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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions our technical support team receives

Common questions answered

MAS Tabletop Pro

For best results, all materials and working conditions should be maintained at a constant 70°F – 80°F. Epoxy is a temperature sensitive material.  When cool, it’s thicker and sets slower.  When warm, it’s thinner and sets faster.  When working in conditions or with material below 70°F, MAS Table Top may become to viscous to properly release air and self level.  Working in conditions or with material above 80°F, Table Top may set too quickly and exotherm, become too hot, which could cause it to yellow, distort or crack. 

All surfaces must be clean, dry and free of contamination.  Contaminates include, but are not limited to dust, oil, moisture, sap, lint, and sanding debris.  Do not use paper towels, dirty rags, contaminated sandpaper, or touch surface with oily fingers.  Sand as needed and clean off sanding debris.  Wipe surface down with a clean cotton t-shirt rag soaked in an oil free solvent like denatured alcohol prior to applying epoxy seal coat.  Do not use tack cloth. 

Always apply a seal coat before flood coating.  To start, the surface must be clean, dry and free of contamination.  Next, apply a thin coat of mixed epoxy to surface.  Take care to cover and seal any voids or cracks present.  Allow the seal coat to cure to a rock hard solid, and sand with 80-120 grit paper, paying special attention to imperfections such as air bubbles.  Lastly, wipe clean with a cotton t-shirt rag and denatured alcohol.  The purpose of a seal coat is to minimize the effects of off gassing by creating a thin air-tight barrier between a porous wooden surface and the Table Top epoxy flood coat so air bubbles won’t percolate up through the curing epoxy creating cosmetic defects.   

You could seal coat your project with the MAS 2:1 Non-blushing system or MAS PES, but we recommend sealing with MAS Table Top so you don’t have to invest in multiple systems to complete one project.  That being said, MAS Table Top is the absolute clearest epoxy system we offer, and specifically formulated for flood coating applications.  You can dilute down the mixed Table Top resin/hardener with 2-5% denatured alcohol to stretch the material a bit further on seal coats.  A little goes a long way.  Do not over dilute.  Only dilute for seal coat.  Never for final flood coats.

The mix ratio for the MAS Table Top is 1 part resin to 1 part hardener (1A:1B) by volume, or 100 parts resin to 83 parts hardener (100A:83B) by weight.  Using the recommended mix ratio is VERY important when using epoxy.  DO NOT deviate in an attempt to speed up or slow down the gel time.  An excess of resin or hardener will negatively affect the cure and could cause a wide range of short and/or long term problems with your epoxy coating. 

Best practice is to combine resin and hardener at recommended mix ratio, mix 1-2 minutes while scraping sides and bottom of container until no streaks or striations, transfer to second container, mix 1-2 minutes again until fully blended, let sit for 1-2 minutes to allow air bubbles a chance to start rising to surface, and then use immediately.  Take extra care not to whip in excess air.  The whole mixing process shouldn’t take more than 5-6 minutes.  If the mixed material starts to get warm, that’s your last warning the curing reaction is starting to take place and you need to get the epoxy poured onto your surface ASAP.  Don’t mix more than one gallon at a time, instead step pour multiple batches for larger projects.  Only mix up what you intend to immediately use. 

Clear SOLO brand disposable cups made of polypropylene (resin code 5, PP) work quite great.  If a large mass cures in them they can melt a little, but they do not dissolve in epoxy resin or hardener.  Wax free paper cups and metal cans also work well.  In addition, MAS Epoxy resins and hardeners are packaged in high density polyethylene (resin code 2, HDPE) containers, so most anything made of that should work well too.  I would stay away from polystyrene containers (resin code 6, PS) as they melt under low temperatures. 

Do not mix more than one gallon at a time.  For larger projects, step pour multiple pours.  Only mix up what you intend to immediately use.  Exceeding max mixing quantity could cause MAS Table Top to generate excess heat, exotherm, smoke and then cure quickly inside your mixing bucket. 

Do not apply MAS Table Top Pro thicker than 1/8” – 1/4” per coat.  Step pour multiple layers for thicker coatings.  Exceeding max coating thickness may cause MAS Table Top to heat up and exotherm upon hardening which could cause it to yellow, distort or even crack in extreme cases.   

Epoxy is a mass and temperature sensitive material.  The gel time (time it takes the mixed epoxy resin and hardener to initially harden up) can vary drastically depending on any number of factors such as mixing mass, material temp, ambient temp, mixing time, speed of mixing, speed of application, coating thickness, etc.  MAS Table Top has 30 minute gel time at 77°F in a 150 gram mass, but will set up much faster if warmer or left sitting for an extended time in a larger mass.  The more you mix up, and the warmer it is, the faster it will gel.  That being said, 10-15 minutes is a rough average working time for a full kit at room temp.  If the mixed epoxy starts to heat up in your mixing bucket, apply immediately. 

When bonding to metal the surface must be bright and free of oxidation.  Some metals can tarnish quickly so it is a good practice to apply the epoxy shortly after prepping the surface.  Degreasing the surface with acetone, abrading with 80 grit sandpaper and degreasing again with acetone before applying epoxy is the simplest method to improve the epoxy to metal bond strength.  Degreasing is a VERY important step and should be done even if the surface appears clean.  Sanding might not be practical as this could scuff your diamond plate, so maybe just stick to degreasing with a clean cotton rag and acetone.   

Since MAS Table Top is designed with flood coating and encapsulating applications in mind, as opposed to are more traditional load bearing laminating system or adhesive, I think you’ll be fine overcoating acrylic.  Simple surface prep can go a long way to improve bonding:  degrease, abrade, clean.  Denatured alcohol is my preferred degreasing and cleaning solvent.  Do not use a tack cloth.  Keep in mind, every project is unique.  Art work especially so.  What works well for one person, might not be the best approach for another.  Feel free to experiment.  When in doubt, small scale testing is always a good idea. 

This depends on a number of factors including system and substrate, but in general epoxy bonds well to most common surfaces such as wood, metals, glass, ceramic, etc.  What it typically does not bond well to are thermoplastic compounds such as HDPE, PP, PS, etc.  Epoxy is a thermoset and bonds well to other thermosets, but thermosets and thermoplastics are notoriously difficult to bond to each other, but it can be done with the right system.  That being said, every project is unique.  Feel free to experiment.  When in doubt, small scale testing is always a good idea. 

Best practice is to start with epoxy, and then overcoat with polyurethane.  Not the other way around.  Overcoating polyurethane with epoxy can be done, but in the long run you could end up with interlaminar adhesion issues reducing the longevity of the project.  Personally, I’d always start with an epoxy seal coat.  That being said, you shouldn’t have any issues overcoating a urethane coating.  Make sure the surface is fully cured, dry and free of contamination.  Scuff sand with 80-120 grit and solvent wipe with a clean cotton rag a little denatured alcohol before applying the epoxy.  Do not use a tack cloth.  Keep in mind, not all urethanes are created equal and every project is unique.   What works well for one person, might not be the best approach for another.  Feel free to experiment.  When in doubt, small scale compatibility testing is always a good idea. 

Best options for managing drips on the underside of project are to either periodically tend and smooth out with a brush as they form or use blue painters tape to protect underside perimeter.  Once epoxy has started to harden, you can just carefully peel the tape and any drips away before if fully sets.  Painters tape is my preferred method.  Easy to apply, remove and leaves the underside coating clean and ideally eliminates the need to touch up and recoat.  If the drips have hardened directly to the underside of the project, simply sand or grind away as needed. 

Let epoxy sit for 10 minutes to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.  Using a propane torch or a heat gun, apply heat 6-8 inches above the surface in a back and forth motion to remove bubbles.  Be careful not to not over heat, scorch or burn the epoxy.  Periodically check for additional bubbles and remove as need.

The overcoat time can be as short as it takes the previous coat to achieve surface tack.  When in doubt, use a cotton ball to test.  If the epoxy is tacky enough to pull the hair off a cotton ball, you can recoat without additional surface prep or sanding all the way up until you can no longer indent a fingernail into the previous coat.  That should be around 2-4 hours after pouring.  Past that point you will want to lightly scuff sand between coats to promote adhesion.  This also applies to recoating or touching up aged epoxy surfaces.  As a general rule, if you can sand, you should sand.  Keep in mind, warmer conditions and thicker coatings set up faster. 

The maximum coating thickness of MAS Table Top is 1/8” – 1/4” per pour, but deeper coatings can be achieved by step pouring multiple layers.  Each layer MUST be allowed to cool to room temperature (70-80°F) before overcoating or adding additional layers.  Once cooled, you can pour the next layer without additional surface prep all the way up until you can no longer indent a fingernail into the previous coat.  No sanding necessary.  That should be around 2-4 hours after pouring, but warmer temperatures will set faster, and cooler temperatures will set slower.  Large batches of mixed epoxy will also cure much more quickly than small batches.   If allowed to cure past the point of being able to indent a fingernail, then you will want to lightly scuff sand between coats to promote adhesion.  As a general rule, if you can sand, you should. 

To tint epoxy, simply use an epoxy compatible colorant and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Typically, you would add a small amount of the colorant into the resin or into the blended resin and hardener.  2-5% loading level should have no significant effect on cure.  A wide range of colorants, pigments, dyes and tints are compatible with MAS Table Top Pro.  Opaque pigments such as One-Shot Lettering Enamels, K-Bond Color Pigments and most oil based alkyd paints work well.  We’ve also had great success with Gamblin Dry Pigments and Black Diamond powder mica pigments, both metallic and flat, to get a marbled or colored effect with the Table Top Pro epoxy.  Lastly, translucent dyes such as Transtint and Piñata Colors are also compatible with epoxy.  Most acrylics are also epoxy compatible.  Do not use water based paints or pigments like latex as they can  cause foaming.  As with most projects, artwork especially so, each piece is unique.  A quick small-scale compatibly test is recommended to make sure the colorant stays evenly dispersed and the epoxy cures properly.  It should be noted, pigmented epoxy may be somewhat more UV resistant than unfilled epoxy, but should still be protected with a UV resistant coating for outdoor use. 

We typically recommend using a water-based stain under the epoxy clear coat.  Be sure the stain is fully dry before coating work with epoxy.  It’s also a good idea to first test your stain for compatibility with epoxy using the cross hatch test:  Apply the stain a scrap piece of wood.  Let it dry.  Apply the epoxy over the stain and let it sit overnight.  Next day cut a tic-tac-toe image into the epoxy with a shop knife.  Place a piece of Duct tape on each of the nine squares.  Try to remove the epoxy.  If it comes off easily without any wood chards then there is an adhesion problem and will not work, but if it comes off with bits of wood attached, the epoxy is penetrating the stain and will adhere well.  Some customers have had success using oil-based stain.  Three oil-based stains that have worked well epoxy resin in the past are Ace Hardware Great Finishes Wood Stain, Old Masters Wiping Stain and Pratt & Lambert Tonetic Interior Wood Stains.  However, the formula for a given stain can change at any time and we always recommend performing the cross hatch test on a scrap piece of wood as described above when using a new stain for the first time. 

t’s an unconventional approach, that can be a little time consuming, but buffing and polishing can be a useful technique to remove small surface imperfections while rejuvenating the original high gloss finish of the epoxy coating or to knock back the high gloss look to more of a mat or satin finish.  There’s certainly more than one way to go about this, and a whole lot of polishing compounds and equipment out there to choose from, but here’s a general description of a simple process you could try.  Keep in mind this procedure assumes a heavily scratch damaged surface, so you could start higher up in the sanding process if you choose: 

 

220, 400, 600 grit dry paper discs 

500, 1000 grit dry Abralon sanding Pads 

2000, 3000, 4000 grit wet Abralon sanding pads 

Heavy scratch remover applied by wool buffing pad 

Fine scratch remover applied by hard foam waffle pad 

 

Typically, we simply recommend keeping the surface clean with over the counter non-abrasive multipurpose surface and glass cleaners like Windex to let the natural high gloss finish shine.  I’m honestly not sure how well furniture polish, or even car wax, will work overtop of epoxy, but feel free to experiment. 

Bare wood typically takes on a slightly richer color when wet out with MAS Table Top Pro.  A good comparison is the color difference of wet vs dry wood, although the extent of the color change can vary based on wood type.  When in doubt, run a small scale test to ensure you’re happy with the saturated color. 

MAS Table Top Pro can be used for exterior projects and furniture, but like most consumer epoxy products, Table Top Pro is not UV stable.  Generally speaking, epoxy resin tends to yellow and may chalk when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time, which is why we recommend protecting epoxies with a UV protectant varnish or paint for outdoor use.  Marine grade polyurethane varnishes like Bristol Finish UV Clear, with enhanced UV protection additives, offer improved UV stability and abrasion resistance over “off the shelf” spar varnishes available at your local hardware store.

The max thickness MAS Table Top Pro should be applied is 1/8-1/4” per layer.  We typically recommend using MAS Deep Pour epoxy for river tables where you can pour large amounts of epoxy up to 0.5-1” thick, and then using MAS Table Top Pro as the top coat.  However, thicker coats and castings of Table Top Pro can be achieved by step pouring multiple layers.  Each layer MUST be allowed to cool to room temperature (70-80°F) before adding additional layers.  Use caution for very large pours.  Pouring too thick and layering too quickly could cause the curing epoxy to heat up, yellow, distort or crack. 

MAS Table Top Pro in a 1/8” thick coat at 77°F should be tack free in roughly 4 hrs and sandable after 8 hrs.  Allow Table Top to fully cure 5-7 days before putting into service.  Keep in mind that epoxy is mass and temperature sensitive.  Thin coats and cooler working conditions will cure slower, and thick coats and hotter working conditions will cure faster. 

MAS Table Top Pro has a hardness rating of 82 Shore D, and is resistant to scuffing and scratching under normal table wear and tear conditions.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that epoxy takes roughly 5-7 days at room temperature to fully cure and develop its full mechanical and thermal properties.  Best practice to wait until epoxy is fully cured before putting into use.  One of the great things about an epoxy table top finish is that if it does get damaged, it can easily be sanded and recoated. 

 

Although epoxy resin is considered scratch resistant and holds up to everyday wear and tear, it is not considered indestructible. Objects that harder than the epoxy can scuff, gouge or scratch the surface if proper care isn’t given. If the coffee cups have an uncoated ceramic bottom, you can actually scratch glass with that mug as well as virtually any room-temp cure epoxy surface. We always recommend placing a coaster down on any tabletop to mitigate any unnecessary scratches 

The heat deflection temperature (HDT) of MAS Table Top Pro is 124°F.  We’ve also done extensive “hot coffee” cup testing up to 130°F on fully cured MAS Table Top Pro with no rings.  As a general rule, anything that will burn you (hot pans, boiling water kettle, etc.) can potentially leave an impression on the surface.  Best practice is to wait 5-7 days at room temperature for an epoxy surface to fully cure (develop it’s full mechanical and thermal properties) before putting it into service. 

A 500F “temperature rating” showcased on some counter top systems is a misleading marketing practice.  500F is the thermal degradation point where a room temp epoxy system begins to breakdown, and in no way reflects the particle use temp.  Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) or Thermal Glass Transition temperature (Tg) are the values you’ll want to be comparing for real world usage, with HDT being the most conservative.  We’ve run HDT on pretty much every competitor Table Top product on the market, and they are equal to or below MAS Table Top.  For comparison, an actual 500F system is more in line with high end aerospace grade manufacturing and would still require an extensive high temp post cure cycle in order to achieve an HDT of Tg that high. 

MAS Table Top is not FDA approved for direct food contact.  To our knowledge, no manufacturer is selling a FDA approved epoxy resin system.  Some manufacturers may claim “FDA complaint”, “meets FDA guidelines”, etc. – this is not the same as FDA approval.  These are largely marketing claims that have not necessarily been substantiated.  That said, we’ve made many table/bar tops with our product and personally feel comfortable if the tabletop incidentally contacts food (like dropping and being picked up), but we wouldn’t use it to coat a food prep surface or a mug where the food or someone’s mouth will have direct and continuous exposure. 

MAS Table Top Pro is considered a 100% solids epoxy coating.  While much of the industry will tell you their products contains zero VOC, we’ve actually tested our product and obtained a result of 1.5 g/L VOC, which is extremely low.  For reference, a no VOC house paint may contain up to 50 g/L VOC and other VOC-exempt solvents.  

MAS Table Top is a low odor epoxy system, but “low odor” is a subjective term.  Simply put you can smell it, but it contains no solvents, so you won’t have a strong solvent odor fill your work space.  Odor is difficult to quantify, instead we can look at this in terms of VOC.  MAS Table Top Pro is considered a 100% solids epoxy coating.  While much of the industry will tell you their 100% solids epoxy products contains zero VOC, there could still be trace amounts of VOC present in any epoxy system.  We’ve actually tested our product and obtained a result of 1.5 g/L VOC, which is extremely low.  For reference, a low VOC house paint may contain up to 50 g/L VOC and other VOC-exempt solvents.

Unfortunately, it’s possible to develop an allergic sensitization to any epoxy resin system.  It is quite like the allergic reaction to poison ivy.  The severity of the reaction varies depending on the individual and the amount of exposure.  Some people become sensitized to the epoxy resin and others to the hardener.  Take measures such as wearing nitrile gloves, Tyvek arm guards and an apron to prevent skin contact with the epoxy.  If you do get some on your skin wash it off immediately with soap and water.  It’s less common, but in addition to developing a rash from skin contact, severely sensitized individuals can also have an allergic reaction to vapors from the epoxy resin and hardener.  Symptoms may include tightening of the throat and difficulty breathing.  We recommend working in well ventilated areas for precisely that reason.  If you must work with the epoxy resin in a confined space, wear a NIOSH approved respirator with an organic vapor cartridge.   

Warm soapy water works well for hardeners.  Denatured alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol or acetone work well for resins.  Best to soak up and/or scrape off as much material as you can with some rags first and then clean the affected areas with one of the options listed above.  Cured material cannot be removed with solvents.  Must be sanded away. 

The shelf life of MAS epoxy resins and hardeners is at least one year in sealed containers, but the material can last much longer when stored between 60-90°F in a dry place.  The product should be stored indoors, on a raised surface off the floor and away from exterior walls.  Do not allow epoxy resins or hardeners to freeze during winter storage.  After use, tightly reseal all containers.  With age or when stored improperly, you may encounter issues such as crystallization of the epoxy resin or yellowing of the hardener.  If there is any doubt about the condition of old material, we recommend mixing a small amount in a disposable cup to ensure it hardens before using it for a project. 

Troubleshooting

Fish eyes are caused by surface contamination.  Oil, wax, flecks of dust, sap, moisture, etc., even in small amounts, can cause surface imperfections in the coating.  One way to fix fish eyes is by letting the epoxy cure fully, mix a small amount of table top epoxy and put it over the fisheye or “pitting” spots. This can also be done with clear super glue for a quicker fix.  Fill the spot and let it fully cure, hand sand the spot that was just filled. Lightly sand the surface and apply another coat to level it out. 

To fix surface imperfections, let the epoxy surface cure to the point of sandability (typically 8-12 hrs), then lightly sand trouble spots with 120-220 grit sand paper.  Clean away sanding debris and solvent wipe with a clean cotton rag soaked in denatured alcohol.  DO NOT use a tack cloth.  Next, mix a small amount of Table Top epoxy and fill in the freshly sanded trouble spots.  This can also be done with clear super glue for a quicker fix on small imperfections such as fish eyes.  Mixed Table Top epoxy could also be diluted with roughly 2-5% denatured alcohol to help reduce mixed viscosity and improve self leveling in the affected area.  Fill the spot and let it fully cure, then lightly sand the entire surface and apply another coat to level it out.   

  1. Temperature:  Working in a shop or with material below 70F will cause the mixed epoxy to become too thick to properly release air and self level.
  2. Coating Thickness:  Applying Table Top thicker than the recommended 1/8”-1/4” maximum coating thickness will make it difficult to release air bubbles with heat gun or torch.
  3. Seal coat:  ALWAYS apply a seal coat to wooden surface before flood coating.  Wood will off gas and percolate bubbles up through coating if you fail to do so. 
  4. Mixing:  Mixing to vigorously will whip in excessive air bubbles into the blended resin and hardener.
  1. Mix ratio:  Double check the proper by volume mix ratio was used.  
  2. Resin and hardener:  Make sure you used resin and hardener, and not all resin or all hardener.  
  3. Fully mixed:  Upon mixing, be sure to scrape sides and bottom of mixing container to ensure all resin and hardener are fully blended.  Failing to do so can result in soft spots in coating.
  4. Pouring:  NEVER scrape or brush the sides or bottom of the container you just mixed in to remove every last drop because no matter how thoroughly you may have mixed, there will always be an unmixed portion which can be dislodged and will leave a wet or sticky spot on your coating.
  5. Temperature:  If the temp falls below 60°F while epoxy is initially setting up, it may stall out the chemical reaction needed to harden the epoxy.  Increasing shop temp to 80°F+ for 24 hours may help to restart the chemical reaction and harden the epoxy coating.

Apply heat to the ring with a heat gun or blow torch should release the ring without having to reapply completely. We’ve done this for tables in our office with success. 

Simple changes in temperature can affect the density of both the resin and hardener while the kit is being metered out.  Differences in viscosity can also lead to variations in how much waste is being lost after every pour.  The mix ratio is fairly forgiving, and in fact, erroring on the side of less hardener is better than adding too much.  The being said, the most likely culprit is simple mixing errors compounded over time, or manufacturer’s defects in graduated mixing cups. 

For best results, all materials and working conditions should be maintained at a constant 70°F-80°F.  Epoxy is a temperature sensitive material.  When cool, it’s thicker and sets slower.  When warm, it’s thinner and sets faster.  When working in conditions or with material below 70°F, epoxy resin may become too viscous to properly release air and self level. If you see low spots add additional material to those portions then warm the area with a heat gun to get it to self-level. 

Scratch repair can be accomplished in two ways.  Overcoating with a thin layer of fresh epoxy, or buffing and polishing.  Overcoating with a fresh coat is the simplest method.  Simply sand the surface with 180-220 grit paper paying special attention to scratch damaged areas, clean away sanding debris, wipe surface down with a clean cotton t-shirt rag soaked in an oil free solvent like denatured alcohol, and apply a fresh coat of epoxy.  Buffing and polishing can be a little time consuming, but can be a useful technique to remove small surface imperfections while rejuvenating the original high gloss finish of the epoxy coating or to knock back the high gloss look to more of a mat or satin finish.  There’s certainly more than one way to go about this, and a whole lot of polishing compounds and equipment out there to choose from, but here’s a general description of a simple process you could try.  Keep in mind this procedure assumes a heavily scratch damaged surface, so you could start higher up in the sanding process if you choose: 

 

220, 400, 600 grit dry paper discs 

500, 1000 grit dry Abralon sanding Pads 

2000, 3000, 4000 grit wet Abralon sanding pads 

Heavy scratch remover applied by wool buffing pad 

Fine scratch remover applied by hard foam waffle pad 

Common questions answered

MAS Deep Pour

Volumetric yield of Deep Pour is about 25 cubic inches per mixed pound.  Coverage and yield can depend on any number of factors, most notably casting thickness, porosity of the surface and waste.  A 1.3 gallon kit (1 gallon of resin and a 0.3 gallons of hardener) should yield about 300 cubic inches. 

MAS Deep Pour in a 0.5”-1” thick casting at 77°F should be tack free in roughly 4-8 hrs, sandable after 12-24 hrs, and fully cured in 5-7 days.  Keep in mind that epoxy is mass and temperature sensitive.  Thin castings and cooler working conditions will cure slower, and thick castings and hotter working conditions will cure faster. 

We typically recommend using MAS Deep Pour where you can pour large amounts of epoxy up to 0.5-1” thick, and then using MAS Table Top Pro as the finish top coat.  The max thickness MAS Table Top Pro should be applied is 1/8-1/4” per layer.  An alternative to an epoxy finish coat would be a polyurethane varnish.  Marine grade polyurethane varnishes, with UV protection additives, offer improved UV stability and abrasion resistance over “off the shelf” spar varnishes available at hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes.  We manufacture Bristol Finishes, which is a varnish ideally suited for overcoating epoxies, but there are many different varnishes available; single component, 2-part, high gloss, satin, clear or tinted with color.  When varnishing, first and foremost follow the varnish manufactures instructions for overcoating epoxy.  If no instructions are available, then simply treat the varnish as an additional coat of epoxy:  Allow last coat of epoxy to cure 24 hrs, scuff sand with 120-220 grit paper, clean sanding residue from surface, and apply varnish. 

MAS Deep Pour has a hardness rating of 82 Shore D, and is resistant to scuffing and scratching under normal wear and tear conditions.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that epoxy takes roughly 5-7 days at room temperature to fully cure and develop its full mechanical and thermal properties.  Best practice to wait until epoxy is fully cured before putting into use.  One of the great things about an epoxy project or finish is that if it does get damaged, it can easily be sanded and recoated. 

Machining, sanding and/or shaping epoxy is pretty straight forward.  48 hrs should be sufficient time to allow the epoxy the cure prior to machining, but if you find that you’re gumming up our sandpaper or bits, just wait another day.  Touching up the machined indentations will be an important step to maintain a consistent clear high gloss finish.  Keep in mind, every project is unique.  Art work especially so.  What works well for one person, might not be the best approach for another.

Max casting thickness can vary depending on a number of factors including shop temp, material temp, mixing quantity, mold material, project dimensions, etc.  Larger slabs should be poured thinner than smaller castings to minimize exotherm.   Every project is unique, but as a general guideline do not exceed 0.5” casting thickness for a full mixed 1.3 gallon kit, or 1” for a half mixed kit.  Step pour multiple layers for thicker castings. 

Do not mix more than one gallon at a time.  For larger projects, step pour multiple pours.  Only mix up what you intend to immediately use.  Exceeding max mixing quantity may cause Deep Pour to heat up and exotherm upon curing which could cause it to yellow, distort or crack. 

The mix ratio for the MAS Deep Pour is 3 parts resin to 1 part hardener (3A:1B) by volume, or 100 parts resin to 28 parts hardener (100A:28B) by weight.  Using the recommended mix ratio is VERY important when using epoxy.  DO NOT deviate in an attempt to speed up or slow down the gel time.  An excess of resin or hardener will negatively affect the cure and could cause a wide range of short and/or long term problems with your epoxy project. 

Epoxy is a mass and temperature sensitive material.  The gel time (time it takes the mixed epoxy resin and hardener to initially harden up) can vary drastically depending on any number of factors such as mixing mass, material temp, ambient temp, mixing time, speed of mixing, speed of application, casting and coating thickness, etc.  MAS Deep Pour has a 5.5 hour gel time at 77°F in a 150 gram mass, but will set up much faster if warmer or left sitting for an extended time in a larger mass.  The more you mix up, and the warmer it is, the faster it will gel.  That being said, 1 gallon of mixed Deep Pour (9.3 lbs), cast 2” thick, will have a peak exotherm of about 320F and a gel time of roughly 140 mins.  A 1.3 gallon kit of mixed Deep Pour (12.6 lbs), cast 1” thick, will have about a 260F peak exotherm, and a gel time of roughly 200 minutes.  

Dyes or pigments can be added to Deep Pour to create a variety of effects. Mica Powder is commonly used however some customers have experimented with alcohol inks and acrylic tints. 
 
Mica comes in a variety of colors and is generally the go to pigment. You can decrease the amount of mica to create a translucent effect or use a couple drops of alcohol ink to create tint. We recommend testing the colors in very small batches (1-2oz) of mixed deep pour to ensure a desired result before pouring a large scale project.  
 
Also check out Amazon.com, there are some unique options like glow in the dark or thermochromic pigment. Thermochromic is interesting, its a color changing temperature sensitive pigment so it might be blue then change purple. There are different temperature ratings they might change color at 72f or 88f also keep in mind the amount of heat needed if you do go that option. If you make a table, its going to take a a lot of energy to warm the area a few degrees so more often than not thermochromics are best used in small items like coasters that can warm up rapidly. 

We typically recommend using MAS Deep Pour epoxy for river tables where you can pour large amounts of epoxy up to 0.5-1” thick, and then using MAS Table Top Pro as the top coat.  The max thickness MAS Table Top Pro should be applied is 1/8-1/4” per layer.  However, thicker coats and castings of Table Top Pro can be achieved by step pouring multiple layers.  Each layer MUST be allowed to cool to room temperature (70-80°F) before adding additional layers.  Use caution for very large pours.  Pouring too thick and layering too quickly could cause the curing epoxy to heat up, yellow, distort or crack.   

The heat deflection temperature (HDT) of MAS Table Top Pro is 122°F.  As a general rule, anything that will burn you (hot pans, boiling water kettle, etc.) can potentially leave an impression on the surface.  Best practice is to wait 5-7 days at room temperature for an epoxy surface to fully cure (develop it’s full mechanical and thermal properties) before putting it into service. 

Epoxy is a mass and temperature sensitive material.  The gel time (time it takes the mixed epoxy resin and hardener to initially harden up) can vary drastically depending on any number of factors such as mixing mass, material temp, ambient temp, mixing time, speed of mixing, speed of application, casting and coating thickness, etc.  MAS Deep Pour has a 5.5 hour gel time at 77°F in a 150 gram mass, but will set up much faster if warmer or left sitting for an extended time in a larger mass.  The more you mix up, and the warmer it is, the faster it will gel.  That being said, 10-15 minutes is all it should take to carefully mix and pour.  If the mixed epoxy starts to heat up in your mixing bucket, apply immediately.