Archival epoxy resin?

I have been requested to create a line of high-end epoxy resin
pieces and they specifically requested cast pieces made from resin. I
have done this before but my concern is for the long term resilience
of the pieces. Can any of you suggest epoxy resin that cures hard as
glass and holds up very well to uv degradation and other assaults
like human sweat or accidental solvents (perfume, etc.)? My
experience so far has been that typical epoxy cures a little harder
than amber.

Thank you,

Wow, Now that is a job. I would go back to the client. If they asked
specifically for resin what resin did they specifically ask for? If
they do not know I hope you are charging a lot for your effort to
find the answer. Good luck. Jme

Ask you question at Douglas and Sturgess in San Francisco, CA… …
ask for Artie. He will steer you straight!!! I am on my wife’s
computer so I don’t have the contact info but their web site is

John Dach

To quote the website:

Ask any Conservator, Curator or Artist in the world what their
preferred adhesive would be, and the answer will inevitably be
For over two decades HXTAL has been the number one choice of
adhesive for the world's finest conservation institutions, art
museums and glass artists. 

I’m not a glass artist just your run-of-the-mill metalsmith. I use
it because of its great binding capabilities & it does not discolour
like ordinary epoxy. The one negative is it’s extremely long cure

I purchase it from Conservation, Archival & Bookbinding Supplies | TALAS

Have fun & do good work,
Cristine McC

I want to thank everyone who responded to my question, that’s why I
love this list :)I had never heard of HXTAL…very interesting stuff.
I’m not sure if it has the viscosity I need to make quarter inch to
half inch thick castings (bracelets) but I am going to experiment
with using it as a final top coat for a nice hard protective layer.
For casting and inlays I may play with polyester resin.Does anyone
know how well HXTAL polishes up? Can I use something like Zam
Fabuluster on it? And could this be used as a permanent clear coat
for metal? Or would there be a danger of chipping 'thank you very
much, Elkka

Hi Elkka

I had never heard of HXTAL...very interesting stuff. 

It would not be suitable for casting bracelets.( expense and
viscosity) Polyester resin is more suitable. It is also not suitable
as a protective coating on something that is going to be worn,
because is has about the same hardness as plexiglass. I have a solid
piece in front of me and I can quite easily scratch it with my
scriber. I it immensely strong when bonding materials, which is it’s
prime use. I polishes up much like polyester resin does. Quick to
overheat and smear.

If you wanted a hard protective coating then a two component poly
urethane resin is a better bet. I buy it at a boat supply shop. It’s
nasty stuff but I have a table top and I has held up for about ten
years with no real wear.

One of my favorite resin artists is Liana Bennett on the Orchid
blogs. Dragon Bracelets with Jewels Clamper Style

Seriously talented lady.

I seem to remember that in a previous life she was a mechanical
engineer testing hi tech materials.

I asked her a couple of question a few years ago and she was very
willing to answer them.

Maybe you could ask her for more advice.

Cheers, Hans

I use Hxtal for the stabilization of agate and jasper slabs, before
turning them into cabochons. It takes about a week for it to totally
set, but in the meantime, it will thoroughly seep into every pore and
crevice, on a slab. I don’t use it to hide a bad spot, but more of a
protecter, with material that I have ground to final shape, only to
find some sort of flaw. Dino bone is a good example, because no
matter how flawless a slab or preform will look, it seems all to
often a pit or surface fracture will show up. BTW, Hxtal seems to be
as hard as the rock, and polishes nicely. Guess that is why it is a
premium epoxy for glass work.

Dave Leininger

My thanks to Hans for the great info (and corrections) about my
assumptions regarding HXTAL. And your work is absolutely beautiful!
I am humbled that someone so talented replied to my little query. I
will contact Liana with further questions. In particular I wonder how
artists who use poly resins to fill cavities get around the issue of


Dave, I just saw your reply to my question. Thank you, so unlike
Hans, you do find that you can polish HXTAL safely? But only if it
is in between two materials? But never as a surface material?

If anyone would like to email directly about resins (since I tend to
miss the archive messages) my address is ekkoland AT

Thank you,

Hi Dave, Do you have good source for Hxtal? Do you just cover the
stone in the epoxy or mix enough epoxy to submerge the stone in it?
I would appreciate any tips you could share.

Thanks, Vince LaRochelle, Oakridge, OR USA.

I just saw your reply to my question. Thank you, so unlike Hans,
you do find that you can polish HXTAL safely? But only if it is in
between two materials? But never as a surface material? 

Just to clarify.

Hxtal is quite possible to polish were it to be used as a protector.
It is basically a resin and so has similar polishing characteristics
to polyester resin.

But it is primarily a bonding agent, used in the restoration and
repair industry. As a glue for glass, there is not much to beat it. For
a definitive PDF file on it go to

It is, as Dave said, excellent to stabilize porous stones, firstly
because it has great penetrating properties, is colorless and becomes
very hard and will outlast your grandchildren. It can be used as a
surface protector, but if it is used in a high wear area like a ring
or bangle, it will abrade in a similar manner as perspex does. In a
porous stone, generally the surface area is negligible, so it works
well like that.

Cheers, Hans

The HXTAL resin requires very careful mixing by weight of the two
components. Can anyone suggest a scale sensitive enough to measure
the required weights in less than gargantuan quantities?


Vince, all I did was google for sources of Hxtal and ordered from the
lowest priced supplier. I don’t use it to hide, lets say a fracture,
but just to fill in on slabs of material, that I have had a pit or
two pop up, here and there.

Dave Leininger

For precise small ratio type measurements, I use a cheap carat scale,
bought on eBay for about $25. It measures to single milligrams to
25g. It’s not accurate in absolute mass; not god enough to weight
gems and such, but the relative, comparative measurements are
actually very good, so it’s great for little jobs like this and
mixing small ratios of gold to alloy, etc. I also use it for
measuring density (in/out of water) for identify metals too.



Rio Grande makes a number of small scales that weight into the
hundredth place, and that is fine. The last one I purchase I believe
was less than $30. Also, I have used insulin syringes to draw in
amounts of hyxtal and mix it in a small med cup. Small amounts that
you can mix up can be accurate to the “grain” with the use of insulin
syringes. I would say you can get away with mixing up to 2-3 cc (or
ml) from a syringe accurately enough that you don’t have to weigh it
out. It has worked well for me for years now.