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Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept... (Read 364 times)
 
John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Jun 10th, 2017 at 3:39pm
 
We've all been there...pulling the piece out of the bag only to find it's cracked badly.  Some months back, a co-worker commissioned a piece for her kitchen of 15" in diameter and 8" deep.  Found a nice piece of maple that I turned, leaving a live edge.  Four months later...yep, two sizable cracks.  Told my customer about it and explained I'd have some other pieces available later this summer.  She said the cracks didn't bother her as the piece was destined as a 'junk bowl' for car keys, wallets, etc and asked me to 'save' the piece for her anyways.

Came up with an idea...finished turning the bowl, more or less anyways.  Pretty slow speeds, me standing well to one side, Airshield helmet securely in place.  After turning and sanding as far as I felt comfortable doing I broke out an old 'liquid glass' epoxy resin kit my wife had left over from one of her projects.  Much to my delight...I think it may work and I may have found a reasonable method to 'save' other like pieces.

I never felt in too much danger with my finish turning as the RPMs were incredibly low and I wasn't going to turn it long enough for a typical clean finish...just enough so to speak.  The resin is heavy-bodied enough to fill the cracks nicely and the run-off was quite manageable with a little practice and waiting for the resin to partially set.  In its final curing stages now...the piece, with cracks still visible, has the appearance of being completely encased in plastic.  Not a look I would normally go nor something I'd recommend for every turner but like I said, maybe a useful technique for those one or two pieces not too far gone and whose beauty you want to keep, cracks and all.
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Bert Delisle
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #1 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 12:10am
 
Great that you can save a bowl blank.
I use West System Epoxy on many projects with good success. I like to use the slow setting mix as it has more time to soak down into the fine cracks, in fact it will leak out of the wood in places that doesn't appear to have flaw. Masking tape to the rescue, once cured it seems to be very stable and turns easily.
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #2 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 11:26am
 
I just did some quick reads on that brand Bert...thank you for sharing.  I used a kit from the local craft shop and certianly doesn't appea to be of this grade/caliber.  Added to my bookmarks for future use...again, thanks.  John
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Ed Weber
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #3 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 11:55am
 
I have seen a few people use epoxy as a final finish.
The slow cure is definitely needed. Many use a home made (rotisserie motor) finishing station for the slower rpms.
There was even a segment on a recent episode of This Old House ( or Ask This Old House ) where a woodworker used polyurethane glue as a final finish.
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John Cepko
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #4 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 4:42pm
 
John Grace wrote on Jun 11th, 2017 at 11:26am:
I just did some quick reads on that brand Bert...thank you for sharing.  I used a kit from the local craft shop and certianly doesn't appea to be of this grade/caliber.  Added to my bookmarks for future use...again, thanks.  John




It can be found at your local West Marine on the shelf with their fiberglass supplies.

Side note, beautiful dog in your avatar.
I have one that looks alot like yours, and he is a rescue of unknown mix.
Do you know what breed(s) yours is?
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John Grace
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #5 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 5:27pm
 
John...my 'best friend' is a Greater Swiss Mountain' dog mix.  He's not a purebreed and has some hound in him.  The Swissy is a fantastic breed...less playful and more aloof than Labs but don't require being underfoot 24/7.  Even though he's not a pure bred, my guy weighs in at about 95 pounds...purebreds will weigh at or around 135 for males.  You may be familiar with their more popular cousins, the Bernese Mountain Dog.  The Swissy is the biggest in group though they look smaller than the 'Berner' as the have shorter hair.

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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #6 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 5:28pm
 
Oh and, my buddy is named Tucker...
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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John Cepko
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #7 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 6:29pm
 
Tucker is a handsome dog.
My Teddy has people guessing German Shorthair Pointer without the spots all the time.
I guess We will have to get DNA tested to find out for sure.
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Ron Denton
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Re: Epoxy Resin: Proof of Concept...
Reply #8 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 5:42pm
 
I'm using the self-leveling resin designed for use on table tops; it's relatively thin and flows deep into the cracks and any mixing bubbles rise to the top and pop, leaving a smooth surface. I used it on this turkey call to fill the knot hole; it holds the loose wood in, fills the gaps and leaves the character all while turning nicely.
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