I have user of Epo-Grip products for a four year noww, along with various other adhesives. Here's what I have found....
The epoxy when used as an adhesive for earliners, "kicks: too fast and too hot. The heat puts off gases and does not allow for a nice tack. It also will peel off of the inner ear skin, unless the skin is perfectly dry. It does not allow for smoothing as well, and wrinkles are more common.
I have used other epoxies with a slower set time and less heat. I never have these issues. Yes, I know I could refridgerate, and slow it down, but I am writing this to share the fact that I use products which work with less hassle.
The water based hide paste is OK....but lacks the tack of Buckeye Supreme. I am not talking about the final cure, but tack where you are detailing features 24 hours later. I find it will gravitate,and settle into the brisket, vs. tacking and allowing for modeling features. It does allow more time to taxi....but in my opinion you end up "playing" with the mount far more than necessary.
I am in no way bashing Epo-Grip, as I use it in my shop often for other projects where it works better for ME.
Does anyone else share my opinion.
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Your finding that the epoxy will not stick to a hide unless completely dry is absolutely false. It will not stick to a hide that is OILY, but I always use it on a moist hide and I've never had any problems.
As far as the heat bit, that's your fault. You're applying it too thick if the heat is the issue. I use less than 3/4 a fluid ounce in each ear. I pour half of that into the ear and work it around making sure both sides of the inner ear are coated. Then I paint the remainder on the earliner inside areas so that those tricky ear butt areas stick fast. Seven minutes is more than enough for me to taxi the skin, brush and groom the hair patterns and then hold the inner ear hide up against the liner. Once it kicks, you can try to remove the earliner, but it had better be very quickly because once it hardens up, you're in big trouble.
I won't argue with your personal opinions on the water based paste. Some people still use dextrine and they hardly agree with your supposition that they "play with the mount far more than necessary". I like it just for that reason, but then that's MY opinion as well.
Why use epoxy for earliners? Try the pink hide adhesive. I use Epply's buttless earliners, scuff the entire earliner with a stout ruffer and paint a thin coat on the front and back. You will have plenty of time to taxi the skin and form your ear butts. When dried you will have a ear that doesn't drum and is colored enough you don't need to paint. I have used othere earliners with equal success however I prefer the Epply's. Sizing the earliner is still the most important issue for adhesion.
I agree with George on the hide paste.
If not applied to thick on a properly prepared mannikin the paste should not pool in the brisket area and yet still adhere to the mannikins detail. Just my opinions
I'm sorry that your having problems and concerns with our Epo-Grip products. As always I invite you to call me at 800-888-2467 to discuss what issues you are having and see if we can help.
I have to disagree with you about the product gasing when it cures. There is no gasing it is strickly a catalytic chemical reaction that occurs. There should not be any significant heat rise if the material is applied in an even thin layer. In thicker layers there will a noticeable amount of heat, but not extreme by any measure. Also the epoxy products will cure and give good adhesion even if cured "under water" which we often demonstrate in our seminars and at shows. I suggest that if the faster cure products are giving you trouble you switch to one of the slower set products we make which will allow you more time and also give good results.
I firmly believe there are some procedure issues that are causing most of the problems you have experienced. We will gladly address any concerns you have.
Experienced taxidermist can make almost anything work. You have to hone your skills to the materials you are using. As for hollding power Epo-Grip 2 part will not release the skin under any condition!
I have recently tried while removing some antlers from a few of my older mounts. The only way I have been able to remove the E-G 2 part is to buff it off with a Dremel tool. I have seen the E-G 2 part, penetrate the skin.
Ear drumming? Its a problem you are having with everything, its caused by poor fitting liners.
Tons of experience dont count when its poor experience.
My two cents worth. I use the two part for doing ears, I have used a lot of diffrent adhesives and nothing compares to Epo-Grip two part. I have been using the waterbase(pink) glue, I don't know about this one yet have not used it long enough.
I should have mentioned to Jim on my last post that when using our waterbase adhesive don't use too much!
All you need is a very thin layer of Epo-Grip waterbase to have it work. Take an old bondo squeegee and trim the thin edge with course pinking shears to make a tile trowel type tool. Dog ear one corner so you can get into the small detail areas. This tool will allow you to allow the adhesive in an even manner over the mannikin. Thats all the glue you need, it will not drain out the brisket from using far too much.