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Thread: No more Wood Hardener?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Delray Beach, Florida
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    212

    No more Wood Hardener?

    I am in the process of making a table out of a large section of a Black Walnut root which has a minor amount of dry rot. I have treated these areas with glycol and I have scaped out the dry rot. Eventually I want to apply a Wood Hardener to these same areas. Now here is my problem: the local Home Depots, Lowes, Ace Hardwares and Boat Owner's Warehouses no longer carry MinWax's Wood Hardener or any similar products. The only option that any of them had was Elmer Glue's Wood Hardener which looks and smells like diluted white glue. I read in an old thread that Lacquer thinned 5% to 10% with Acetone "is about the same stuff as the MinWax hardener."

    Has anybody ever tried that and if so, how did it work for you. I also read that another option is to thin epoxy with DNA but that seems as if it could be the more expensive option of the two.

    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Belden, Mississippi
    Posts
    2,216
    In my world, expensive and table go hand in hand. Use the best product. Ain't no place to cut corners. I'd use the epoxy in a minute.
    Bill
    On the other hand, I still have five fingers.

  3. #3
    google "Git Rot"
    should find plenty of suppliers
    Carpe Lignum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
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    12,851
    I agree with Bill. Experiment with mixing "wood flour" (sawdust) of different species with epoxy and if you warm the epoxy a bit in a double-boiler with warm water, it will flow a lot better and get down into and soak into the punky wood. Warm the wood slightly, too, with a hair dryer or hot air gun. Maybe the DNA thins it enough for it to flow well? I've never tried that.
    Crown Molding: cut, cope, cuss, caulk, chill....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwestern Connecticut
    Posts
    6,001
    Smiths CPES. It is an epoxy wood hardener, it is the best, it is not cheap. I gave up on minwax long ago in favor of Smiths. Google CLear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    'over here' - Ireland
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    1,540
    It's no problem to cut epoxy with methanol for use in finishing/coating to ease handling - I've done it many times. Just don't hang about as the alcohol flashes off very quickly. Chances are DNA will work too if it seems to dissolve into it. I'd be a bit more wary of using alcohol if there was going to be any decent volume of epoxy, or if the cure was very fast - it might risk trapping alcohol in the cured material.

    Best to keep the conditions nice and warm as this influences both the rate of flashing off of the alcohol, and also helps ensure that the cured material is hard/fully polymerised so that it sands/polishes well.

    A trial would tell a lot....

    ian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    12,851
    www.epoxyusa.com has A LOT of good stuff and very good prices.
    Crown Molding: cut, cope, cuss, caulk, chill....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Putnam County, NY
    Posts
    3,086
    You could go with your original plan. Amazon has the Minwax product in stock. Wood hardener has worked great for me on turnings in the past.
    http://www.amazon.com/Minwax-41700-P...uct/B000BPINKS
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Posts
    842
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Padilla View Post
    if you warm the epoxy a bit in a double-boiler with warm water, it will flow a lot better and get down into and soak into the punky wood. I've never tried that.
    Caution!!! I use a lot of West System epoxy. I can say this with certainty - a large mass of epoxy heats up while it's curing, sometimes very very quickly. It can heat up on it's own to temperatures too high to handle. Heating it up will accelerate the cure. http://www.westsystem.com/ss/epoxy-chemistry/ It *can* be heated to reduce it's viscosity and flow better, but be careful and move quickly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Posts
    842
    Ditto - good stuff when you need to penetrate and harden the wood fibers.

    CPES is available on their own website http://www.smithandcompany.org/ or through Jamestown Distributors. http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/main.do

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sterling, Virginia
    Posts
    295
    I think it would be better to heat both the resin and hardener to the same temperature and then mix. I don' t think I would heat it over 100 degrees. Distribute the epoxy as quickly as possible. It will "kick" faster in a container than if you can pour it over the area to be covered and then spread by whatever method you choose. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Do a google search for MinWax's Wood Hardener and you will find it is available from lots of places.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  13. #13
    I faced a somewhat similar situation a couple years ago when I made a natural edge coffee table from a myrtle burl. The burl had so many holes in it that I took a photo of it with pencils sticking out of the holes and it looked like something from a crime scene investigation! I bought several tubes of slow set epoxy and mixed it with artist's oil pigments and it worked very well. You can, of course, see the difference between the wood and epoxy but it didn't detract from the beauty of the finished piece.

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