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Old 09-03-2008, 10:54 AM   #1
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which sealer is best?

I am about to replace the rear section of floor in my 66 Overlander. I intend to seal the new and the old part of the floor, but I am not sure which product will be better to apply and which will stand the test of time. I keep seeing S1 sealer mentioned, but I haven't found a source for it (is it a Canadian company?). I also see the Smith's CPES Epoxy mentioned at RotDoctor. Are these about the same product? Has anyone used either or both, and how was the results. Or is there something that will do the job at my local hardware store? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, TomE
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:12 AM   #2
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Well how long do you want it to last???? I don't think the floors were treated origanly and mine made it 40 years or less I have to replace some... The Epoxy is the best way to go it will make it last forever.... I didn't have time to get some As I was headed out on a trip when I found out I had to replace mine.. Marine varnish will work. I used plenty of (Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane) Gave it 3 coats to fill all gaps in the ply... I have used it on outdoor tables and it keeps the wood dry...

The Epoxy is probably the way to go... But I think my floor will out live me as is.... Or at least till I get a different trailer...
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:41 AM   #3
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Hi Tom. CPES or RotDoctor have many mentions on the forums here. They are a high solvent epoxy and do a good job of penetrating. Once that is accomplished there are some significant provisos. Solvent goes away and the amount of epoxy in the wood is not huge; ie, there remains plenty of porosity. Water can still work it's way through to areas that didn't quite receive much resin. Also, I'd really question how well it penetrates glue layers in plywood and would count on next to nothing for the inner laminations.

Epoxies also get a lot of mention here. I've got an interest in boatbuilding and know that some epoxies aren't water resistant. MAS, System Three and West ($$$) are some of the better boatbuilding epoxies. These have the consistency of warm honey and do allow a significant surface build. And here come more cautions -- after spending all that $$ I've got to tell you that encapsulation is a nice theory but it just doesn't work out in the end. Water will get in somewhere and then you've got this outer layer of epoxy keeping it in there. I did use some RotDoctor on the perimeter foot or so on floor in my Argosy. Then I used System Three over the floor that the fresh water tank sat on top of (oddity in Argosys - the fresh & black water tanks are on top of the floor). I didn't try to encapsulate the floor at all. I figured the epoxy would buy me time but that I'd have to discover a leak all by myself.

“Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it, is to prevent water leaks in the first place. As usual, should you or any member of your I.M. Force be captured or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your existence. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.” Okay -- a little Mission Impossible there but this really is possible. Roof vents. Window gaskets. SealTech. Acryl-R. All sorts of things to pursue.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:07 PM   #4
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It is necessary to add a health note about epoxies. Skin contact is not advised and one can develop sensitivity such that they cannot use it again. Use good disposable gloves. Never grind or power sand set epoxy unless you have a canister mask with organic filters. And the solvents in CPES or RotDoctor are both potentially unsafe as well as highly flammable -- use only with adequate ventilation.

Just a start - go to System Three: Members, click on literature and download The Epoxy Book pdf.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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use only with adequate ventilation.


This takes all the fun out of using Epoxies... Don't we have lots of brain cells to spare? thought we only used 10% of our brain anyway... HA
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:34 PM   #6
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I shouldn't post and then drive around town -- more ideas come to mind.

The actual application of MAS or System Three needs gloves only. It has a mild ammonia smell and doesn't need respiratory protection at that stage.

Using epoxy also calls for awareness of what you might be needing to do next. An amine blush occurs within the 1st couple weeks and needs to be washed off, maybe lightly sanded, before you can consider applying any other products (eg, paint or linoleum). And you'll still need to research epoxy compatible products. You'll easily extend beyond the known world unless you follow very established, known boatbuilding materials for instance.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #7
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i'm also looking for a sealer too, but i have to say all of the epoxy stuff is very toxic. i certainly don't want to create my very own fema trailer. i would guess the stuff continues to offgas for some time to come.

as one of the previous posters had mentioned, water will get in somewhere and you have to find a way for it to get out.

i haven't found the product yet, but i will use marine grade plywood and some sort of low voc sealer. sure the low voc stuff won't work as well as the highly toxic stuff but it'll do the job.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:39 PM   #8
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Vinyl ester fiber glass resin with first coat diluted with xylene for first coat did wonderfully for my marine plywood. This stuff is more brittle than epoxy but is as hard as a coating can get, and withstands temperatures of 300°F without softening or any permanent change. For a single sheet (both sides and edges) one could possibly stretch a quart to work. This resin is styrene-based, flammable and catalyzed when combined with Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide (MEKP) as the catalyst - not for the hyper sensitive but the reaction does lock up the smells nicely - none apparent after a few days or weeks...

See the '700 Vinyl Ester Resin' here...
Polyester Resins
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:27 AM   #9
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I went with http://www.cabotstain.com/products/product/Clear-Solutions.html they only recommend 1 coat, did both sides.
And on the sides of the plywood I'm going to use trempro 635 http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/TremPro_635_p/vts-267.htm
I tried the trempro on a scrap piece and it filled what little voids I had perfectly. 53 years from now somebody else will have the joy replacing the floor.....total cost about $50.00
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:24 AM   #10
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I also am looking at sealers for my floor replacement. I am looking to minimize VOC / offgassing (though maybe there is no point, since I am using POR-15 on the frame after all). I came upon this product - AFM Safecoat - Watershield AFM Safecoat . Does anybody have any experience with this product?
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:25 AM   #11
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EcoToaster - The worst 'morning after' headache I've had in years was from POR-15.

The best advice I can offer there is follow the directions, the second coat goes on while the first is setting up but still has slight drag when you rub a fingertip over it... it is THEN when you go back to the work to apply the essential second coat that the fumes coming off the curing paint are the worst possible. Have a full respirator on. The first coat has merely mineral spirits evaporating off them, the true catylst reaction once the carrier is gone is the part of it to protect yourself from....
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:18 AM   #12
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Wabiteer - the worst issue I have ever had was in trying to clean up a barrel that had isocyanate in it (LineX bedliner). I was wearing a respirator that I thought was rated for it (P100 for paint /chlorine gasses) but had to reach into the barrel and got a splitting headache and my eyes got all watery/out of focus. Turns out that you need special filters for that stuff. Ever since I have been extra careful about stuff like that. I have POR-15 on the first 8 feet of the AS so far, but we have more to do still. Hopefully after that is done I can avoid fumes for a bit so I can try to keep some brain cells.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:20 AM   #13
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Respirators filters stack - I've done tasks that required ~FOUR~ filter units attached to each side of a full-face mask. It gets expensive. My comment about the POR-15 was reminder that the mineral spirits base hides the really gnarly vapors occurring later so us real he-men will have the proper respirator on hand for the second coat - instead of being trapped by 'gotta get the work done, it don't matter' short cuts...
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