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Using Epoxy in luthrie-safety issues

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Total Posts: 68
I read a lot of positive comments on the pore filling capabilities of epoxy, and agree it does a great job, but there are some serious potential hazards that should be considered. Hopefully, everyone is already aware of these issues and EVERYONE takes care to wear safety gear. But just in case.....

After I read of the allergic disaster (in link below) as reported by a fellow luthier from Australia, I decided very quickly that epoxy did not belong in my shop.

Link with a lot of information but necessary reading.

Dec 31, 09 | 5:51 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Wow. In case some of you guys missed this, take another look and go to the link. Here it is again, jst in case you need more encouragement. Please read it, including the long post from a luthier in Australia.

Like Tim, I am now removing ALL epoxy from my shop, work areas, and anywhere else. It's going to the recycling station next week.

Thanks Tim for this IMPORTANT info.


Jan 01, 10 | 5:02 am

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Especially the hardeners are potentially toxic. Not the resins. The cured epoxy itself is not toxic at all. The molecules of them are too big.

I my career as a doctor in occupational health I never saw a polyester- or epoxyallergy. What I did see are lots of heardressers and painters with allergies. So my point is that the allergy to epoxy is not very common. I don't want to deny it, but please don't overreact. Man can develop allegies to every molecule that surrounds him.

Our enviroment is full of chemical agents that people can react to. And it is impossible to avoid all the toxic stuff. For exemple: our car exhaustgases contain carbonmonoxide and benzeen. Both much more harmful then epoxy. And they don't keep us from driving in a jam.

So what you need to do is handle all the glues and finishing products with respect and care. Ventilate and use protectives.


Jan 01, 10 | 6:40 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I was a machinist and developed a chemical allergy from years of exposure to the different cutting oils and coolants we used. My allergy is more of a skin rash and some upper Res issues .
I am sure the Doc can tell us more but I was hit by this and it was a life changing indecent . I had to undergo a patch test and on 103 tests I hit on 27 of them . Use masks , and gloves also put good dust collection in your shop . It isn't a cost ,it is an investment . I now have to watch even what soap and shampoo that I can use .
I hope this doesn't happen to you .

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Jan 01, 10 | 8:38 am

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Hey John,

I did not mean to offend you and certainly not to harm you. I know what life changing incidents are, believe me. I'm sorry you have to suffer from these allergies, I really am.
But I thought I had to react to the thread about to loose or not to loose the epoxy, on the base that somewhere someone catched the allergie.
Although I don't have use for epoxy (it smears too much), I thought I had to give my opinion.
Again, If I did hurt the way you feel about this, sorry.


Jan 03, 10 | 2:59 am

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 68
In the end, everyone has to make their own choice. I never told anyone to throw out the epoxy, or nitrocellulose or any other hazardous chemical they are using.
I'm sure John is not telling everyone to not do machine work with the hazards there, but to be aware of the potential issues.

Personally, I work in a basement workshop so I'm VERY cautious of anything I introduce into my little atmosphere. I don't use nitro, I use CA sparingly and epoxy almost never but never again for pore filler.

Herman, I respect your opinion, but I also have heard this for many years from RC hobbyist, auto body workers and now other luthiers of the hazards so that's enough evidence for me.

Jan 03, 10 | 4:52 am

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