Hi. I have a table project going together and my mortise/tenon fit turned
out looser than I like. ( HOW it got there is a whole other story! ) My
question concerns an adhesive that would help me fill any voids. A fellow
named Ed stated that epoxy fills gaps. What ( name brand ) would I look for?
Does Gorilla Glue fit this category? Thanks in advance. JWH
Gorilla glue is a polyurathane glue, that foams and fill joints that way.
The foam is not structural, however. If it's just a one-time thing, you can
get epoxy at most hardware stores, probably close to the glue. Usually,
it's a two part system. For small applications, you can get a "double
syringe" type thing, that mixes things together for you. If you plan on
making your mortises too large on a regular basis, you can buy the stuff in
bulk at Lee Valley (and other places). West Systems is a big name in epoxy,
(watch the wrap).
PS: Keep in mind that I've never actually used this stuff for anything. All
the above is from memory, and from reading in here.
They are for laminating epoxy, but glue is a whole different thing.
Laminating epoxy is almost like water; it has to penetrate all the small
spaces in the fiberglass when brushed on.
Glue is thick and viscous because it has to stay where you put it; but even
glue will tend to flow out of a loose joint unless you somehow stop it. So,
yes, it will fill gaps; but you have to keep it in the gap while it hardens!
I use System 3 for most of my epoxy needs and once mixed it has a very
light amber color. Once mixed with wood dust it pretty much takes on the
tone of the dust color used.
If you have doubts about how it may look, as PaullyRad is so often
paraphrased, "Test on scrap otherwise you'll be testing on your
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
Properly done using epoxy and microballoons will create a joint that will be
far stronger than the wood pieces involved.
Forget Gorilla glue, it is polyurethane based, is gap filling, but does not
provide structural capability.
Go to the library and get the Gougeon brothers book on boat building.
It is devoted to the proper use of epoxy for all types of applications
including furniture and will give you lots of good info.
S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
While I haven't used WestSystem epoxy yet, I called their factory the
other day and talked to tech support. Very helpful and informative.
Check out their web site http://www.westsystem.com/ . You will find
they have a "system" of epoxy consisting of different curing speed
hardeners and assorted fillers. No one in the area had any resin, just
hardener, so I ended up using some 15 minute HobbyPoxy from the local
In general, the slower curing epoxies should "soak" into the wood and
make a stronger joint. I use denatured alcohol to clean up uncured
epoxy. I also use masking tape to help keep the epoxy where I want it
while it cures. Use a polyethylene type of plastic to cover the area
you're working on - it doesn't stick to that. A good way to mix it is
to use a plastic milk container and cut a piece 2 or 3 inches square
(depending on how much you need) or a plastic cup (not styrofoam). I
cut some spreaders/mixers from a heavier style of plastic bottle and
throw it all away when I'm done.
I missed the original question, but re filling gaps with epoxy, I do
it all the time 'cause I get gaps all the time!
I have settled on System 3 which also gives you a single epoxy resin
and different hardeners for different cure times. I got System 3's
wood flour, which is very fine and quite light in color. Additionally,
I bought some small jars of System 3's pigmented resins, which are the
epoxy resin part with pigments ground in.
Mixed with resin, even in large amounts, it will look darker because
of a "wetting effect", you know what I mean!? I needed it for some
birchm and added a very small amount of white epoxy resin which made
the mix a bit lighter than the surrounding wood, which is good-
I just happen to use System 3, so that's the one I talk about. 'Course
if S-3 wants to reward me for naming them, I'm right here :-)
I love epoxy for fixing things in just about any material but it takes a little
work. Be sure it is well mixed and work it into both surfaces well before you
mate them. There are basically 3 types.
There is a thick liquid, similar to what they use for table tops. Ace sells it
in small tubes but it comes in anything up to gallon jugs and drums.
You have pastes like J-B Weld that tend to stay where you put them but might
There are also compounds that are like clay and they stay where you stick them.
If these are blind holes and you can position them upright I would use the
liquid, work it into both surfaces then add a little extra and shove them
together. I am not sure how you would ever get it apart.
If you can't hold this upright go with a paste. Look around for something
lighter in color than J-B if you think you will slop a little out. It is dark
I doubt the clay type will work well on wood at all.
On 8-Oct-2003, firstname.lastname@example.orgGreg (Gfretwell) wrote:
You can use the liquid and a thickening agent (aka thixotrope). Wood flour
will work as will a number of products sold specifically for use with epoxies.
Some folks even use wheat flour. Which type you use can affect the colour
and workability, including how well it sands after hardening.
Clearcote Corp. 727-898-8611
4242 31st St N
St Petersburg, FL 33714 Product 1114
This is really good epoxy for gap filling.
It's waterproof and has a strong bond
and doesn't require much clamping
pressure. Comes in 2 tubs, you mix
two approximately equal dabs. And
it sands pretty good, too. Downside-
very difficult to remove from skin, wear
gloves and don't wash up with laquer
thinner, use gritty hand soap. It's like
West System, only thicker. Also,
which is nice - you get a 45 min. to
1 hr. working time. Got to place another
On 9-Oct-2003, email@example.com (BUB 209) wrote:
Best to wear several layers of gloves. If the outer one
becomes contaminated with epoxy and gunk, just peel it off
and you have another clean one underneath.
Vinegar is a good way to remove epoxy from skin if it hasn't
completely cured. Less damaging to skin than acetone, thinners
and other stuff. Repeated exposure to uncured epoxy can develop
an allergy - avoid contact with skin as much as possible.
My preference in gloves are the nitrile. More expensive than
latex or vinyl, but tough and resistant to a lot of chemicals.
Don't use with ketones (catalyst in polyester and vinylester
resins) or analine dyes.
Others have given you good advice on the use of epoxy and fillers,
but I'd like to offer a suggestion for a simple fix for tenons.
Depending on how loose they are, you can glue veneer to the tenon to
shim it, or you can apply glue to the tenon and take a plane-shaving
and wrap it around it and let it dry. (Repeat as necessary, letting
the shaving/glue dry completely before adding another.)
Just another way to skin a cat.
No on the Gorilla glue.
I used Systems 3 epoxy, but there are many others that will do the job.
Just be sure you have enough working time to fit everything together. The
so called "5 minute" ones are good for a quick fix, but not what I'd
recommend for wood working.
You can use epoxy (West System, or System 3) to fill voids. Don't use
Another technique you might consider is to glue on veneer to the tenon
cheeks and refit them to their mortises. If you brush some yellow glue
onto the tenon and let it dry, then cut a thin piece of veneer to fit
the tenon. Use a household iron and iron the thin veneer to the cheek of
the tenon. The yellow glue is thermoplastic and will be reactivated with
Epoxy will fill a gap and still be strong. Gorilla glue and other
polyurethane glues will foam up and fill the gap but the joint will
not be strong. If the tenons are not too loose you could take a plane
shaving and insert it alongside th tenon on the loose face, or even
wrap the tenon with a shaving if necessary; Then you could use regular
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