Epoxy Obsolete?

Since the mid to late 1970’s, 2-part epoxies have been the standard thread finishing medium for nearly all commercial rod companies and most custom rod builders. But that may be about to change.

If you follow this blog you know that earlier this year I was sent a sample of a new epoxy that I found to be clear as water – night and day clearer than any other epoxy I’ve ever seen. The builders I provided samples to were no less enthusiastic about it – several raved about its overall properties. I was told that it could be released to the rod building market in the very near future. The thing is… it’s still an epoxy.

So what’s wrong with that? Nothing really, except that many rod builders are still confused and befuddled by epoxy. When left to its own devices, most epoxies do a remarkable job. For some reason, however, rod builders tend to want to heat it, brush it, blow on it, spin it, poke it, etc., etc., etc., and in the process create all sorts of problems for themselves. Commercial rod companies don’t particularly like having to devote large drum turning devices and hours of rotation time in order to use epoxy. Thus, it seems that everyone keeps an eye on the horizon for something better to come along. Apparently it’s about to happen – we’re talking very soon.

Commercial coatings manufacturers in the last decade have been almost commanded to develop environmentally friendly coatings that will perform as well and last as long as more traditional coatings. It was rough going at first, but there are several eco-friendly systems in place now that certainly rival anything that’s come before. Now the rod  building industry is about to benefit from some of this developmental work.

Just last week I was made aware of a new thread wrap coating that is presently undergoing final tests. It is said to be clear as water, hard as a rock (as hard or harder than PermaGloss) yet more flexible than any urethane or epoxy. It’s also said to dry smooth as glass and will build the same depth as most high-build epoxies in just two applications. One will be sufficient on light rods. It requires no measuring nor mixing. It will sell for the same or less as any of the popular urethanes or epoxies in common use today. Best of all – it’s said to be the most user-friendly product yet made available for coating thread wraps or rod blanks. The way it was described to me, this new product will do to epoxy what epoxy did to old fashioned varnish back in the 1070’s. That’s right – this new product could become the defacto standard thread coating in just a few years, if not sooner.

And… there is a strong possibility that it will be ready in time for launching at the 2011 International Custom Rod Building Exposition.

Tom Kirkman



  1. Jeff Shafer on October 19, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    So, you’ve given us enough to pique our interest…..

    We’ll assume that the material will be dripped, brushed, dabbed onto the thread wraps in a manner similar to the way epoxy is applied??

    Since you’re calling it a one part finish, shall we also assume that the material will simply begin to set up after application without a curing agent (or heat source, or UV bulb), and will have a certain working time and recoat interval??

    And we’ll assume it will be shipped in a container, a sealed container. Once opened the remaining material will not react to moisture in the air?? Unused material will last forever??

    And the material will have a thinner we can purchase in case we want to use the material for other purposes??

    Other questions will certainly be raised.
    Jeff Shafer

  2. Tom on October 19, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    In order: Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    It will not only be the best thread and blank coating ever offered, but the most user friendly. At least that’s what I’m being told.


  3. Ken Preston on October 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    My only concern: “What the heck am I going to do with all this two part epoxy?” A one-part finish that doesn’t need an external source to cure such as older UV finishes did will make most epoxies obsolete overnight. Truly the largest innovation since epoxy replaced the earlier finishes

    • Tom on October 20, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      Assuming it does what the maker claims it will do, then yes, epoxy might become obsolete overnight. Keep in mind that varnish was the standard until epoxy pushed it out of the way. Now epoxy may be pushed out. It’s just the continued evolution of the coatings industry.

  4. John Britt on October 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Should I plan on selling my 4 rod driers in the near future,I will have to search out a non subscriber