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Forum topic by TimHopson posted 03-12-2018 04:52 PM 702 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TimHopson

18 posts in 595 days


03-12-2018 04:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question spiderwebs mold fungus removal cedar rustic

Hey guys, I need some help.
What I have to show you today is a slab of locally (Florida) sourced cedar. Ultimately, this will be the seat of a beautiful (fingers crossed) bench.
when I picked out the slab, I thought that I was seeing spiderwebs…now I’m not so sure.
So these are the questions:
Can any of you tell me A) what the white fibrous stuff is and B) how to get rid of it?

-- Converting quality wood into kindling since 2014!


15 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1005 posts in 190 days


#1 posted 03-12-2018 04:59 PM

the brown crumbly stuff is your standard dry rot. (which is notorious in aromatic red cedar).
I would guess [without seeing it in person] the white stuff is mold.
you can try a spot test of bleach on the white mold and see if that kills it.
a good coat of epoxy will make everything become solid and not spread.

what are your plans ?? fill the void with epoxy then process it into the bench ?
if that is the “no show” side, just fill it with epoxy and finish the other show side.
if you want this side to be your “show side”, I think it would be a good candidate
for large butterfly keys of a contrasting wood to make that piece really POP !!!

Nature’s Damage and Defects can become our eye candy.

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View WyattCo's profile

WyattCo

86 posts in 132 days


#2 posted 03-12-2018 05:05 PM

Ditto on what Mr. Smith said. But I’d hit it with a bleach/water mix in a bug sprayer followed by a garden hose after 15 to 20 minutes.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117126 posts in 3604 days


#3 posted 03-12-2018 05:16 PM

View Rich's profile

Rich

3009 posts in 617 days


#4 posted 03-12-2018 05:54 PM

Rather than a putty, I’d use epoxy since it is liquid and will flow down deep into those crevasses to not only fill them, but to bond the wood for strength. I do a lot of filling with epoxy on mesquite and have found the results to be rock solid.

If you do go with epoxy, you’ll need to tape off that end so the epoxy doesn’t flow out. I’ve found stucco tape to be the best. Some brands aren’t much different than duct tape, but 3M Stucco Tape 3226 is very flexible plastic with a super sticky adhesive that pulls off cleanly and the epoxy doesn’t stick to it. I apply it and rub it into the grain with a stiff brush and it seals the best of any other tape I’ve tried. If you don’t get a good seal, the epoxy will leak out. I also recommend doing multiple pours. You don’t want any of the layers of epoxy to be thicker than maybe 1/4” due to exothermic reaction.

Oh, and you want to use the slowest curing hardener you can get. West Systems and System Three both have different hardeners available. System Three offers pigments in several colors if you decide you want to go that route.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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TimHopson

18 posts in 595 days


#5 posted 03-12-2018 06:43 PM

great info, guys! I’m concerned about using bleach, though. I love the color of the wood and the last thing I want to do is ruin or distort it.
Yes, I am considering epoxy, I just did some cedar shelves with it and I love the look. That said, they were my first attempt and I have some concerns going forward that I’ll address when i post that project.
As for the rot, the guy I bought the slab from had a finished slab in his paint room and we claimed that all he used on is was water based wood hardener…which I had never heard of so he showed it to me. He said he uses it to stabilize the rot so that it doesn’t fall out. then he just sands it to a fine finish…looked like 1000 grit finish but with a damp look. Now, I’m not calling him a liar but the bottle itself says ‘dries translucent’ so I’m… hesitant.
this is the bottle he said he uses…you guys ever use this stuff?

-- Converting quality wood into kindling since 2014!

View TimHopson's profile

TimHopson

18 posts in 595 days


#6 posted 03-12-2018 06:47 PM

John Smith,
I dig the butterfly keys but those are outside my current skill set. And yes, I agree that they would look geat.

-- Converting quality wood into kindling since 2014!

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1005 posts in 190 days


#7 posted 03-12-2018 07:33 PM

Tim – look up the description for: transparent ~ translucent ~ opaque
to put your mind at ease as to what finish or repair product suits your project best.

practice the butterfly key technique on some scrap wood – I think you will find they are quite easy
with a little practice. a sharp carving knife (X-Acto blade) and a small router will do the job.
.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View TimHopson's profile

TimHopson

18 posts in 595 days


#8 posted 03-12-2018 07:45 PM

John – That’s just it…translucent could mean anything from cloudy to…yellow tinted. To me, cedar is at it’s best when wet and in my (limited) experience thus far, BLO is very good, shellac is better, but resin is the best.
As for the butterfly keys….is the strength of the key wood a big factor, or can you pretty much just go for looks?

-- Converting quality wood into kindling since 2014!

View TimHopson's profile

TimHopson

18 posts in 595 days


#9 posted 03-12-2018 07:49 PM

Rich,
I just posted a project with epoxy. It was my first attempt and i love the way it looks…but I have a lot of room for improvement. If you’re up for it, I’d love to pick your brain.


Rather than a putty, I d use epoxy since it is liquid and will flow down deep into those crevasses to not only fill them, but to bond the wood for strength. I do a lot of filling with epoxy on mesquite and have found the results to be rock solid.

If you do go with epoxy, you ll need to tape off that end so the epoxy doesn t flow out. I ve found stucco tape to be the best. Some brands aren t much different than duct tape, but 3M Stucco Tape 3226 is very flexible plastic with a super sticky adhesive that pulls off cleanly and the epoxy doesn t stick to it. I apply it and rub it into the grain with a stiff brush and it seals the best of any other tape I ve tried. If you don t get a good seal, the epoxy will leak out. I also recommend doing multiple pours. You don t want any of the layers of epoxy to be thicker than maybe 1/4” due to exothermic reaction.

Oh, and you want to use the slowest curing hardener you can get. West Systems and System Three both have different hardeners available. System Three offers pigments in several colors if you decide you want to go that route.

- Rich


-- Converting quality wood into kindling since 2014!

View Rich's profile

Rich

3009 posts in 617 days


#10 posted 03-12-2018 08:14 PM


Rich,
I just posted a project with epoxy. It was my first attempt and i love the way it looks…but I have a lot of room for improvement. If you re up for it, I d love to pick your brain.

- TimHopson

I’m happy to help any way I can. My experience with epoxy is limited to filling, not coating. From the looks of your shelf project you’ve got that down though. That came out really nice.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2873 posts in 2542 days


#11 posted 03-12-2018 08:15 PM

The end grain picture you posted showed that the rot goes almost all the way through. You also have rot under the good wood to the right of the main rotted area.
I also see rot in spaces here and there all up the face. In other words, this piece is fairly well gone.

Epoxy or not, in my mind, as a seat of a bench, I’d be looking for a new plank. So you fill this with epoxy, and two or three people sit on it. Will it still hold 200-300 lbs. without coming apart?

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1005 posts in 190 days


#12 posted 03-12-2018 08:17 PM

As for the butterfly keys….is the strength of the key wood a big factor,
or can you pretty much just go for looks?

in my limited experience, both are applicable.
if the wood is saturated with epoxy as Rich suggests, the epoxy is the foundation of the repair
and the butterfly is mostly decorative.
when there is not much epoxy used, the butterfly keeps the crack from getting bigger – as well as decorative.
Actually – I never used the term “butterfly” until just a few years ago.
in the wooden boat world – we used the term “Duchman” for the same thing.

Butterfly Joint:
A Dovetail key, Dutchman Joint, or Butterfly joint is a type of joint (patch) used either to hold two or more
wooden boards together or to keep two halves of a board that have already started to split from splitting further.
They may also be used to stabilize the core of a knothole, preventing it from dropping out over time.
They are also commonly used as decorative inlays for non structural aesthetic purposes.

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1005 posts in 190 days


#13 posted 03-14-2018 04:44 PM

Tim – I really didn’t catch the part of where this guy told you to use the bonding agent til now.

As for the rot, the guy I bought the slab from had a finished slab in his paint room
and he claimed that all he used on is was water based wood hardener…which I had
never heard of so he showed it to me.
He said he uses it to stabilize the rot so that it doesn’t fall out. then he just sands it to a fine finish

okay – what he is using is all water (latex) based materials ~ not epoxy. (thus the translucent finish).
the bonding agent is like Elmer’s white glue that has been modified to facilitate the bonding of materials
like concrete, plaster, stucco, etc. After the bonding agent sets, then he would apply the waterbased
wood hardener. If he is achieving good results with these products – good for him.
water based agents must evaporate for satisfactory results – they do not “cure” like two part resins (epoxy).
in my thought pattern, once the water based products go into the wood fibers, it may take days or weeks
to dry because the deeper it goes into the wood, the less air it will have to properly “dry”.
in the winter time, temperature and humidity will have a dramatic effect on satisfactory results.
BUT – DO NOT use a latex water based bonding agent with epoxy or polyester resin.
there is a large following of epoxy repairs on wood – with many different techniques and good results.
as with in any adhesive family – you must stay within that family to achieve satisfactory results.
anyone that is not sure of a product and its uses should do a LOT of research prior to use on a
one-of-a-kind project. Read, understand and follow the instructions on the products you use.


Water-based wood hardener to restore and strengthen soft or rotted wood in
non-structural areas such as window sills, frames, trim, and decorative beams
Can also be used to prepare old wood for priming and painting, and helps seal wood
from future damage. Continuous service temperature range from 33 to 200 degrees F

.

.

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View TimHopson's profile

TimHopson

18 posts in 595 days


#14 posted 03-14-2018 07:58 PM

John
Thanks for all the info!

It occurs to me that, in my excitement to start a new project, I may have talked myself inot a piece that, while beautiful, just isn’t right for what I need. The bench was only ever meant to be decorative but still. I think I’ll be better served by switching from ‘bench’ to ‘mantel’!
Again, thanks for all the info, I’ll be backing looking for more in no time!
Tim


Tim – I really didn t catch the part of where this guy told you to use the bonding agent til now.

As for the rot, the guy I bought the slab from had a finished slab in his paint room
and he claimed that all he used on is was water based wood hardener…which I had
never heard of so he showed it to me.
He said he uses it to stabilize the rot so that it doesn’t fall out. then he just sands it to a fine finish

okay – what he is using is all water (latex) based materials ~ not epoxy. (thus the translucent finish).
the bonding agent is like Elmer s white glue that has been modified to facilitate the bonding of materials
like concrete, plaster, stucco, etc. After the bonding agent sets, then he would apply the waterbased
wood hardener. If he is achieving good results with these products – good for him.
water based agents must evaporate for satisfactory results – they do not “cure” like two part resins (epoxy).
in my thought pattern, once the water based products go into the wood fibers, it may take days or weeks
to dry because the deeper it goes into the wood, the less air it will have to properly “dry”.
in the winter time, temperature and humidity will have a dramatic effect on satisfactory results.
BUT – DO NOT use a latex water based bonding agent with epoxy or polyester resin.
there is a large following of epoxy repairs on wood – with many different techniques and good results.
as with in any adhesive family – you must stay within that family to achieve satisfactory results.
anyone that is not sure of a product and its uses should do a LOT of research prior to use on a
one-of-a-kind project. Read, understand and follow the instructions on the products you use.


Water-based wood hardener to restore and strengthen soft or rotted wood in
non-structural areas such as window sills, frames, trim, and decorative beams
Can also be used to prepare old wood for priming and painting, and helps seal wood
from future damage. Continuous service temperature range from 33 to 200 degrees F

.

.

.

- John Smith


-- Converting quality wood into kindling since 2014!

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6901 posts in 3395 days


#15 posted 03-15-2018 12:50 AM

Interesting forum!
I am getting to the point where I have some dry rot too!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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