I do use the hanky trick (actually use a shop towel, but same thing) and it works great. I also shut my eyes and turn my head when I feel so my eyes don't play tricks on me and can concentrate strickly on what I'm feeling.
I have a shrinking disc but it's only a 4.5" one, and my main problem is I think my angle grinder shaft is slightly bent so it has a slight wobble to it. You can't really see it just by looking at it, but on the surface of the shrinking disc you can tell only half of the disc is actually making contact with the metal so I don't think I'm making the metal as hot as I could be. Additionally, the metal gets this black marred look on it after I've used the disc. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong (I squirt water with dish soap on the surface as lubricant as stated in the instructions). Also, I am wondering if the 4.5" is just too small to be of any practical use. I'm sure most of you here would say yes.
I'll try out some of these ideas. I'm glad I can put the epoxy on first and then guide coat, because I'd like to get the epoxy on sooner than later.
I don't have a finishing hammer but I do have a nice slapper. I understand this can serve the function too? I don't have a shot bag either, is this something you guys highly recommend I get?