Tag Archives: repair

Videos: How to Diagnose Faulty 2008 Toyota Highlander Hood Latch Switch Causing Intermittent Alarm Problems Plus Replacing the Micro Switch

Okay, while researching what to do with my 2008 Toyota Highlander’s flaky alarm, I ran across some good videos you can watch on how to diagnose the switch and even how to replace the microswitch. As for me, I wrote up how I bypassed the sensor by creating a loopback plug from the old sensor’s wire. My approach still allows the rest of the alarm system to work just fine and can be done in less than an hour with little to no cost. With that said, let’s take a look at these really well done videos that helped me think out my approach – especially the first one on diagnosing the switch.

Diagnosing the Switch

The following is the best video I found on diagnosing the problem and he even disassembles the latch to show you what is going on in detail – it’s very well done. This video helped me figure out my approach and kudos to Ozzstar for making it:

If You Want To Replace the Microswitch

This next video is really well done and is specific to the 2008 Highlander. He ordered the same Panasonic automotive grade micro switch that Toyota used: ABS1413409 from Digikey.

I hope this helps you out.



If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Easy & Cheap Solution for 2008 Toyota Highland Hood Latch Sensor Switch Causing Faulty Alarms: Make A Loopback Plug

We recently became the new owners of a 2008 Toyota Highlander. It was in great shape and I thought we got a pretty good deal on it. The previous owner disclosed to us that the hood alarm switch was flaky and the car alarm would go off randomly.

After we bought the Highlander and returned home I did some research that night. There is in integral microswitch in the hood latch assembly that detects if the hood is open or closed. The alarm system will not arm if it detects that the hood is open and it will sound an alarm if someone tries to open the hood. Uhm… ok. My first thought was “you can only open it from the inside lever that is protected by the door alarms so why have this one?”

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, the switch is a known problem. It’s also one of the rare times where I will say Toyota did a bad design. Putting a basic microswitch in the front of a car where it will get wet all the time and corrode, not to mention the impacts and grease/oil from the latch itself, is not really that good of an idea — at least not to me.

After reading and watching videos, it seemed like there were three options:

  • Replace the whole hood latch assembly that includes the sensor. Third party, these latch assemblies were about $56 on Amazon and $50-60 on eBay. Original Toyota would be higher, of course. Pro: It is pretty easy to remove the assembly and install this one. Con: It’s a relatively expensive and will fail sooner or later unless someone fixed the switch design and sealed it better.
  • Replace just the microswitch. You can get the unit real cheap from Digikey and other suppliers plus there are Youtube videos that show you what to do. The previous owner did this and it worked for about two years he said. Pro: Real cheap (under $10 including shipping). Cons: Takes time and will not last without figuring out some better way to seal the original design.
  • Simply bypass the switch. As mentioned earlier – you can’t open the hood from the outside so what are the odds that someone will successfully break into the car and then open the hood without setting off the alarm? The risk is real low – low enough for me to go with this option. Pro: Easiest of all and is a permanent solution. Con: The hood alarm sensor will no longer work. This is the one I went with.

I’d like to point out that just unplugging the sensor is not an option. Doing that will make the computer think the hood is open and the car alarm will not arm at all. This means you must pick one of the three options listed above. I opted for the last one – I bypassed the sensor by creating a loopback plug – a fancy term meaning I joined the input and output wires together thus making it look like the switch was always closed so the computer would think the hood was closed regardless of whether it was or not.

If you’d like to learn more about diagnosing the problem, seeing how to remove the latch and/or how to replace the microswitch, click here.

What I want to do next is walk you through what I did. If you are not comfortable with basic wiring, I’d recommend against your trying this just to be up front. Always ask yourself if you can reverse what you are about to do or can you recover if something goes wrong – if the answer is “no”, then don’t do it. For example, don’t cut wires off right next to a fitting – leave yourself some pigtails in case you need to reconnect them.

One last comment – these directions are just based on my 2008 Highlander. Different years and models may not be like this. Research your vehicle before doing anything like this.

Bypassing the Sensor

So, to bypass the sensor we just need to create a circuit that normally exists when the switch is closed. First, I needed to get a better look at the location of the wiring so the cover needed to come off.

The plastic cover between the grill and the frame needs to come off. It is held in place by Toyota push-type retaining clips and two 10mm screws. The screws are to the front on the left and right sides. Note that two of the clips on the right side are bigger than the others – this will help you with reassembly later.
I use a small flat screw driver to pop the middle part up. You then grab hold of that, lift up and the clip comes right out.
Just remove the clips and then the plastic cover simply lifts off. I found one more that anchors the grille in the middle of the grille vertically and I removed it. That gave me ample room to work and I did not need to remove the grille given what I planned to do.

I did not take as many photos as I should have so let me explain. With the plastic cover off and the middle anchor clip removed, I had plenty of access to the switch and wiring to see what to do. The wire assembly runs from the hood latch – and there is only one wire – do not pick the hood cable used to open the hood. The wire runs from a small switch in the latch assembly and then plugs into a connector shortly below it.

I inserted a small blade screw driver to release the plug from the socket. To be safe, make sure you confirm the wires that you plan to cut lead up to the sensor and are *not* the wires going to the harness / wiring loom.

Why care? Because if you cut the wires on the sensor side and connect them together, you can easily replace the hood latch assembly and go back to having a sensor if you want. However, if you cut the wiring loom, it’s gone. You can manually splice in but it simply is not an elegant approach.

Note I am saying wires and when you look at the plug it looks like just one black wire. What you are seeing is the insulation tube that is black. Inside are two thin green wires that run from the plug to the sensor switch.

I’ll not get awards for artwork but hopefully this will give you an idea. When I faced my the front of my Highlander, the wiring from the sensor was on the right hand side. You need to confirm this just in case. It is the wire to the sensor switch wire that you want to cut and not the wiring from the harness. On my 2008 Highlander, the harness wiring was on the left.

Once I was certain which wire to cut, I reached in with some snips and cut the wire leaving a couple of inches to work with. DO NOT CUT THE WIRES FLUSH TO THE PLUG!! You need a short length of the wires to connect together to make the circuit loop back.

To make work easier, I took the short wire with the plug on it and worked at a bench where everything was handy, I stripped a bit off the end of each wire, twisted the bare wires together, soldered them, bent them over the small wire pigtail and then used heat shrink tubing and electrical tape to secure everything. Total overkill but I never wanted to bother with this again.

Here’s the finished result. The front of the car is to the left. Part of the hood latch spring is to the upper right and we are looking down at the newly made loopback plug. As far as the alarm system is concerned, the hood is closed. The red color is the heat shrink tube I had on hand. I folded the heat shrink tubing over at the end and then applied electrical tape to seal it.

I installed the newly created loopback plug back into the socket. I then tested the system by turning the alarm on with the key fob, putting the key fob out of signal range in the garage and waited for the system arm. Once the alarm indicator light went solid on the dash, I simply reached in through the open window and tried to open the door from the inside and the alarm went off. Yeah, I had to run back to that fob to shut it off ūüôā

If the system thought the hood was open, it would never have armed by the way. That’s why you can’t just unplug the switch. I then reinstalled the plastic cover by installing the clips and then pushing the middle piece down to lock it in place. By the way, remember that the right two clips are bigger than the others. The two 10mm screws went back in with a dab of non-seize on each just in case they ever need to come out again.

That was it – the alarm is happily armed and protecting the Highlander as I write this and not one single false alarm since. I hope this helps you out.

9/3/2019 Update: This has worked great for me. Not one single problem since.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



These are the Correct Weatherstripping Clips for 1996 Toyota Landcruisers (80-series)

I did some bodywork on my 1996 Landcruiser (an 80-series Landcruiser) this past summer and had to replace the weatherstripping clips on the bottom of the driver side door. I did some digging and found that these clips are the correct size (5mm with a 15mm head) and they worked great for me. The one guy complains that these are green so he only scored it three stars. My originals were a pinkish color so green didn’t matter to me at all plus once installed, you can’t see them.

The following product link is exactly what I ordered:

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I popped the remaining originals out with a removal tool. If you don’t have one, they make a world of difference in the removal of clips. In a truck this old, I try to replace old plastic clips when I can as often find them to be brittle and either break during removal or re-insertion.

Here is a clip removal tool. The green clips under it are the brand new replacement units.

The tool you see in the above photo came with the following replacement Toyota Trim Clips package that has helped me out a number of times such as securing drooping engine bay plastic shields on a 2002 Toyota Camry.

Here were the remaining original clips. Note the lovely pink-ish color thus I really didn’t mind what colors the originals were as long as they worked.

Here is the end result – I worked the clips into each hole in the weather stripping and then simply pushed them into the body holes. I think I installed a total of five to six clips. The drooping problem was solved.

The heads securely fit in the holes in the weather stripping and into the body.
No more drooping weatherstripping!

In Summary

These clips worked great. I just did this post to try and save anyone trying to find clips specifically for an 80 series Landcruiser.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else ‚Äď even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries ‚Äď we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


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Did you know most consumer vehicle undercoatings are rip offs?

We recently bought a new van and I wanted to undercoat it so it would last — being old school that was the first thing I thought of anyways.¬† The next was to do some searching around with Google about undercoatings so I could get the best product to use.¬† You know what I found out?¬† When most cars and trucks are made, the manufacturers do a ton of stuff now to prevent corrosion straight from the factory – so much so that you may find it hard pressed to find a shop that even does undercoating/rust proofing any more.¬† The car companies have improved their alloys, finishes and even learned not to leave exposed lips for mud to settle in to and sit – think about how the old wheel wells had the reinforcing lip all the way around that dirt/mud could sit in and hold salty water or even just water against the metal – of course it would rust.¬† So now you look in to wheel wells and through one method or another that flange is either not there or protected.

So I want to share some things I learned.  First, rubberized spray on undercoatings often caused more problems than they solved.  Now, you may be wondering why РI know I did.  You see, it is a spay on finish the adheres to whatever surface it can stick to Рpaint, rubber, metal, dirt, etc.  Over time, that undercoating develops small holes from stuff hitting it and then a pocket starts to form, salty water enters in and is held against the very steel it is trying to protect!  So to make a long story short, after reading tons of posts about the various spray on rubber undercoatings one must conclude they are not worth investing in any longer.

Second, rust proofing sounds great but there really is no such thing.  You are delaying the inevitable if we are talking about steel and salt water Рeventually something is going to rust.

Okay, enough doom and gloonm, let’s say you live in a state, like Michigan, where they salt the heck out of the roads in the winter.¬† What do you do to protect new cars even more than what the factory did *or* you want to try and save older vehicles even if they have started to rust?¬† The answer, interestingly enough, was developed long ago – Fluid Film.¬† Eureka Chemical Company, yes that really is their name – started in the 1940s when they developed a product with an unlikely source to help the Navy prevent corrosion – the not-so-secret ingredient is lanolin from sheep. If you want to read the whole story, click here.

Let me cut to the chase – the reason this stuff works is that it oozes and seals itself if nicked.¬† DoD, NASA, Coast Guard, Delta and others are still using this stuff!¬† After doing a lot of reading, I bought a five gallon pail off Amazon, an applicator gun and a pail pump dispenser.¬† They sell an aerosol can version but I really don’t have much experience with it but am a bit leery of it because the liquid is so thin that comes out compared to what I can spray with the applicator gun.

This is my second year using it on our vehicles and it almost makes it a few months before you can tell it has dried out / faded.¬† In other words, it doesn’t quite make it the whole winter. I get rid of looser dirt by spraying it down, let it try and go to town spraying this stuff on everything – even the exhaust as it will just bake off after the first time it gets good and hot.

Honestly, I think the FuildFilm helps – our newest car after our van is a 2002 Camry and I spray the heck out of it and our other older cars (the oldest is a 1992 Corolla) and my old 1996 Land Cruiser.¬† I go through about a quart per car/truck liberally applying it real thick all over the under carriage.¬† I also spray door hinges, locks and hood latch.¬† The stuff smells funny for the first day or so but seems to really do the trick.¬† I just finished putting it on our vehicles for the second year.¬† I’m about half way through the five gallon pail so if you want to test it out some, you could start with a gallon pail – that would do 4-6 cars or trucks depending on how thick you apply it.

So, thought I would pass along what I learned – don’t bother with rubberized undercoatings and definitely check out FluidFilm.

Note, my local Autozone also sells the below aerosol cans.  I really do not know how long it will protect what you spray it on.  It is way, way thinner than the stuff that comes in the pails.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else Рeven unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries Рwe get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


How to restore cloudy headlights using toothpaste – This really works!

When car companies moved to plastic headlight lenses they opened the door to them oxidizing over and majorly reducing the transmitted light. ¬†I’m surprised they haven’t been sued yet actually. ¬†I really do not like the fact that light is reduced and people are driving with less and less visibility at night – that seems wrong to me. ¬†However, if they don’t correct this problem we can at least fix it with annual polishing of the lenses.

For badly deteriorated lenses, I use Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Headlight restoration¬†kit. It comes with sandpaper and polish to really let you get through the yellow oxidized plastic. ¬†I have sworn by that kit for several years now and you can do a number of vehicles with each package. ¬†It was also a pretty good price considering you could avoid having to buy new lenses for at least 3-4 cars.

I just learned a trick from my son who was home for a visit. ¬†He uses toothpaste to fix lightly oxidized headlights. ¬†Yes, plan old Crest toothpaste. ¬†Now this isn’t some odd chemical fix that disappears in a few hours. ¬†Toothpaste has a very mild abrasive in it for cleaning your teeth. ¬†Apparently it does an awesome job on car headlight lenses also. ¬†The following is my wife’s Camry that has gone about a year since I last polished it:

  

Basically he would pour water on the headlight, get the toothbrush wet, added the toothpaste to the old tooth brush and then vigorously rubbed all over the lens. ¬† He’d then pour water, wipe it off, look at the results and repeated it about three times per light until he got it just the way he wanted it. ¬†I’m impressed.

He really didn’t use much toothpaste either. ¬†This is real cheap and effective on light oxidation. ¬†I’m doing this for now on and saving the Meguiar’s HD kit for lenses that are badly damaged.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else Рeven unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries Рwe get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


How to get what you want from epoxy – for me it is long life, shock resistance and strength

 

Folks, I work a lot with epoxy and reply on it as a structural adhesive to both fill gaps and bond parts together. ¬†I’ve done everything from fixing car parts, wood furniture, tools, rifle bedding, scope mount bedding, custom knife handles and much more with epoxy. ¬†It is incredibly versatile but you need to do some planning to really get what you want out of it predictably.

In case you didn’t know it, “epoxy” is a general term for a wide range of cured polyepoxide resins glues with different physical characteristics such as how long they cure, strength, temperature resistance and so forth (click here if you want to learn more about the chemistry). ¬† There are a ton of options out there as quality manufacturers experiment with different resin and hardener formulations. ¬†In short, not all epoxies are the same and for people concerned with the quality of what they are building, they need to think things through. ¬†For quite some time I’ve wanted to write down a series of tips for folks to get strong reliable results so here they are:

Buy a quality brand epoxy to begin with

What I have found over the years is that not all epoxies are created equal so spend the money and buy quality epoxy. ¬†There can be a huge difference in how well the epoxy will last over time and/or how strong it really is. ¬†Do not buy the bargain basement junk. ¬†In general, if the maker lists all the physical properties then it is a well thought out and executed formula. ¬†I have three epoxies that I use the most in order are Brownell’s AcraGlas liquid (not the gel), Locite¬†E-120HP, JB KwikWeld and ITW Devcon Plastic Steel. ¬†Once in a while if I need a fast cure epoxy, I will get a retail blister pack of some five minute epoxy and I’ll explain more in a moment.

Strongly consider what your application is

Epoxy comes in many formulations.  They can vary the chemistry of the resin, the hardener and the filler to behave differently.  Consider the following example characteristics:

  • Liquid, Gel/Paste or Putty/Bar — The liquid can seep into pores and fibers plus it can be spread but it can run into places you do not want. ¬†Gels and pastes tend to stay put better but do not seep in as well. ¬†The really thick puttys and bars are great for filling space or creating an impromptu clamp or to seal a hole but they definite don’t sink in much.
  • Temperature – you need to think both about the temperature when you are mixing and applying the epoxy as some will not set up at all if too cold. ¬†You also need to think about the heat when in operation because many epoxies soften and lose their bond the hotter they get. ¬† For example, you may apply epoxy to an exhaust manifold but it will blow off when it gets hot.
  • Pot life – this is how long you can still apply it before it starts to thicken. ¬†Some folks will refer to this as working time. ¬†You need to mix the two parts together, apply the epoxy, position and clamp the work before you run out of time. ¬†Keep this in mind.
  • Cure time – this is how long until the epoxy reaches full strength
  • Color – you can get epoxies in different colors
  • Ratio / mixing – some are by volume or by weight. ¬†The easy consumer stuff is usually 1:1 by volume but when you get into the more sophisticated epoxies the volumes vary or a digital scale is needed
  • Heat resistance – some epoxies resist heat better than others before they soften and “let go”
  • Shock resistance – some formulations hold up better than others before they start the break apart and “sugar”. ¬†Sugaring refers to the powdery look epoxy gets as it breaks apart. ¬†Brownell’s AcraGlas, Loctite E-120HP, JB KwikWeld and ITW Devcon Plastic Steel have all held up very well for me under shocks. ¬†My go-to epoxy for most work is Acra-Glas liquid because it holds up so very well.
  • Others – there are other factors that may matter to you but the important thing is to think through your application

Go with as long of a curing time as you can for maximum strength

What many people do not know is that the faster an epoxy cures, the weaker it is.  Conversely, the longer the formulation takes to cure, the stronger it is.  All things being equal, a 24 hour curing epoxy will be stronger than 90-second, 5-minute, 30-minute and so forth epoxies.  Now there is a time and a place where speed is needed and also situations where strength is paramount.  When I make khukuri hands and other things where strength is critical, I always use a 24 hour epoxy.

Use the Proper Ratios

Be sure to carefully follow the mixing ratios. ¬†For volume ratio work, I use 10cc or larger syringes without the needles on them to meter liquid resin and hardener. ¬†For example, I like AcraGlas and it is 4 parts resin to 1 part hardener. ¬†I keep two syringes separated that I re-use over and over. ¬†With the syringe in the holding cup labeled “resin”, I use it to draw 4 cubic centimeters (CCs) of resin out and squirt it into a mixing cup. ¬†With the hardener syringe, I meter out 1 CC of hardener into the cup. ¬†Now you can vary that. ¬†If you need a smaller about, meter out 2 CC of resin and 1/2CC of hardener. ¬†The syringes really help. ¬†If you are doing larger volumes then either use bigger syringes or disposable cups that have measurements printed on the side. ¬†Also note how I pour from the bulk container into the smaller intermediary containers that are easy to work with plus I avoid contamination, dropping a big bottle, etc.

The Loctite E-120HP comes in a specialized dispenser tube that uses a gun and tip to do all the mixing. ¬†It’s cool as can be for volume work where additional coloring or fillers are not needed.

For the Devcon Plastic Steel, I use my digital scale.

Here’s one thing not to do: ¬†Some guys have heard that if they add more hardener it will cure faster. ¬†This may be true but the resulting cured epoxy will be weaker. ¬†Do not deviate from the manufacturer’s recommendations if you want the physical properties they report.

Mix thoroughly

Folks, I can’t stress this enough. ¬† Mix the heck out of the two parts and combine them thoroughly. ¬†If you are doing larger volumes, consider doing what is known as a double pour. ¬†Pour the two parts into a first container, mix them thoroughly and then pour the combination into the middle of a second container and mix. ¬†What a double pour does is avoid having unmixed materials that have stuck to the walls of the container come out when you are applying the epoxy. ¬†Keep your pot life / working time in mind.

Most of the time I am using a generic 5oz plastic cup and plastic knife to do the mixing. ¬†I buy them by the hundreds for Ronin’s Grips and they are cheap regardless. ¬†Do not use styrofoam.

Prepare the surface

Whatever you want to bond epoxy to had better be clean and free of oils, greases, waxes, release agents and so forth. ¬†Second, the more abraded the surface the better. ¬†If you abrasive blast a surface not only can you double the surface area being bonded together but the irregular surface creates many opportunities for the epoxy to get “under” material to create a better grip. ¬†If you can’t blast then at least sand the surface with 80-100 grit sand paper.

So here are two rules to bear in mind when it comes to the surface:

  1. Clean, clean, clean and wear gloves to not contaminate the surface with oil from your skin
  2. Shiny is bad.  A polished smooth surface will not give you anywhere near the bonding strength that a blasted or abraded surface will.  I blast everything that I can Рmetals, micarta, plastic and even wood.  It makes a world of difference Рseriously.

The following is a bakelite handle from an electric griddle of my parents’. ¬†The unit works great and has sentimental value so I cleaned it, blasted it, cut a quick cross hatch pattern to give even more grip and then cleaned it again. ¬†It set up like a rock and we used it all Memorial Day morning to cook hundreds and hundreds of pancakes with no problem.\

Heating Epoxy

Heat can help you two ways.  First, by warming epoxy it tends to flow better.  If you need to to soak into wood or other surfaces, consider using a heat gun to blow/chase the epoxy into the wood.  Do not burn the epoxy Рjust warm it up.  Second, in general, warming epoxy up tends to make it cure faster.  Now there are limits and you need to either experiment or talk to the vendor before doing anything too radical.  I will often use a halogen light or other heat source to warm the surface up to 80-100F.  In chemistry, there is a formula known as the Arrhenius Equation that notes that for each additional 10 degrees Celsius added, a reaction rate doubles (click here for more info on the equation).  My experience is that you want the heat to penetrate and warm all of the epoxy and not just the surface and you also do not want to burn the epoxy.  In general, I do not exceed 100F but that is just me.  I found something that works good enough and have just stayed there.

Also pay attention to the minimum temperature requirements for curing.  Some epoxies will not do anything at all at freezing.  Some take forever to cure at 50F.  It just depends.  When in doubt, use a lamp or something to gently heat the part.

Coloring Epoxy

What many folks do not know is that you can actually color epoxy.  I have found two approaches that work.  First, use powdered tempera paint.  You can stir in a bit of black powder to get black epoxy.  Now I did this starting out and have since moved to using epoxy dyes so I am added less powder to the mix because I want to save the volume for glass fillers which we will talk about next.

Fillers

You can modify the physical strength of epoxy by adding a substrate or fillers. ¬†For example, fiberglass is matted glass fiber that bonded together with epoxy made for that purpose. ¬†Folks working with carbon fibers are using epoxy for bonding that together. ¬†I add 1/32″ milled glass fibers to my epoxies to get more strength. ¬†If I want more of a paste, I add more glass fiber and if I want it to be more of a liquid, I use less. ¬†The exact volume of glass fiber depends on what you are trying to do. ¬†Some vendors will give you recommendations and others will not.

Clamping / Work holding

In general, you want to apply the epoxy and then clamp everything together really well and then let it sit.   You may choose to use traditional clamps, vacuum, etc.  Bear in mind two things:

1. ¬†Be careful that you secure the material and that it can’t shift while curing. ¬†I can’t tell you how many times I have checked stuff and found out it moved and had to change my approach. ¬†Figure this out before you apply the glue in case you need to make something, change your approach, etc. ¬†Check it regularly to make sure it hasn’t shifted regardless. ¬†Every time I think something can’t move – it does.

2.  The epoxy will run out of what you are working on.  Decide how you are going to deal with it.  Wax paper can protect your tools and table.  You can scrape the epoxy off after it has partially cured.  You can wipe things down with acetone when partially cured.  Just think it through otherwise you are going to glue stuff together really well that you do not want bonded Рtrust me.  It is a real headache so plan for seepage/dripping and how you will deal with it.

Patience

This is something I have gotten better at over the years Рwait the recommended amount of time.  If they say 24 hours then wait 24 hours.  If you have questions about using the part sooner then ask the manufacturer.  For example, you might be able to assemble something after 10 hours but not actually put it under strain for 24 hours.  Factor in the temperature.  The colder it is then the longer it will take.  Remember what I said about the heat from lamps above.

Safety

Yeah, I had to add this. ¬†Follow all guidance from the vendors. ¬†The resins aren’t too bad but some of the hardeners are nasty. ¬†Wear rubber gloves, use eye protection, work in a well ventilated area and wear a real good dust mask when sanding. ¬†I use N99 masks now for everything.

I hope you found this general epoxy guidance helpful!


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Here are links to some of the stuff I use:

AcraGlas at Brownells.  As a reminder, I prefer and recommend the liquid, not the gel:
http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/stock-work-finishing/stock-bedding-adhesives/acraglas–prod1033.aspx

Loctite E-120HP [note that most sellers on Amazon charge a fortune for this so dig around at industrial supply houses such as McMaster, Zoro, MSC, etc.  Also, remember that you need the tube of glue, gun and disposable tips.  When the glue hardens in the tip, it protects the cartridge and you then replace the tip for your next work session but it does mean you need multiple tips.  I use this glue mostly for big projects like bonding together larger pieces of wood, etc.]
http://na.henkel-adhesives.com/product-search-1554.htm?nodeid=8797913677825

Loctite E-120HP Epoxy Adhesive 1.69 fl.oz. (50ml) tube. Loctite 29329

$17.49
End Date: Thursday Sep-26-2019 11:19:25 PDT
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Loctite E-120HP Epoxy Adhesive 50ml - Exp 2020 USA

$17.95
End Date: Tuesday Sep-24-2019 10:12:12 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $17.95
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LOCTITE 237128 Adhesive,Epoxy,Hysol E-120HP,50mL Hysol E-120HP(TM)

$13.91
End Date: Tuesday Oct-1-2019 7:38:43 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.91
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Loctite E120-HP Epoxy Adhesive, Dual-Cartridge, 1.69 oz., Amber, 120 min.

$23.49
End Date: Wednesday Oct-23-2019 0:51:19 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $23.49
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50ml Durabond E-120hp Epoxy Adhesive - 1 Each

$26.12
End Date: Tuesday Oct-22-2019 11:10:08 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $26.12
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ITW Devcon Plastic Steel

Devcon Plastic, Steel Epoxy Putty 1 Pound - 1 Each

$37.56
End Date: Thursday Oct-3-2019 13:39:42 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $37.56
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Devcon Plastic Steel 0.84 Oz. Epoxy

$8.66
End Date: Thursday Oct-17-2019 14:22:56 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8.66
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Devcon 62345 Plastic Steel Epoxy Pillar and Bedding Compound

$11.99
End Date: Saturday Oct-19-2019 15:23:51 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $11.99
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Devcon Home 62345 Plastic Steel Epoxy Syringe Waterproof Glue Adhesive S6

$4.99
End Date: Wednesday Sep-25-2019 9:48:08 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
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Devcon 10120 4 Lbs. Plastic Steel Putty - 1 Each

$126.31
End Date: Sunday Oct-20-2019 11:34:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $126.31
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JB Weld – note that this is a thicker grey liquid. ¬†I use it if I am in a rush and need an epoxy. ¬†I’ve used it to bed rifles and repair stuff mainly. ¬†I have not used it on knife handles. ¬†Also, due to its grey color, you can go darker towards black but not lighter.

JB Weld EXTREME HEAT Temperature Resistant Metallic Paste Automotive Repair 3oz

$11.96
End Date: Monday Oct-21-2019 17:23:39 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $11.96
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JB Weld 50172 Marine Weld Syringe Bonding Adhesive for Boats, Watercraft

$13.29
End Date: Monday Oct-21-2019 17:04:14 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.29
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JB Weld 50240 ClearWeld Professional Grade Epoxy, Clear 8 oz.

$15.62
End Date: Thursday Oct-17-2019 20:24:48 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.62
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JB Weld 8217 AutoWeld Gas Tank Repair Adhesive - 1 oz.

$7.41
End Date: Saturday Oct-19-2019 9:43:06 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.41
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NEW JB WELD 8267-S EPOXY STEELSTIK STICK STEEL REINFORCED REPAIR PUTTY ADHESIVE

$6.75
End Date: Tuesday Oct-1-2019 8:26:03 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6.75
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Epoxy Dyes – there are a bunch on Amazon but I don’t know them. ¬†In general, I use So-Strong dyes from SmoothOn when I need small amounts. ¬†My black dye is bought by the pound in bulk containers.
https://www.smooth-on.com/product-line/strong/

13 Bottles 10g Epoxy UV Resin Coloring Dye Colorant Pigment Mix Color DIY Set US

$11.69
End Date: Saturday Oct-19-2019 19:25:43 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $11.69
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MEYSPRING 2Tone Collection Mica Powder Set - Epoxy Resin Color Pigment Resin Dye

$20.99
End Date: Monday Sep-23-2019 11:43:44 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $20.99
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Black Epoxy Pigment (Colorant, Dye, Tint) 6cc (0.2 oz.)

$7.99
End Date: Thursday Oct-10-2019 9:11:29 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.99
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13PCS 10g Bottles Epoxy UV Resin Coloring Dye Colorant Pigment Mix Color DIY Kit

$10.98
End Date: Monday Oct-7-2019 19:21:10 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.98
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MEYSPRING Tropical Blue Mica Powder for Epoxy - Resin Color Pigment - Resin Dye

$14.99
End Date: Thursday Sep-26-2019 15:23:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
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10cc Syringes

50 PACK - 10CC SYRINGES ONLY WITH LUER LOCK 10ML STERILE - Global Medical

$12.95
End Date: Tuesday Oct-8-2019 8:45:46 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $12.95
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10CC Global Syringe with Luer Lock, 10ml - 100 Sterile Syringes (No needle)

$18.48
End Date: Thursday Oct-10-2019 1:56:21 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $18.48
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25ea 10cc Monoject ORAL Syringes 10ml NEW Syringe Only No Needle

$9.99
End Date: Thursday Oct-17-2019 6:46:15 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
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10EA 10cc Luer Lock Syringes 10ml Sterile NEW Syringe Only No Needle

$4.99
End Date: Thursday Oct-10-2019 9:57:55 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
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10CC SYRINGES ONLY WITH LUER LOCK 10ML 100/BOX STERILE - Sealed Pack

$18.48
End Date: Tuesday Oct-1-2019 6:41:04 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $18.48
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Digital Scale – it will get filthy so buy something cheap but with good reviews.

Digital Fish Scale Mini Pocket 50Kg/5g Hanging Hook Luggage Travel Weight 110 lb

$7.50
End Date: Wednesday Oct-2-2019 7:18:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.50
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11 lbs 5KG Glass Top Digital Scale Food Scale Grams Ounces Pounds 7 x 5.5 In.

$10.99
End Date: Tuesday Oct-8-2019 4:51:00 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.99
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OXO SoftWorks 5-Pound Digital Kitchen Scale

$25.00
End Date: Monday Oct-21-2019 17:06:44 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $25.00
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DIGITAL ELECTRONIC POSTAL SCALE MODEL SP5 SUNBEAM 5 POUNDS/2.2 KG KITCHEN 2001

$12.99
End Date: Saturday Sep-28-2019 11:11:23 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $12.99
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Clamps Рthere are so many ways to clamp stuff together.  I use everything from woodworking vises to spring clips to C-clamps to the big heavy duty Irwin clamps that can do up to 600 pounds of pressure with one hand.

Wax paper Рany kind will work.  I buy mine at the grocery store.

Plastic Cups – I’d recommend checking around. ¬†You need to balance cost and quality. ¬†Some cups are absurdly thin and you can’t use them for mixing. ¬†I get mine from GFS and you can tell they have made them cheaper and cheaper over the years. ¬†5oz is still good but 9 and 16oz cups aren’t so red hot any longer.

Plastic Knives Рagain, check around.  I get mine from GFS in a big box and they work just fine.

Heat gun – I have burned out a ton of them. ¬†This DeWalt D26950 is the first one to last longer than a year. ¬†I’d guess I’ve been using it for almost three now.

DeWalt D26950 Heat Gun with Kickstand 120V 13.0 Amp Compact Lightweight New

$65.20
End Date: Thursday Oct-17-2019 9:25:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $65.20
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DEWALT D26950 120V 13 Amp 1550 Watt Heat Heater Hot Gun Tool

$65.79
End Date: Friday Sep-27-2019 22:19:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $65.79
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DeWalt D26950 Heat Gun w/Cone Nozzle & Fishtail Surface Nozzle

$49.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-25-2019 10:27:43 PDT
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DeWalt D26950 Heat Gun w Cone Nozzle & Fishtail Surface Nozzle

$77.84
End Date: Saturday Sep-28-2019 14:51:18 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $77.84
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DEWALT 120V 13 A Compact Lightweight Heat Gun w/ Kickstand D26950 New

$74.99
End Date: Friday Oct-4-2019 2:07:40 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $74.99
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Dust Mask – I used Moldex 2310 N99 face masks now exclusively. ¬†They hold up fairly well and aren’t hard to breath with.

Moldex 2310 N99 Particulate Respirators

$55.00
End Date: Wednesday Oct-2-2019 14:19:24 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $55.00
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Moldex 2310 Series N99 Premium Particulate Respirators,10/Bag, Lot of 1

$50.95
End Date: Sunday Oct-13-2019 12:38:57 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $50.95
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Moldex 2310N99 Premium Particulate Respirator, 10 Pack

$42.24
End Date: Tuesday Oct-15-2019 9:05:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $42.24
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Moldex 2310 Disposable Respirator 10/Bag

$36.75
End Date: Friday Sep-27-2019 10:34:37 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $36.75
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Moldex 2310 N99 Respirator with Exhalation Valve EXP 3/20/23 QTY 60

$199.99
End Date: Saturday Oct-19-2019 6:58:21 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $199.99
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Nitrile Gloves – the best deal I have found is from Harbor Freight for their 5mil gloves. ¬†When they go on sale or you get a coupon for $5.99/box of 100 gloves, go get them. ¬†They are thin and don’t hold up to tough use but to keep your hands clean and balancing off strength and cost, they are a pretty good deal. ¬†Even at $7.99/box without shipping they are a pretty good deal.