Hi there, I am having trouble finding a better way to fill voids, cracks, knots quicker and easier. Currently we are filling with 5 minute quick cure epoxy mixing in sawdust to aid in the sinking that always occurs. Because they yellow in time is another reason we add sawdust and sometimes black dye. When we do clear we use Art Resin but the problem with it is stays soaking wet for over 16 hours which doesn't always work for timelines and it's super thin causing us to fill several times. We are often doing multiple pours when it comes to reclaimed wood or live edge slabs regardless of different things we have tried. Is there anyone out there that can suggest a better product name, way of applying, and any other advice?
Have you tried wood flour for the thickener?It doesn't seem to shrink when I use it. I use 100 grit sanding dust collected from the edger which has a 7 inch disc. Add the flour before you start to mix everything. Along with the 5 min. epoxy I use general purpose 1:1 mix that hardens in 7 hours cause it fits the budget.
We gravitated away from 5 min epoxy long ago. Now using west systems epoxy for higher end applications. We mix with sawdust to add color along with other fibers and color agents if need be. Its a 2 part mix that can be adjusted to go off fast or slow. We build it up over the problem area so when it settles and dries it is still above finished surface and sands out beautifully with just one application. Expensive...but worth it my opinion.
I work for Rangate, the company David mentioned earlier. We do indeed have an epoxy alternative that's picking up some steam in popularity of late, especially for live edge producers.
It's applied through a heating gun- you apply the hot material into the void, cool it down with an aluminum heat sink, and then chisel off any excess. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. It doesn't sink after being applied, either. We have about 13 different colors, but the black is the most popular.
If you want to talk to some other producers who are using the material, I'd be happy to put you in contact with some people. I hear from a couple people every week who are very satisfied about not having to do epoxy pours any more. If you're curious to see it work, I attached a video.
I put together a FAQ last week that might be helpful as well. You can check it out under the link.
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The reason you have difficulty with epoxy is that, as you know, it generates the heat needed for it to cure. However, when you apply it in a very thin coating, there is not enough epoxy to generate enough heat...it needs to be thick. You could apply a thicker coating and then sand off the excess after it hardens. Without the heat required, it will not cure properly and so will seem too soft or sticky.
Note that a soft coating will not work well at times, as when the moisture increases in the wood, the materially can be pushed out slightly; when the moisture drops, a depression can be created. So, a very hard coating is often the best.
I'm not sure what are you doing, if your are pouring epoxy resin as a finish, you can try use polyester resin, is faster, then you can sanded, and pour epoxy resin without problem, if you are using other type of finish, you can try any type of acrylic filler with saw dust, depends on what type of wood your using & what type of finish, you can even use plaster with saw dust!
I use polyester resin. I tinted some black but that extended the cure time. Using clear, it still takes over night to cure. The items covered with a tarp and a small heater do make a difference. I put mine on a drying rack and cover.
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