The Dovetail Diaries

The advancement of one man's woodworking skills.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fixing Split Ends (Epoxy update)

Here's the 'during' photo from Saturday's epoxy fill.  I mixed 60 minute epoxy with black walnut sawdust.

One lesson learned was to use sandpaper to get a finer sawdust than from the table saw.  The sawdust in the epoxy looks rather 'chunky'.

A second lesson is to use fresh epoxy.  This epoxy was some I had lying around and it cured very slowly.  I was concerned that it was not going to cure at all.

I purchased some fresh slow-setting epoxy this weekend and will use it to complete the fill, as the area on the leg bottom did not completely fill because the epoxy was too thick.  I'm thinking that West Systems epoxy, as Marc Spagnuolo used in his 'Fixing A Knot' video, is the proper viscosity to fully fill the void.

I'm hoping the Loctite brand that I purchased at Lowe's will also do the trick.  If not, I'll head over to the local marina and plunk down $60 for a West Systems outfit.


  1. Good idea using the epoxy on the larger cracks. I want to see how well the Epoxy sawdust combo looks. If it works for you I want to try it on my walnut pieces. I am wondering what the ideal ratio of epoxy to sawdust is?

  2. John,

    I've postponed the epoxy patch while I try to keep on schedule with the Guild Build, but I'm planning to use some walnut dust that I gathered from sanding on the rear apron. I had some tearout around a knot that I was having trouble taming, so I pulled out the random-orbit sander. This is much finer than the 'dust' from the table saw and I believe that it will make a finer patch.

    I'm planning on adding sawdust until I believe that the epoxy won't take much more. My theory is that the epoxy should be used as a binder with most of the fill coming from the sawdust.

    Once I perform the patch I'll be sure to post the details.