By Tom Pawlak
Necessity is the mother of invention,and razor blades are often
called into service for a variety of tasks around the shop other
than shaving. Here are a few.
Razor blades can be used in a pinch to apply caulks and
thickened epoxies with great precision. They do a great
job filling isolated pinholes and scratches, especially
when the blade is laid at a low angle (nearly flat) when
spreading the putty.
Sharp razor blades can be used as cabinet scrapers. Use with
the blade on edge at 90° or so to the surface. Scrape off small
imperfections like drips and dirt specks in cured/dried coatings
before buffing or final sanding.
Dull razor blades also make useful tools
Everyone knows how handy sharp razor blades are for removing
dried paint from windows. But single-edge razor blades
can be modified for removing cured epoxy and dried paint
drips on surfaces that are less scratch resistant, like gelcoat,
Formica, and other plastic laminates.
The trick is to dull the razor blade slightly with 600-grit sandpaper.
Round the corners at each end of the blade at the
same time. Then, try the blade on an inconspicuous spot to
be sure it does not scratch the surface.
The edge of the blade acts as a very thin wedge. It works best
if you start at the end of the drip that is thinnest. If you can
get a peel started, you can usually get the drip off without
damaging the gelcoat, Formica™, or well-dried painted surface.
The razor blade will remove all but the most stubbornly
adhered drips of hardened epoxy or dried paint.
When we were production building the Gougeon 32 sailboats,
we found dulled razor blades remarkable for removing
drips of cured epoxy from gelcoated surfaces. Even
cured epoxy smudges often came off.Without this tool, we
were forced to sand off the hardened drips and buff back the
shine, which was time-consuming work.
A dulled razor blade also works great for removing old bathtub
caulk on fiberglass tub and shower surrounds without
damaging the gelcoated surfaces. Be sure to try the dulled
blade on an inconspicuous spot to verify that is isn't scratching
the surface. If the blade gets a little rough on the edge,
run it over the 600-grit paper and smooth it out again.
Epoxyworks 21 / Summer 2003
Copyright © 2003, Gougeon Brothers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last modified on (11/05/03). Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without the consent of the publisher. EPOXYWORKS, Gougeon Brothers, WEST SYSTEM, Episize, Scarffer and Microlight as used throughout this publication, are trademarks of Gougeon Brothers, Inc., Bay City, Michigan, USA.