Controlling epoxy while it cures


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I'm still working on my 41 Ford woodie and getting pretty frustrated trying to keep West System Epoxy where I want it.  In filling holes, cracks, splits etc it's often necessary to basically build a mold to keep the epoxy in the correct place.  I've tried various tape with wax paper on the face to prevent sticking, I've tried putty and modeling clay to form dams or fill the bottom of a through hole but I'm continually having problems with the epoxy escaping and ending up where it's not welcome.

Any tips or pointers on a successful method of controlling epoxy flow as it cures.

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28 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

blue tape and seal the joints on the blue tape with super glue and activator.

The thing that makes WS good, also makes it a PITA.

By blue tape do you mean paint masking tape? I didn't know that super glue has an activator, any particular brand of glue recommended?

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21 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

Tilt the Woodie until the epoxy stays behind the tape dam while it cures . <grin>

Actually you're on the right track, I started with the drivers side front door and finished it, now on to the drivers side rear door.  I'm removing them from the car, completely disassembling them, stripping them with scrapers, restaining them with a homemade stain then applying 10-12 coats of Interlux spar varnish.  Pretty labor intensive as you might imagine.  

The wood on the car is the original wood and over time had darkened to a point that the grain was nearly invisible.  The many finger joints, mortise and tenon, and scarf joints are all very loose from years of pounding down the road.  To make it worse my friends call me rainmaker because removing the car from the garage seems to always trigger torrential downpours.

Even though I can lay the pieces flat I still need to control the epoxy, it's amazing how unthickened West System can find a weak spot and escape.

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54 minutes ago, K Cooper said:

Way cool! Are the colors original? 

The blue color is from a mid-80s Isuzu but is very close to an original Ford color called Washington Blue.  The dark color of the wood is from 77 years of countless layers of Varnish and Tung Oil. The orange wheels were my idea, my wife hates them.

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11 minutes ago, 41woodie said:

The blue color is from a mid-80s Isuzu but is very close to an original Ford color called Washington Blue.  The dark color of the wood is from 77 years of countless layers of Varnish and Tung Oil. The orange wheels were my idea, my wife hates them.

Very Cool.  What engine? Looking at the exhaust its not original!  You can try a product made by Abatron  https://www.abatron.com/product-category/wood-restoration-maintenance/

Their Wood Epox and Liquid Wood mix very well, to any consistency you want.  It is a great product for restoring and repairing old wood.  

I like the orange wheels!

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I overlooked the orange wheels.  I had a "Union 76 sign" Orange go- cart when I was a kid. My uncle did  welding work Union 76 tankers so I got what was in the spray gun.  I think it goes well with the blue fenders ! 

I had a retired neighbor when I was a teen who worked at a Ford dealership back in the 40's. They got a kit of replacement wood to fix a clients "Woodie" . Even an experienced woodworker was amazed at the amount of work to assemble & finish all the  factory wooden parts so I can imagine the effort required to repair & restore 77 year old original millwork. 

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wdwerker,  The one good thing is that the pieces I have to work with have been properly fitted together already when the car left the factory.  There are several companies that make "kits" for replacing the missing or damaged wood on the old woodies.  The cost for a car like mine runs around 30-40k and while they have the necessary finger joints, mortise & tenon etc. each piece still has to be cut to length, width and fitted together.  Then you sand it until you no longer have finger prints.  Oh, that price is for the materials only, no installation.

If you manage to get the car assembled you then have to stain and apply 10-20 coats of varnish.  The rear side door that I'm currently working on has eight pieces that make up the framework, plus the plywood panels that are 1/4" birch on one side, mahogany on the reverse.

It's pretty easy to see why wooden bodied cars kind of fell out of favor. BUT when it's all together, running down the road with the beach boys on the stereo it's darn near wonderful

20 hours ago, krtwood said:

You can start by putting only a small amount, which will help seal up any leaks and keep them small.

Good idea I'll try that

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On 11/27/2018 at 10:25 PM, Just Bob said:

Very Cool.  What engine? Looking at the exhaust its not original!  You can try a product made by Abatron  https://www.abatron.com/product-category/wood-restoration-maintenance/

Their Wood Epox and Liquid Wood mix very well, to any consistency you want.  It is a great product for restoring and repairing old wood.  

I like the orange wheels!

Small block chevy (of course) heated up a bit, TH350 transmission, A/C, Cruise Control, PS, Disk Brakes, Stereo yada yada.  We drove it from Oklahoma City to San Diego and back in September of 2017 then this last June drove to Minneapolis.  The San Diego trip was to attend the Wavecrest Woodie Meet, around 225-250 old woodies sitting next to the ocean at Moonlight Beach.  It was a great trip. Old car made the trips without missing a beat.

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