Trade Secrets: We asked Hamish: how do you make custom filleting tools?
One of the great things about working with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy products is that you can really let your creative juices flow when you apply it; as long as you’ve mixed it properly, that is. So when we asked Hamish what can we use to make custom filleting tools, he explained that really, we’re only limited by imagination.
Epoxy is so forgiving. Brushes, rollers, mixing sticks, freezer bags – you can use all sorts of things to spread, smear and squeeze your epoxy, as long as you prepare these tools properly and clean them well afterwards.
Filleting is no different. You can use pretty much any rigid material to glide over your epoxy and create an even curve, as long as it’s smooth and the right shape (or you are able to cut it to shape).
When people ask me what they can use to create a custom filleting tool, I usually walk them through the options below.
The most obvious choice comes in the form of our WEST SYSTEM 804 Reusable Plastic Mixing Sticks. At 19mm wide and 140mm long, they’re ideal for most smaller projects, such as small dinghies or any sort of stitch-and-glue boat.
However, if you need to create bigger fillets with a bigger radius, then it’s probably best to choose one of the options below.
Hardwood makes a great, rigid filleting tool. You can either cut a radius on your own piece of hardwood, or you can use the WEST SYSTEM 804B Wooden Stirrers. At 300mm x 27mm and made of beech, they’re a good size, robust, and easy enough to add a radius to. Just make sure you clean them thoroughly once you’ve used them.
Many people like to cut a radius onto one of our WEST SYSTEM 808 Plastic Squeegees, which are 90mm x 150mm. All you need to do is trim one end of a squeegee to form a 75° angle, and trim the 75° angle corner to your desired fillet radius.
…whatever works for you
Plastic piping. Old credit cards. The bottom of a mixing pot or a paper cup. Plastic measuring scoops, like the little blue ones we give away in filler tubes. It’s really up to you what you use, as long as:
a) it’s rigid and smooth – ideally, glossy. This is so that it moves smoothly across the resin for an even fillet and so that you can clean it properly afterwards.
b) you can cut it to shape easily – if it needs cutting, that is.
Thanks very much to Hamish Cook for another great contribution.
Have you got a question for Hamish? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may even feature it in a future edition of epoxycraft!