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post #1 of 30 Old 11-14-2019, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Epoxy for crack filler

Hi everybody,

I have been doing some research on this site on threads about epoxy. Its got me going in the right direction. But i have another question.

I have some pieces of wood (oak) i am finishing but have cracks some are about 1/2" wide by 5" long.

I am looking at using west systems.
403 filler, and 206 hardener.

Would the 403 be correct for this application?

Also lets say i had 3 of the above size cracks to fill, would a 20oz of the 403 and .44pt of the hardener be enough to fill these?

The oak is dark is their a color agent i could add to the epoxy?

Please let me know your comments.
Thanks,
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post #2 of 30 Old 11-14-2019, 02:46 PM
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I think it will work. The 206 is a longer harderner, I believe.


Can't advise on the amount it all depends on the volume the cracks add up to. But sounds like you would have plenty.



You can add various dyes or tints to epoxy. I often use artists acrylic paint - cheap and lots of colors.
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post #3 of 30 Old 11-14-2019, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I think it will work. The 206 is a longer harderner, I believe.


Can't advise on the amount it all depends on the volume the cracks add up to. But sounds like you would have plenty.



You can add various dyes or tints to epoxy. I often use artists acrylic paint - cheap and lots of colors.
Yes the 206 is about 15-25 minutes or so. I was reading that a longer hardener you couldn't go wrong with, i'm not in any rush either.

Acrylic paint, i would have never thought of that. That's a great idea.

I was under the assumption a special type would need to mix with epoxy, but i have never done this before.

Thank you
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post #4 of 30 Old 11-14-2019, 10:00 PM
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You might want to talk with the folks at West about this, they'll be able to give you the best advice on what to use and how to use it. Color can be a problem, there's a lot of stuff you can add, but you might also be compromising different aspects of the epoxy. The sales reps will be able to steer you in the direction of stuff that'll work without causing issues down the road

To be clear, not saying that acrylic paint won't work, but I am saying that some acrylics might not work for some random reason

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post #5 of 30 Old 11-14-2019, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
You might want to talk with the folks at West about this, they'll be able to give you the best advice on what to use and how to use it. Color can be a problem, there's a lot of stuff you can add, but you might also be compromising different aspects of the epoxy. The sales reps will be able to steer you in the direction of stuff that'll work without causing issues down the road

To be clear, not saying that acrylic paint won't work, but I am saying that some acrylics might not work for some random reason
I understand.
I didn't know they would have tech support or sales reps.
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 08:14 AM
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I understand.
I didn't know they would have tech support or sales reps.
Most companies do honestly, they just dont advertise it to the average joe. The big fish are always other companies, and if youre putting in a multi-hundred-thousand dollar purchase, most of the time you want someone to talk to to make sure what youre going to get is what you need, hence sales departments. Fortunately those are usually available to the smaller guys too:
https://www.westsystem.com/contact/need-help/

Like i said, im a big fan of info straight from the horses mouth. Those guys get paid to know exactly what theyre talking about, well worth the time talking them to make sure nothing will go wrong
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 08:37 AM
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I’ve used artists pigment in Epoxy. A tiny bit usually does the trick. Depending on how much you add, it can make the Epoxy look unnatural; like you filled the crack with putty. In smaller amounts, it will still stay somewhat clear.

https://gamblincolors.com/oil-painti.../dry-pigments/

Another product is Transtint Dye. It leaves the Epoxy more transparent and is a better look if opaque isn’t what you’re going for. Unfortunately, it’s kind of expensive if you don’t have future use for it.

http://homesteadfinishingproducts.co...t-liquid-dyes/


If you really want to go for a wild look, you can add crushed stone to the epoxy.

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p...term=turquoise
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 08:43 AM
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I havent worked with West System Epoxy in a while and too lazy to look up all the fillers, so let me just say this about that. West System uses different fillers for different purposes and most of these are fiberglass related. Some fillers are for strength, some are for ease of sanding, some are just for thickening as well as other purposes. For crack filling purposes, and I did this a lot, you normally wouldn't need any filler. The epoxy is usually way strong enough, unless for additional structural strength. For color, use the oak dust. It will darken the epoxy which is what you want. You can usually find more than enough really fine dust under the table saw. For actual colors, you can use an alcohol based dye or earth powders. When ever you are mixing anything with epoxy, ALWAYS, mix the Part A and Part B first. This will prevent the foreign matter from interfering with the cross linking of the epoxy molecules.
At home, we used to buy jello already made up in small plastic cups. I saved the used cups and re-purposed them into epoxy mixing cups. Also used pop sticks for the mixing. Buy them in large packages in Walmart. Sometimes the reaction of the epoxy creates enough heat to melt the cups. By that time, the epoxy was no longer any good anyway, just be ware of the heat. Whether the cups melt or not, save them for the next day. then take a hammer to it and you will be amazed what it takes to break the left-over epoxy. depending on which Part B you buy, depends on the curing time. You can look up on the West System Epoxy website and get the curing time verses temperature of the different Parts B. Trust me on this, you can set your watch by it.
Normally the regular Part B without saw dust or coloring will be somewhat milky in color. they do make a crystal clear Part B that is used a lot when people make cedar canoes. It looks like glass and the fiberglass under it becomes invisable.
Epoxy can be your best friend.
One more thing............West System also sells small hand pumps for the small cans of epoxy. Normally their epoxy is in 5 to 1 ratio and the special stuff is i think 3 to 1 ratio. With their small pumps that crew onto the screw cap part of the cans, you only pump each can ONCE. Therefore no special measuring. The pumps last forever and they are made for the specific cans. That is, a Part A pump will not fit on a Part B can and vice verse so no errors can occur.
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post #9 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
I’ve used artists pigment in Epoxy. A tiny bit usually does the trick. Depending on how much you add, it can make the Epoxy look unnatural; like you filled the crack with putty. In smaller amounts, it will still stay somewhat clear.

https://gamblincolors.com/oil-painti.../dry-pigments/

Another product is Transtint Dye. It leaves the Epoxy more transparent and is a better look if opaque isn’t what you’re going for. Unfortunately, it’s kind of expensive if you don’t have future use for it.

http://homesteadfinishingproducts.co...t-liquid-dyes/


If you really want to go for a wild look, you can add crushed stone to the epoxy.

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p...term=turquoise
Lots of colors, and options.
I will dig into this.
Thanks for the links!
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post #10 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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TonyB:
I haven't call west systems yet but will ask them about the options.

I am glad you mentioned the sawdust. I use the sawdust when im doing glue..
And thought that would be nice to use with the epoxy too.

Will the color get darker as it dries with either the dies or sawdust or what i see when i mix it is what im going to get?
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post #11 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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TonyB:
Ohh i definitly need the pump handles.

I was already thinking about how i would get exact measurements with the (parts) sticking to the side of the measuring cups.
I have used different epoxys before but only the kind that comes in tubes with a syringe where it gives you the same amounts all at once..

Wasn't sure how much of an exact science the "wood" epoxy would be, or differ from others.

And don't want to pour a bad batch into the nice pieces of wood.
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post #12 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 09:48 PM
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In the way of colors and sawdust, what you see is what you get. I found with sawdust, doesnt seem to matter if wood was light or dark, once mixed in with the epixy, it is dark. And it doesn't take much. Piece of cake man, all is easy.
The pumps are very reliable. Every so often, one of the pumps over time will drain some of the epoxy back into the can. When that happens, it is pretty obvious that you didnt get a good squirt. The only thing I know to do is to keep pumping till it comes out in a full stream again. In this process, you will lose that epoxy. I never bothered, but I'm sure if you squirt it into a jar of sorts, you can pour it back into the can. I just never bothered.

I used to order the epoxy in what I think was a 5 gallon kit. I had an addiction. If you are very active, you can use a lot of the stuff. The old picture frames from about 100 years ago were very ornately 'carved'. When someone brought in one of those old frames to be repaired, some of the ornate molding was missing. If you were lucky, you could find another section of the frame with exactly the same carving pattern. I would make latex molds of that section, then cast it with dyed epoxy and cut to fit in the missing space. Then respray the entire frame with lacquer, usually with gold powder in it and the frame would look great. The customers would rave about and gladly pay $300 or more for about an hours worth of work.When you cast the latex mold with the epoxy, even the fine grain pores in the wood would be reproduced in it. Havent had a call for that kind of work in over 15 years. Even cast an old GF's boob one time and used it as a paper weight.

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post #13 of 30 Old 11-16-2019, 12:30 AM
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I have occasionally used a combination of sawdust and colloidal silica to get an Epoxy mix that matches the wood. The colloidal silica is white and helps lighten the mix. The only problem is, once you thicken the Epoxy, it greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll trap air in the mix and the bubbles will show up when you sand it level. As Tony said, the Epoxy is more than strong enough on its own. Use the slow hardener so the bubbles have a chance to escape.

One more tip - and this is especially important on a crack 1/2” wide. Epoxy shrinks as it cures and continues to shrink until it’s fully cured. If you sand it flush too soon, it will end up being slightly below the surface and in the right light, you’ll see it after you apply your finish. It might be overkill, but I usually give it at least a full week.

As much as I like West System products, MAS Epoxy makes a low viscosity resin that really flows nicely into the nooks and crannies.
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-17-2019, 10:26 PM
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.............. Epoxy shrinks as it cures and continues to shrink until it’s fully cured..............

NOT SO

I dont believe that is so with West System epoxy or any of the better brands. The curing process in epoxy is a cross linking of molecules. They link, they dont evaporate off. It's not like other adhesives where the solvent evaporates out causing it to shrink. If it does, it is not to any appreciable amount. I have used epoxy on thousands of 'blisters' on boats in addition to other repairs and never had to go back to fill in a sunken holllow..

Amongst other careers, I was a protective coatings inspector and inspected probably thousands of acres of epoxy paint. We measure the thinner that was mixed into it, then measured the the sandblasted profile - same as measuring the mountains and valleys from sanding except we sand blasted, then measured the paint thickness while it was wet, then subtracted out the volume or weight of the thinner and calculated the thickness it should dry out to. Again, no loss in thickness when it was measured after curing. This is done in thousandths of an inch measurements, so it is possible that some was lost, but I bet not. And the manufacturers say that there is no shrinkage or loss.

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post #15 of 30 Old 11-18-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
.............. Epoxy shrinks as it cures and continues to shrink until it’s fully cured..............

NOT SO

I dont believe that is so with West System epoxy or any of the better brands. The curing process in epoxy is a cross linking of molecules. They link, they dont evaporate off. It's not like other adhesives where the solvent evaporates out causing it to shrink. If it does, it is not to any appreciable amount. I have used epoxy on thousands of 'blisters' on boats in addition to other repairs and never had to go back to fill in a sunken holllow..

Amongst other careers, I was a protective coatings inspector and inspected probably thousands of acres of epoxy paint. We measure the thinner that was mixed into it, then measured the the sandblasted profile - same as measuring the mountains and valleys from sanding except we sand blasted, then measured the paint thickness while it was wet, then subtracted out the volume or weight of the thinner and calculated the thickness it should dry out to. Again, no loss in thickness when it was measured after curing. This is done in thousandths of an inch measurements, so it is possible that some was lost, but I bet not. And the manufacturers say that there is no shrinkage or loss.
"WEST SYSTEM Epoxy has a very low percentage of shrinkage."
https://www.westsystem.com/105-epoxy-resin/

Now, when they say low percentage they're talking fractions of a percent, but even .5% of a 1.5" thick filled area can be noticed. How noticable is the question, but it does shrink. Probably not enough to care about for touch, but enough to make some weird reflections on a high-gloss finish

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post #16 of 30 Old 11-18-2019, 09:29 PM
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here is something that i pulled off of their international website
WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin
Formulated for use with WEST SYSTEM® hardeners, WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin® can be cured over a wide temperature range to form a high-strength solid with excellent moisture resistance.

WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin is a clear, pale yellow, low-viscosity liquid epoxy resin. When mixed at the proper ratio with a WEST SYSTEM hardener, it is designed specifically to wet out and bond with many materials.

It is formulated without volatile solvents and does not shrink after curing. Moreover, it has a relatively high flash point and no strong solvent odour. This makes it safer to work with than either polyester or vinylester resins.

and I got this off of one of your links
Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Gougeon Brothers Inc. manufactured over 4,000 wind turbine blades and their molds using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. It was commonplace to see a 70-foot long mold shrink 3/32″ over the entire 70-foot length. That represents shrinkage of just .01% on a laminate consisting of fiberglass and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

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post #17 of 30 Old 11-18-2019, 09:47 PM
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here is something that i pulled off of their international website
WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin
Formulated for use with WEST SYSTEM® hardeners, WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin® can be cured over a wide temperature range to form a high-strength solid with excellent moisture resistance.

WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin is a clear, pale yellow, low-viscosity liquid epoxy resin. When mixed at the proper ratio with a WEST SYSTEM hardener, it is designed specifically to wet out and bond with many materials.

It is formulated without volatile solvents and does not shrink after curing. Moreover, it has a relatively high flash point and no strong solvent odour. This makes it safer to work with than either polyester or vinylester resins.

and I got this off of one of your links
Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Gougeon Brothers Inc. manufactured over 4,000 wind turbine blades and their molds using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. It was commonplace to see a 70-foot long mold shrink 3/32″ over the entire 70-foot length. That represents shrinkage of just .01% on a laminate consisting of fiberglass and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.
So even if we went with this figure, if you fill a crack 1/16" wide, the shrinkage would be 1/10,000 of that. Im too tired to do the math but essentially, according to the above, divide the 1/16" crack by 10,000, yes divide that 1/16" by ten thousand and thats how much shrinkage you will get. If i did the math correctly, that comes out to approximately 6 millionths of an inch shrinkage. Yes it shrinks. So for all intents and purposes in common usage in woodworking I will stick with West Systems original statement - it doesn't shrink. I hope i did the math correctly and didnt embarrass my self further. LOL

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post #18 of 30 Old 11-18-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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As Tony said, the Epoxy is more than strong enough on its own.
I didn't understand this when it was first posted. I thought i needed a filler and hardener to make this work..
Now i know what you two were talking about just using a resin and hardener, no filler.
I wasn't aware of the "resin". (105) as west systems calls it.
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-18-2019, 10:23 PM
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West System makes several different epoxies. some for hot weather, some for cool weather and other cosiderations. They do make fillers, but not normally used in woodworking, but can be used. Some fillers are designed to be easy to sand. for example on boats if you are doing surface filling, this would be ideal. Other fillers are for strength using a similar idea of adding rocks to cement to make concrete. They have a fairly large website and it goes into detail on the use of each type of epoxy and each filler. By the way, the fillers are usually a powder. Teir website gives charts showing the curing time at various temperatures. West System has high quality control and you can set your watch based on those times. They are more expensive than most. if you are going to just fill cracks, use sawdust for the coloring. the normal stuff i think is the 205. It cures to a milky white if you add no coloring. They do have a crystal clear epoxy also for those that build kayaks and caones with cedar and cover with fiberglass. The fiberglass disappears and the finish looks like glass.

My guess is that you want the 105 part A Resin and then make a choice on the part B hardener based on what kind of temperature you expect to be working in. With a sawdust mix you probably wont want anything else. Usually alcohol or lacquer thinner will clean up your mess

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post #20 of 30 Old 11-18-2019, 10:42 PM
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Here is an interesting link.............https://www.epoxyworks.com/index.php/thats-a-fact/

It talks about adding sawdust, basically, you wet out your surface with the mixed epoxy to get it into the pores and end grain, then mix with the sawdust and finish applying.
i use the cheap harbor freight acid brushes. cut the length of the brush part back some to make it a little stiffer. also watch for stray hairs getting into your work. I buy the brushes on sale in the big packages. I use them also for titebond and other glues.

Sitting here behind a desk, I tend to forget the little things. just when I do it, it come natural from habit. thats why i attched this little link above.

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Last edited by Tony B; 11-18-2019 at 10:44 PM.
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