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  1. #1
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    Default Stabilising board

    I have a solid 800x190x45 piece of Vic Ash that I am going to use as my leg vice chop. The board has quite a few small cracks and one or two that the top which goes right through.

    As the board is going to be used as a vice chop I want to fill the cracks to help ensure is strength, The crack at the top is my main concern, but if doing one I might as well do the rest.

    Would epoxy be a suitable option to fill the cracks?

    Thanks



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  3. #2
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    Epoxy if you can get it in there. Warming things up helps it run better. Other thing is CA glue as it tends to wick itself into small cracks. A clamp should close it up and should be near invisible when set.
    Regards
    John

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the info, I might try warming the epoxy / wood. I don't have CA on hand at the moment.

    I'm not overly concerned but being able to see the crack as it's for my bench, more about the strength.

  5. #4
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    Epoxy is good, but you need to clean out the crack first. I'd use a hypodermic (just the cylinder, not the needle) to squirt acetone into the crack, then a toothbrush to scrub it out as well as you can. Let it dry.
    Use hot melt glue to seal one side of the crack and the end. If necessary you can clue a piece of ply or MZDF over the split.Also, make a dam around the crack with hot melt glue on the other side.
    If you wish, you can tint the epoxy with powder pigment. (Other pigments may be suitable, but I haven't tried them.)
    Mix up the epoxy (liquid, not paste) and put it in the syringe. Squirt it slowly into the crack, moving along from one end to the other, then use a heat gun or blower to blow the epoxy right into the crack. Keep topping up the epoxy and blowing it in until it overflows the crack, then watch it, as the epoxy will slowly wick to the extremities of the crack and you may need to top it up again.
    Once the epoxy has set you can scrape and peel off the hot melt, and plane the epoxy down level with the wood.
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  6. #5
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    Thanks for the info Alex.

    I used a card scraper to clean the crack and taped up the end and glued a scrap of wood to the back with some spray glue. This did a good job stopping leaks, though I suspect your method would have less clean up.

    I didn't think about using a syringe at the time, and it would have been easier, have a heap of them from kids medicines.

    The epoxy was thin enough that it worked itself into the crack without needing to be heated. I poured a little more on when the level dropped below the surface and used a screw driver to open the crack a tiny amount causing the epoxy to be sucked in. I was also using a scraper to keep epoxy on top of the crack.

    I decided against heating the epoxy because I don't have a heat gun and am not sure if a hair drier would provide enough heat. Also I was making a mess and didn't want to get it on the hair drier.

    The process taught me that I need significantly less epoxy than I expected.

  7. #6
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    Default Anther Technique

    I used to do a lot of epoxying and agree that it is probably the best choice in your situation, but I would use quite a different technique. For such a thin crack I do not think it is really possible to use a toothbrush, or acetone or anything else to "scrub it out". You do not want to accentuate the crack.

    My technique would be as follows:
    • Mix up a batch of epoxy and dilute it with an equal volume of acetone or MEK,
    • Wet one side only of the split with plane acetone (or MEK) and keep applying slowly until it wicks right through the crack and comes out the other side,
    • Wipe plane acetone over all surfaces of the plank,
    • While still wet wipe diluted epoxy over all surfaces, especially the crack,
    • Wait ten minutes, then with a clean rag, wipe off epoxy,
    • When dry, wipe on another coat of diluted epoxy, then wait ten and wipe off,
    • Repeat until all signs of the crack have disappeared.


    The wet out with acetone or MEK causes the diluted eopxy to wick into the crack and into the pores of the timber. The dilution of the epoxy causes it to penetrate more easily. The acetone evapourates before the epoxy hardens so the epoxy actually hardens just as hard as undiluted epoxy. It just takes more coats.

    Heed the safety instructions - epoxy is truly nasty stuff.

  8. #7
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    Thanks Graeme, that sounds like an excellent technique, especially where the crack is narrow.
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    Another options comes from the wooden boat repair toolbox - Bote Cote epoxy with their "Timber Preservative & Reactive Dilutant Agent." The process is designed to repair rot affected timbers and to saturate new timbers / marine ply with epoxy.
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  10. #9
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    The best way to make that disappear and not come back is to saw it through, removing the crack and re joint to two pieces .
    Just gluing that up will not hold forever . There wound be to much pressure fighting it . Try a clamp on it to see how much pressure it needs to pull it tight to get a better idea.

    Either that or saw cut partially down the crack and fit a feather of well matched timber . Matching a piece to that would be tricky though . You have to match the sweep of the grain and the growth rings in the end for it to go well. The best patches or feathers to do that with come off the end or side of the same bit of wood where it is to long or wide and you have some to spare.

    It may be fine if the crack were 10mm in off the edge with some easy flex . But it looks to far in for me to put glue and pressure
    If it was a situation where I must not see it come back.
    Imagine trying just glue if it were a clients front door and a fail would mean going back and bringing the door back to the workshop to do it right . The cost !

  11. #10
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    Is there something particularly special about that piece of wood? I would just stick it on the shelf for other projects and buy another piece without any cracks.
    Lance

  12. #11
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    What is a "Vice Chop" ?
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceC View Post
    Is there something particularly special about that piece of wood? I would just stick it on the shelf for other projects and buy another piece without any cracks.

    Or patch it, and use the other end. Its for a leg vice chop, the movable jaw on that vice.

    Leg Vice Chop.jpg

  14. #13
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    For its intended use filling it with epoxy is a complete waste of time and materials. Have you considered drilling right through the edge and doweling gluing and clamping or screws long enough to go in from both sides and gluing. It won't take much the close the gap.
    Experienced in removing the tree from the furniture

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod1949 View Post
    For its intended use filling it with epoxy is a complete waste of time and materials.
    Agreed. It will never hold up under the stress. I agree with auscab- cut it through the crack and rejoin it.

  16. #15
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    Tried using epoxy and it was a complete failure. I didn't do enough reading into using it didn't take ambient temperature into account and it never cured.

    I had to scrape off the epoxy and clean up the surface. I'm going to cut the crack out and fill the void with some wood.

    @LanceC there isn't anything special about this specific piece other than I have it on hand and like the vein feature. I did consider just buying another piece and avoiding the problem add together, but I decided to try and work with it because the whole process is a learning exercise for me. I understand that shelving this would have been the smart choice.

    Thanks everyone for the input I really appreciate it

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