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Thread: Epoxy filler

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    Epoxy filler

    I am using some oak for a project and need recommendation for epoxy filler to pour in some bug damaged areas. I wanted to use this material for many reasons, but one planed surface has a 6" long wood borer slot that I'd like to fill in. I need to be able to sand the filler once hardened. I think the voids are too large for typical wood filler/putty. So, your recommendations are appreciated. I do recall watching Norm Abrams mix a 2-part filler which he poured into such voids. Regardless your suggestions are appreciated.

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    I'm no expert on epoxy filling in wood, most of my experience is fixing fiberglass boats. After filling, be very careful about sanding as the epoxy is harder than wood and you may find yourself making depressions around the epoxy. Suggest using a card scraper or plane. It'll give you a chance to improve your sharpening skills.

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    I use West Systems epoxy when I need longer open time than a 5 minute epoxy provides. It allows the bubbles to come out when used as a filler where the 5 minute epoxy can trap bubbles. I have used it straight for a clear finish and used their filler which resembles a white powder. Other products with a 24 hour cure should work well too.

    As John mentioned, I will use a plane or chisel to level the fill. I'm sure a scraper would work too.

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    but one planed surface has a 6" long wood borer slot that I'd like to fill in.
    That's an easy fix but send us some pictures of the area(s) that you want to fix. West Systems 2 part epoxy is an excellent product for your project (105 resin, 206 hardener).

    http://www.westsystem.com/instruction-2/

    The epoxy without any additives or colorants is as clear as water but that can be changed if it's not the look that you want. A card scraper is excellent for shaving the epoxy because its harder than metal.

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/2007/...-voids-in-wood

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    One thing I've done to make sawdust for the filler is to use a palm sander with the little dust collection bag attached - clean it first. Run this over the same wood or another similar piece and empty the bag into a container. Instant matching fine grain sawdust for the filler.
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    Re: Epoxy filler

    I have found that the 2 part 5 minute epoxy from Lowes works great for me. Both parts are in the same container that looks much like a double barrel syringe, and dispense at the same time --mix it with a stir stick and pour it where needed.

    Jerry
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    Re: Epoxy filler

    I have used straight epoxy, and also mixed with sawdust. Both work, but even the sawdust filled will be noticeable, although not unattractive. I usually use the 5 min from Lowes, but do some prep first. I line each void with blue painters' tape squeegeed down tight on the edge. I mix my epoxy and fill the void to over the top of the tape. After about 15 to 20 minutes, it will get semi-hard like soft taffy. At this point, I take a sharp chisel and shave it off down to the tape. If it has all come off good (meaning I didn't try to cut it too fast) I then remove the tape and shave it down to the wood. The let it have a full 24 hr cure.

    This method really cuts down on the sanding, The above is done before the project is finish sanded. I finish sand it with wood sanding block to give it the same gloss profile as the surrounding wood.

    Here are some pics to give you the gist of what I am talking about, using sawdust filled epoxy on a black walnut table. After I did these pictures, I realized that the closer to the void I put the tape, the better off I was. In the first photos, I used cellophane packing tape, but have found the blue painters tape works as well and is easier to trim to match the defect. http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=1349

    Go

    For dark woods, I have tried the sawdust (from a palm sander as Ken said) as well as ground coffee. Coffee grounds did not work well for me (too grainy) but may have if I worked them finer with a mortar/pestle. I think the best option would be a dye that will mix with the epoxy, but have not tried that method. If I had a West Marine closer, I would use their epoxy because it may dry more clear, which would be better in some instances that trying to tint it.
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    Re: Epoxy filler

    Any epoxy will do the job. I like System 3 because it is a little thicker and dries faster.

    With the West epoxy, you will sometimes need to thicken if filling an area like a knot or deeper void.

    The great think about epoxy is you can tint.
    I use acrylic paint that comes in the tubes from the hobby store.

    Another option in your case would be to remove the are by routing a slot and then do an inlay. It might be less noticeable.

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    Quote Originally Posted by Gofor View Post
    For dark woods, I have tried the sawdust (from a palm sander as Ken said) as well as ground coffee. Coffee grounds did not work well for me (too grainy) but may have if I worked them finer with a mortar/pestle. I think the best option would be a dye that will mix with the epoxy, but have not tried that method. If I had a West Marine closer, I would use their epoxy because it may dry more clear, which would be better in some instances that trying to tint it.
    Espresso grind works better, as does cocoa powder. Paprika for a reddish tint. But before too many things in the shop start to look edible :-), just use a dye like Mark mentioned. I use a dark brown Transtint dye, one or two drops into the epoxy does wonders. You definitely want to add some sawdust because the mixture will dry harder than if you use epoxy alone (at least with the 5 min stuff from the Big Box store).

    I've never tried it, but I have some powered graphite that would probably do a good job of both tinting and acting as a filler. But it's a little too expensive for that.
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    Re: Epoxy filler

    Does West epoxy have a shelf life?
    How long can you keep the resin and hardener? (on the shelf)
    “Think about it: Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge, timber framer and blacksmith instructor

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    I've kept partial containers with the mini pumps installed for a year or more.
    One of their techs told me shelf life was much longer than that but I don't recall specifics.

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    Quote Originally Posted by smallboat View Post
    I've kept partial containers with the mini pumps installed for a year or more.
    One of their techs told me shelf life was much longer than that but I don't recall specifics.
    The resins and hardeners have a several year lifetime. I usually remove the pumps and clean/dry them but that's not really necessary, just me.

    http://www.westsystem.com/the-105-sy...ge-shelf-life/

    The downloadable West System manual is available in the link posted by me on June 21 (#4).

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    Quote Originally Posted by Hmerkle View Post
    Does West epoxy have a shelf life?
    How long can you keep the resin and hardener? (on the shelf)
    I'm sure it does but don't know how long. Mine turned a little dark after a couple of years. It's probably over 7 years old now and is OK. I find the 5 minute epoxies (especially Behlen) to have a short life of about a year or so.

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    Re: Epoxy filler

    Quote Originally Posted by garymuto View Post
    I'm sure it does but don't know how long. Mine turned a little dark after a couple of years. It's probably over 7 years old now and is OK. I find the 5 minute epoxies (especially Behlen) to have a short life of about a year or so.
    That shelf life is the reason I buy epoxy as needed. I do not use it every day or every project so the smaller quantities work better for me and I do not worry about it going bad.

    Jerry
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    Re: Epoxy filler

    Stuff like that I just squirt some CA glue, throw some saw dust at it then squirt a little more CA glue, hit it with CA glue hardner/excelerator and scrape or sand flush. No since in messing around with epoxy, trying to color match and make it all pretty... 30 seconds and your done and working the next step already.
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