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epoxy


Chad Fabry
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In the past I've used Abatron and West Systems epoxy products for structural repairs and for casting and mold making.

For the record, I like the Abatron consolidants for rotted wood better than any other product I've used. For a while I bought the fancy high tech polymer cells to mix in the liquid epoxy to make a putty but now I use Pillsbury All Purpose Flour as a thickening agent. You heard it here first.

The draw back to Abatron products is they're very slow to set. (in cool weather it may take three or four days to remove forms and even longer before it's toolable).

On an episode of This Old House I saw Tom Silva use a double caulk tube dispenser with a mixing tube and he splurged on the epoxy and tooled it in place not unlike a polyester resin body filler for cars.

So, here's the question: have any of you used the Advanced Repair Technologies products? They're even more expensive than the exorbitant prices I'm paying now. I want to be certain that I'll love the stuff.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

In the past I've used Abatron and West Systems epoxy products for structural repairs and for casting and mold making.

For the record, I like the Abatron consolidants for rotted wood better than any other product I've used. For a while I bought the fancy high tech polymer cells to mix in the liquid epoxy to make a putty but now I use Pillsbury All Purpose Flour as a thickening agent. You heard it here first.

The draw back to Abatron products is they're very slow to set. (in cool weather it may take three or four days to remove forms and even longer before it's toolable).

On an episode of This Old House I saw Tom Silva use a double caulk tube dispenser with a mixing tube and he splurged on the epoxy and tooled it in place not unlike a polyester resin body filler for cars.

So, here's the question: have any of you used the Advanced Repair Technologies products? They're even more expensive than the exorbitant prices I'm paying now. I want to be certain that I'll love the stuff.

Never used Advanced Repair Technologies.

I've used Abatron, West and Smith & Company. My hands-down favorite is the line of products made by Steve Smith. His products are simply fantastic. He's also an amazing character, a chemistry genius and something of a mad scientist.

Check out http://www.smithandcompany.org/ and http://www.woodrestoration.com/

I stumbled upon this guy when I used to live in Richmond, CA. My old redwood gutters were beginning to rot and my neighbor told me to drive across town to a beat-up warehouse and ask for Steve Smith. In the warehouse, I found a guy wearing an apron, stirring pots of chemicals and packaging them right there on the spot. He told me everything I needed to know about restoring my gutters then went on about chemistry, physics and the science of bonding things to each other.

Call him ( 800-234-0330). Tell him what you want to do and he'll tell you what you need to do it.

BTW, I've never used flour as a thickening agent but I've used dental floss for tensile strength.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Never heard of Smith. Sounds amazing. I read the webstuff, and the guy sounds pretty smart.

Is it really that much better than Abatron, West, or Applied? I've used all of them extensively in marine woodworking & surfboard applications w/all manner of fiber and microballoon fillers/carbon fiber/glass mat, and found all to be pretty darn good..

If Smith is better, it would be amazing stuff.

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Never heard of Smith before now. Sounds good.

I have had some delay with West on eastern white cedar slats. I have used Abatron with no problems. Of course, I used it in place of Durham's Rock Hard putty, so it was apples to oranges.

I wonder if cake flour would be better than all purpose?

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Hi Chad,

A few years ago I was involved in a remodel/rehab project on the oldest building on the Oswego campus. Part of my job was to repair the interior and exterior millwork to as close to original as possible. We ended up using an old school product called Durham's water putty. This stuff was great. I was able to fill, tool, sand, and mold this any way I wanted to. It did'nt shrink and it turns to stone. Once it was painted, you really could'nt tell the difference.

You did mention casting and mold making.

Think of all of the flour you'll have for blueberry pancakes.

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Durhams blows for exterior applications. Les might too for the right amount of money........

Epoxy is the stuff.

I've always used West, largely due to its easy acquistion and their groovy gallon pump system. I thin it for penetrating apps, thicken it with cabosil for pastes, and microballoons for filling and shaping.

I gotta get some Smith to see if it's better.

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Abatron doesn't offer different hardeners? West has all kinds of hardeners for varied working times and conditions, and they can be combined to create custom properties. You could also try prepromoting your epoxy and/or gently heating your work surface (a light bulb works well) to get more reasonable cure times .

Flour isn't that odd a filler, finely ground cellulose fibers just like wood flour, but it tastes better[:-yuck]

Commercial fillers are spendy.

Tom

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You could also try prepromoting your epoxy and/or gently heating your work surface (a light bulb works well) to get more reasonable cure times .

Yeah, when I can do that I do. Most of the stuff I work on is fastened down or is holding something up. If I Have to go to the trouble of removing it, I'll make it new. I'm talkin' 'in situ'

Currently I'm restoring a dozen or so large sash and each needs quite a bit of work. Three day sets and a Type A personality... I'm not ready for the lesson in patience yet.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

You could also try prepromoting your epoxy and/or gently heating your work surface (a light bulb works well) to get more reasonable cure times .

Yeah, when I can do that I do. Most of the stuff I work on is fastened down or is holding something up. If I Have to go to the trouble of removing it, I'll make it new. I'm talkin' 'in situ'

Currently I'm restoring a dozen or so large sash and each needs quite a bit of work. Three day sets and a Type A personality... I'm not ready for the lesson in patience yet.

'In situ' is precisely why you prepromote the epoxy. If you can't control the working environment you control the epoxy. Stop by a thrift store and pick up a cheap toaster oven to heat up your mixed epoxy, then add warm filler and you should be able to cut your cure time.

Tom

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Hi Tom,

Thanks for the advice. I understand the the epoxy cure is an exothermic process and that in many cases it can be accelerated by adding heat from another source. I've used a set-up similar to a double boiler in the past with mixed results. The issue with the wood consolidants is that there is usually minimal mass and that greatly influences set-up time in less than optimal temperatures.

The Smith system promises to cure this issue ( I talked w/ the owner, Steve Smith, he's a hoot) I'm waiting now for my first delivery. I'll report the results.

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