mn pete

Using epoxy to fill knots

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Hey guys,

I'm looking to include some knots/inclusions in some box lid panels. Does a clear epoxy leave a nice clean look in a knot that you want to highlight? I've not used epoxy as a filler before.

These will be lid panels that include some of my Dad's old squadron coins (523rd Crusaders)

Thanks!

post-2321-0-50867900-1382509883_thumb.jp

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Hi Pete, Epoxy is fine for filling or stabilizing knots. If you use West Systems it looks slightly yellow tinted when mixed with the hardener. However when you fill the void, after it cures, you can scrape it smooth and it just looks to be indistiguishable from the surrounding wood. Especially with the knots in your thumbnails as the wood is relatively dark. I've filled knots and splits from blonde all the way through to dark woods with great success. Add a couple of drops of a tinted dye when you mix the epoxy and and it will darken nicely.

Your lids will look fabulous with the coins.

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==> If you use West Systems it looks slightly yellow tinted when mixed with the hardener. 

 

West Systems can dry quite clear -- depends on the harder

 

 

I posted some clarity/color tests  about half-way through the thread...

 

For your situation, you probably don't need great clarity and a little color added to the epoxy could match-up quite well...

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I should have said I use 206 hardener mixed in a 5 to 1 ratio (same for 205 fast).

From what TripleH has done in the excellent lab test 207 is clear (colorless and transparent). From what I can see from WS literature it is recommended to be mixed as a 3 to 1 ratio so you may need a different dispenser. I wasn't aware of 207 but I'll certainly use it if I need to fill some ultra blonde woods. Thanks for the heads up triple :)

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==> mixed as a 3 to 1 ratio

 

207 and 209 are 3:1 -- you can get a dispensing pump set for 3 & 5 to 1 ratios from West Systems for about $19...

 

One reason fast setting epoxies dry opaque is they set before trapped air bubbles (created during mixing) can precipitate-out... 207 & 209 work well for knot filling because of their long open-time...

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I've found that Marc's suggestion to use transtint dark mission brown is dead on. I've stabilized a few knots in walnut this way and I think it looks good.

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That old thread had a link to system 3 epoxy. I had heard of them, but didn't realize the price difference between them and West... Thing to remember though is that the system 3 is about 10x the thickness of West, so it may not work as well when pouring into knots that are open on both sides. Something too think might bridge or trap air and not make it to the other side. Just my observation based on the spec sheets, your mileage may vary ;)

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What would happen to me with the system three is that it would be impossible to fill a deep void in one go because there would be no way to really work it down.  So you'd fill it and leave it puddled up high over the void and come back and it'd have sunk down way below the surface.  You might even have to repeat that process again.  But then again I'd had that epoxy for quite a while and the hardener was getting kind of hard so it was even thicker than normal.  On the other hand I'm finding with initial experience with West is that it really soaks into any end grain.

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==> didn't realize the price difference between them and West... 

==> But then again I'd had that epoxy for quite a while and the hardener was getting kind of hard so it was even thicker than normal.  

 

West is certainly more expensive, but it an extremely high-grade marine adhesive.  It basically has an infinite shelf life...  Cost is all relative, West has a line of aviation adhesives that's really expensive...

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What would happen to me with the system three is that it would be impossible to fill a deep void in one go because there would be no way to really work it down.  So you'd fill it and leave it puddled up high over the void and come back and it'd have sunk down way below the surface.  You might even have to repeat that process again.  But then again I'd had that epoxy for quite a while and the hardener was getting kind of hard so it was even thicker than normal.  On the other hand I'm finding with initial experience with West is that it really soaks into any end grain.

Exactly, so it seems the West is more suitable for woodworking than the S3, at least for this specific application. As for cost, even though the west is more money, it seems that you would get more use out of the thinner stuff, oz for oz so I guess it really is relative.

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Dang!  I need to get online more often.  All these great responses!  Thanks for the video link Chop!  I completely forgot that marc had demo'ed this a while back.

 

I usually go with Danish Oil finish for boxes.  Since the epoxy won't absorb the oil, I'm thinking about a wiping varnish.  Any ideas to keep a consistent look to the finish once the holes are filled?

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