Water/Swamp Gum Epoxy repair Gone Wrong?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by robscastle posted 08-23-2015 09:08 PM 909 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View robscastle's profile


5388 posts in 2380 days

08-23-2015 09:08 PM

I had a slab length of Water/Swamp Gum a friend and I used to make a breakfast bar.
The piece we used is on the left bearing the 270 chalk mark

We milled it up and needed to Epoxy some defects.

I used West System Epoxy and sawdust from the slab to effect the repairs.

The West System Epoxy.

The sawdust used.

Take particular note of the area I have added a drop of water to.

The result.

To my horror the repair was way darker than I had expected, my friend although was not too concerned so it stayed as is.

We did various fills along the bench top and this one in the sap line was not so contrasting.

The top has had its first coat of thinned finish and has been steel woolled so its a bit rough at the moment

Degoose dropped by that day so out of concern and for a valued opinion I showed him.
Larry replied, Well if I didnt know any better I would have said you used the wrong filler in it.
After checking out various other posts their results are slightly darker but not as such a deeper difference as this one.

Timber by courtesy of Jock Sloan

Posted for General Information

-- Regards Rob

5 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile


1216 posts in 2128 days

#1 posted 08-23-2015 10:39 PM

I am not certain that there wasn’t some sort of chemical reaction darkening the filler, but I have found that home brewed fillers made from mixing sawdust with glue always end up way darker than the main field of the wood. All wood is an open, porous structure and your eye sees the natural diffuse reflextion of light. The sawdust/epoxy mix dries into a uniform, dense material and the appearance is the surface and the color is different than the wood you are filling. I have had great success filling a small tear out on a dovetail with the glue and sawdust mix, but on close inspection you can still see that it is totally different than the surrounding wood. In a large, open field like yours, the appearance just doesn’t match. It is like comparing a piece of plastic to your piece of wood. Even if the color is identical, the appearance of the surface is never the same.

In your case it does look like there is even a major change in the color. The epoxy might be acidic or basic and the pH change could alter the color of natural pigments in the wood. There may be metals in the epoxy mixture that interact with tannins in the wood to create a dark color. Hard to tell at this point.

The long “streak” actually looks pretty nice. It adds character. The other irregular spot doesn’t look as nice. Can you rout it out and install an inlay of the matching wood?

View robscastle's profile


5388 posts in 2380 days

#2 posted 08-24-2015 07:11 AM

The re routing is certainly an option, I should suggest it to the customer and see if they are OK with it.
Personally that is what I would do if it was mine.

-- Regards Rob

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2773 days

#3 posted 08-24-2015 12:15 PM

Rob; I have done exactly the same. Now I just add the epoxy and let the natural wood texture show thru. Slab wood is always an adventure to work with, but the end results are amazing.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2183 days

#4 posted 08-24-2015 04:16 PM

It sure seem that no matter WHAT COLOR wood fill you buy, it ALWAYS dries darker than what the can or bottle say! I have yet to find ANY filler that will stay as light as pine or maple when it dries. Even using the superglue with sawdust from the same piece of wood being filled, the filler dries way darker. For me, it’s been a “No win” study so far

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2866 days

#5 posted 08-25-2015 12:12 AM

Timbermate color matched grain filler does the best job matching the surrounding wood in my hands (but I’ve never used it to fill a BIG space.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics