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topic 414

Making quick setting epoxy to fix spalled wood


Q. I am currently using a couple of brands of quick set epoxy glue in some woodworking that I do. I work with partially rotten (spalled) wood to make small, thin walled boxes. Since the wood is soft I strengthen it with epoxy. To do this I take equal amounts of the resin and hardener and dilute them 5 to 1 with Acetone [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. I then take equal portions of the diluted mixtures, mix them together and apply that to the wood. The acetone allows the epoxy to be absorbed into the spalled wood rapidly and into the sound wood more slowly. This process can be repeated several times to get a harder but yet flexible piece of wood. The final finish is also attractive -- it looks similar to a lacquer. This procedure also allows for a final sanding that does not clog Sandpaper [linked by editor to product info at Rockler]. All in all a very good technique.

The epoxies that I can purchase locally is very expensive. I need a supplier of larger amounts of the quick set epoxy or maybe this is not original with me and someone sells quarts or gallons of product that does this. Any help would be appreciated.

Dwight Lowie


A. You might try calling on some of the larger finishing suppliers like Lilly Ind. or Sherwin Williams. They should be able to help you or tell you where you can get it.

Michael McColley
freeport finishing

February 2014

A. Hi Dwight. Boating stores offer an epoxy I've used to fix rotten wood on boats. I believe it was filled with fumed silica to make it lighter. But I like your idea of diluting it with acetone in hopes of preferentially filling the rotted part of the wood.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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