Filling voids in Mesquite with Epoxy - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-07-2016, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Filling voids in Mesquite with Epoxy

Hey All,
Im building a mesquite tabletop thats about 8ft x 5ft x2in thick. Its made up of about 6 slabs! I need to stabalize those cracks and splits that are common for mesquite lumber. My question is... Is there any real difference in epoxy brands? West system, system three, kraft kote? Ive used primarily system three with great results, but at half the cost, I was thinking about trying kraft kote. I will be tinting it black and it will be a structural measure as well as cosmetic.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-07-2016, 08:47 PM
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After a few times where I had problems because I added too much or too little hardener, I grew to like the epoxies that come with pumps that let you measure them accurately. My current favorite is MAS because it comes in a variety of viscosities. The Low Viscosity version really does a nice job of getting into cracks and because it's thin, the bubbles come to the top and pop nicely. They also make one that is pre-thickened for use as glue. They also make hardeners in three speeds which is a nice to have.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-08-2016, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the info. Im guessing that low viscosity means making sure I seal all of the underside properly or wake up to it all over the floor. What hardener did you use? I cant seem to find it in a set with the pumps.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-08-2016, 08:31 PM
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Yes, you'll have to make some kind of dam to keep it from flowing out. I use blue masking tape and peel or sand it off after the epoxy cures. I have the MAS fast hardener and slow hardener. I've never had a use for medium - It seems I'm either eager for a fast cure, or I want lots of assembly time. As I recall, I bought a quart of resin, a pint of hardener and a set of pumps. The initial investment was a bit on the steep side, but the pumps last a pretty long time and a quart of resin goes a long way.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-13-2016, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks quickstep. Sound advice there. I guess what it really comes down to is functionality, not branding.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-13-2016, 01:59 AM
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I've been using the Big Box store brands and they work fine. They are good for basic filling yet if the wood isn't sufficiently dried or wild grained (which has a mind of it's own regarding movement) even epoxy won't 100% stop wood from moving.
I've had some cracking where I've had to grind out a little and re-fill the cracks. It's unusual but does happen.

Rule of thumb is never fill more than 1/4" depth at a time. Most epoxies are extremely fluid and not only seek their own level, but also can find the smallest pinhole and seep out, leaving your epoxy on the floor. I use a hot glue gun on the underside and fill every void/crack/pinhole before pouring the product on the top.

There are epoxies (as said above) that have fast or slow cure times. I've never had a need for them.
Also air bubbles are an issue. I use a propane torch passing the flame over the epoxy for bubble popping. Also your breath or a heat gun will work.
It;s the carbon dioxide blowing over the bubbles that pops them.
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