Fixing Cracks in Bar Epoxy Finish

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garlanre
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Fixing Cracks in Bar Epoxy Finish

Postby garlanre » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:32 am

I have this tree stump table from the sixties. It has "jewels" stuck in the cracks of the wood and secured there with a thick coat of epoxy. It's kind of cool except that the epoxy has cracked in several places. We're talking major cracks, all the way down to the wood. I would like to fix the cracks. I looked on Youtube, and I couldn't find anything about how to restore old epoxy. But they did talk about using a heat gun to get bubbles out of fresh epoxy. I'm thinking that the heat gun idea is pretty good. Maybe the gun would soften the epoxy and I could smooth the cracks out. But before I burn the house down or asphyxiate myself, I thought I'd check with you. Do you have a better idea?
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AsonnyA
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Postby AsonnyA » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:45 am

See page 10, here: http://www.itwplexus.com/UserFiles/File ... onding.pdf

Epoxies will soften, but not melt, so heating it will not likely help, too much, for refilling the gaps/cracks.

Is it the epoxy that cracked or the wood contracted (dried), causing the gaps between the wood and epoxy?

I'm thinking, installing dutchmans, or some kind of cleat (as with guitar repairs) on the bottom surface, then filling the cracks with more epoxy, but this type of repair is really alien to me. Maybe consulting with a guitar repair specialist would be helpful.

Sonny

garlanre
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Thank you, Sonny!

Postby garlanre » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:45 pm

The table is from the 1970s and it was stored in a shed for awhile and was subjected to wide temperature fluctuations. The wood itself is not cracked, but it may have expanded and contracted to cause the cracks. Or maybe epoxy expands and contracts. I don't know, but the cracks are deep. They go right down to the wood.

I will contact the folks you recommended to see if anything can be done. Otherwise, the cracks will become part of the table's vintage charm. Again, thank you for your help.

AsonnyA
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Postby AsonnyA » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:22 am

I'm still wondering why your slabs have cracked/split. I wouldn't mind knowing what the problem is and how to fix it.

Another contact option is to do a search for Slab Furniture or Live Edge Furniture, to find makers of this type of furniture.... there are quite a few. Not sure if they will advise you, but it wouldn't hurt to try getting related problem-info from them. I would suspect they have had similar issues.

I've made ER cedar slab tables, but have never used epoxy, nor have I tried filling gaps. I haven't had any gap problems or expansion/contraction problems.....yet! The slabs I've cut seem to remain solid, not check, so for. Example: Book-matched ER cedar slabs - http://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/7327627522/

I've cut cypress and live oak slabs and those slabs checked badly, so I've never made any slab tables with those. I think those checking problems were drying related, not exansion/contraction related, specifically.

Sonny


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