Is there a good process for treating very light, porous wood (like
balsa, light driftwood, basswood) to harden the surface? I'm thinking
that there must be something that would be absorbed, then polymerize.
But it would have to start off low enough viscosity to permeate the
I know that heavy two-part surface coats (epoxy, polyester) could
essentially 'plate' the surface, but I'm hoping for something that
would integrate with the wood to be just a bit more natural.
I am not sure it this is what you are looking for. There is a product called
Wood Hardener, I believe it is made by Minwax. I have seen it in all the
Borgs. It is in with the stains and polys.
I believe the product is a treatment to harden decayed wood.
A lot of modelers use CA (cyanoacrylate, superglue) to harden balsa. There
are several thicknesses; thin would work best for this. You could also use
epoxy thinned with isopropyl alcohol (100% IPA from the hardware store, not
the watered-down stuff from the drug store).
Woodturners turn some pretty punky wood. For small areas
thin CA glue works but for larger stuff there's a product I
think is called pentacryl or something like that. Immerse, soak
for several hours, dry and turn.
Thanks to all for the replies. Looks like a couple recommendations for
cyanoacrylate. That would require a lot of superglue though.
Thanks. I found this:
It looks like Polycryl would be closer to this app. Also, it says
Pentacryl could take from 2 weeks to a couple years to dry (!) so
that's not good. Not sure about drying time for Polycryl.
That's the kind of product that I was thinking of though.
Epoxies like System 3 are fairly low viscosity and because they are slow
cure, they soak into the wood well. You can lower the viscosity more by
adding a little ethanol, but I don't think that is necessary.
On Sat, 16 Aug 2008 16:24:25 -0500, "David Hajicek"
Sounds like you have had good luck with that stuff. I'll try to find
They have several products. Which are you referring to above? I'm
guess that it's "Clear Coat":
BTW, I found that they have a 'rot fix' product that may help. The
wood isn't rotted, but same kind of thing:
Where do you buy it, David?
If the epoxy is really slow cure (like 24 hour), it has time to evaporate
before the epoxy is really hard. But the stuff we talked about wicks into
the wood pretty well on it's own without being thinned.
May I assume an epoxy, thinned or not, would give a stronger end result
than super glue? I've not found super glue to be all that strong as a
physical body. That is, assuming it is built up to have some body.
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