If you are doing any wood restoration then using epoxy is a must, but a lot of people are intimidated when they hear the word “epoxy” like it is some dark art of magic wood repair that only professionals can use. I’m here to tell you it is not as complicated as it may sound.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, I’ve put together some tips that can help you add it to your tool box or take your game to the next level. I grabbed one of my senior most repair craftsmen in the shop and we filmed the whole process we use to repair rotten window sash. So, you’ll see the order of operations as well as some top-notch tricks to get the perfect repair.
Check out the video below to see the whole process and then read some of the tips in this post for further detail.
Step 1 Dig Out Damage
Any loose wood that is falling apart should be removed and cleaned out prior to applying the epoxy. Use a chisel or knife and then make sure the area is dry before proceeding with repairs.
Step 2 Apply Liquid Consolidant
Once everything is dry, it’s time to mix up your epoxy consolidant. I’m using Abatron products because I think they are user friendly and very effective. LiquidWood is a two part mixture. Part A (resin) and Part B (hardener). These two should be mixed together thoroughly in a disposable container in equal parts.
Let them sit aside for a few minutes to setup. After about 15 minutes, apply the mixture liberally with a disposable chip brush. Once mixed, LiquidWood and WoodEpox both have a working life of about 20-40 minutes depending on weather conditions (shorter working life on hot days, longer on cold days).
Depending on the condition of the wood, it may drink in the consolidant so keep applying until it stops absorbing. Let it soak in for about 10-15 minutes before moving to the next step.
Have a container of acetone on hand which is the recommended cleaner and solvent for these products.
Step 3 Apply Epoxy Filler
Abatron’s epoxy filler is called WoodEpox and it also comes in two parts (a hardener and a filler) just like the LiquidWood. You’ll need equal parts of both and then blend them together until you have a uniform color. One is white and the other a tan color. If you see any streaks of color in your mixture, you need to keep mixing.
Once mixed, press the mixture firmly into place to fill the missing areas. Press it deeply into the gap to make sure you fill any air holes and have a solid repair. The other important thing to remember is overfill the repair so that when it is ready to sand, you have a smooth, well-blended repair.
Step 4 Sand, Prime & Paint
The epoxy will begin hardening immediately and depending on the size of your repair, it will be ready to sand in anywhere from a few hours to a day.
When it has hardened, sand the surface smooth and apply a coat of primer, then paint your preferred color. That’s it! Don’t use Bondo for wood repairs like outlined in this post. You want something designed for wood restoration and that is what epoxy is for!
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