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sealing end grain

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Blog entry by harum posted 03-04-2016 05:35 AM 981 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I want to seal the end grain on several redwood Adirondack chairs and planter boxes to slow down the rotting process and other moisture damage. Didn’t want to buy expensive sealing epoxy just for this. Tested System Three Epoxy with #2 Hardener on the end grain of four different species.

Fresh mixed epoxy is quite runny and it kept soaking into the end grain of all samples for about an hour or so; I applied more epoxy of the same mix a few times over an hour. After about two hours the epoxy gelled. The samples were cured for a day and then split on the TS to reveal the cross section.

Here is what I saw.

Cherry: the epoxy penetrated about 1/32” deep, with some streaks going deeper.

Poplar: epoxy barely went inside, about 1/64” deep, at most.

Douglass Fir: epoxy barely penetrated the late wood, can’t see much; however, went 1/8”-3/16” deep into the early wood.

Redwood: wicked in quite a lot of epoxy—about 1/8”, late wood didn’t soak up much.

Maroon stripe above samples mark the area where the epoxy was applied.

Overall, I guess System Three Epoxy with #2 Hardener works for my purposes and I’ll be sealing the end grain on the outdoor woodwork with it. Alternatively, #3 Hardener gives even a thinner epoxy, it would be interesting to see if it would go deeper. However, it requires long curing times at relatively warm temperatures.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."



5 comments so far

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1809 posts in 2545 days


#1 posted 03-04-2016 12:53 PM

Good info. Thanks.

-- Chris K

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7170 posts in 2262 days


#2 posted 03-04-2016 03:05 PM

If you are into System Three, you should give S1 sealer a try. It is designed to do this and will out-penetrate any epoxy out there. I have used it for years. It is one of the products that System Three acquired when they took over Industrial Formulators of Canada.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View harum's profile

harum

216 posts in 1107 days


#3 posted 03-04-2016 03:28 PM

Thanks Paul!

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

330 posts in 1433 days


#4 posted 03-04-2016 06:28 PM

You will have to UV protect the epoxy in an outdoor application. Un protected epoxy will degrade quite quickly in sunlight.

View harum's profile

harum

216 posts in 1107 days


#5 posted 03-04-2016 08:49 PM

Yes, I finished the outdoor furniture with penetrating oil from Messmer’s. Just wanted to give an extra seal to the end grain that may come in contact with cement, much more exposure to moisture there than to the UV.

I left a 3/4”x8”x8” face-sawn poplar cut-off outside on a cement step at the back door, open to the rain and sun. Guess which way it cupped after it rained (and it stayed cupped this way for a month or so of dry weather)?

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

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