged on something and broke the back off the light. I set it back in place and smeared some epoxy around the cracked area and it is as functional as new...(looks funky, though, but so it goes...)
So now it is your turn to put the marvel of modern adhesives to more creative uses to exercise your right to the 3R's: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!