Fixing cracks in wooden "quoins" (corner blocks) in Italianate house...


Our 140yr old Italianate house has beautiful wooden quoins forming the corners of the house. Each side of the corner looks like a series of blocks with raised panel centers.
Unfortunately, many of the quoins now have horizontal cracks in the wood up to 1/8" or so wide. I would like to repair rather than replace them since matching the detail and quality of wood would be very expensive.
I could obviously just have a field day with caulk, but I was wondering whether there was a better way of restoring the wood. I considered using a wood epoxy but wondered whether the gaps are too narrow and how it will behave under seasonal contraction/expansion.
So any suggestions on how to patch up these cracks?
Thanks!!!
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blueman wrote:

Epoxy would work as would Bondo. If you keep up on the maintenance and make sure the quoins are painted and caulked where necessary that will keep the contraction and expansion to a minimum, and you won't have to worry about the epoxy or Bondo falling out.
And thanks for using the correct spelling of quoins!
R
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Just to clarify, are you suggesting that wood epoxy or bondo are BETTER than caulk or that they would work too. The reason I am asking is that caulk would be easier but I want to do it right.

were properly called, let alone spelled!
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blueman wrote:

Depends on the caulk. Latex shrinks too much, but it's the easiest to apply. A low modulus polyurethane would probably be my first choice. Something like Sikaflex 15LM.
R
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blueman wrote:
> Just to clarify, are you suggesting that wood epoxy or bondo are > BETTER than caulk or that they would work too. The reason I am asking > is that caulk would be easier but I want to do it right.
A couple of points of clarification.
First of all, I don't have a clue about what is the best way to make these repairs.
As far as caulk is concerned, SikaFlex has an excellent tech service group in Detroit and have an 800#.
I'd start with them.
Second, there is a world of difference between thickened epoxy and Bondo.
Bondo is polyester resin loaded with talc to thicken it.
Polyester is NOT an adhesive, does not add strength, but rather dead weight, which is probably not a major concern for this application.
Epoxy thickened with micro-balloons is an adhesive and adds structural strength.
Have fun.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

I realize it's not primarily marketed as an adhesive, but it does stick to sheet metal. The OP is not gluing things together anyway, he's filling a gap. Almost anything would work - rock putty, exterior spackle, etc.
R
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RicodJour wrote:
> I realize it's not primarily marketed as an adhesive, but it does stick > to sheet metal.
Actually, Bondo doesn't stick to sheet metal very well at at all.
That's the reason they poke holes in the sheet metal. It gives the Bondo someplace to mechanically grab the sheet metal.
What Bondo really has going for it is low cost and the ability to be feathered out to a very fine edge.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

If it didn't stick to sheet metal well you wouldn't be able to featheredge the stuff. Sticking to sheetmetal that's experiencing big changes in temperature and fairly extreme vibrations is much tougher on the adhesion than sticking it in a crack. Essentially all of the Bondo would be mechanically interlocked - just like those holes drilled in the sheetmetal.
But I think we agree that Bondo wouldn't be our first choice in the OP's situation.
R
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RicodJour wrote:
> But I think we agree that Bondo wouldn't be our first choice in the > OP's situation.
I don't have a clue how to solve the problem at hand, but if you live in the "Rust Belt" for a while and see all those hulks of sheet metal driving around with the Bondo patches that have fallen off after a couple of years, you soon lose any interest in the stuff except to fix up junkers and dump them.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Oh, absolutely! Bondo is applied in some horrific ways by people that wouldn't be able to wet the paper bag much less break out of it. I'm always tickled by the people that use Bondo and drive around like that - no primer, exposed to the weather - and expect it to last.
R
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RicodJour wrote:
> Oh, absolutely! Bondo is applied in some horrific ways by people that > wouldn't be able to wet the paper bag much less break out of it. I'm > always tickled by the people that use Bondo and drive around like that > - no primer, exposed to the weather - and expect it to last.
SFWIW, Bondo is owned by RPM, who among other things, also own Rust-Oleum, and has their corporate headquarters on a farm located on StRt3, about half way between Medina, OH and Brunswick, OH.
Trust me, there is no Bondo showing on the fleet in that parking lot.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Bondo really isn't all that cheap compared to many caulks and fillers in the market. And in fact, it does adhere to metal very well, and for that reason alone it can be feathered seamlessly. You might want to visit an auto body supply store some day and look at the array of remarkable products these tradesmen have at their disposal. MinWax among others has wood restoration products available based on polyester (Bondo) chemistry. The trick seems to be soakng the damaged wood with a solvent based resin to harden it and then building up the resulting reinforced wood with the polyester compound. My personal experiewnce with it repairing aged porch posts has been very good. HTH
Joe
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You can see my take on all these materials here:
http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/library/OHJEpoxy2004/OHJEpoxy2004.htm
You can see filling cracks (aka "checks) in wood here:
http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Windows
and learn more about doing wood epoxy repairs here:
http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Wood-Epoxy%20Repairs
and join further discussions on wood-epoxy repairs here:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4
John by hammer and hand great works do stand
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