Other Uses
000-425
Epoxy’s
Other Uses
Suggestions for Household Repair
First Edition
WEST SYSTEM Epoxy has been used to reliably build and
repair boats for over thirty-five years. But its practical
uses are not limited to boats or the marine industry. The
techniques used to restore an aging runabout, repair a
delaminated fiberglass deck or build a stripper canoe are
the same techniques used to restore historic buildings,
repair damaged vehicles and build weatherproof outdoor furniture. If you’ve used epoxy on a boat repair or
building project, it’s likely you’ve found other uses for it
around your house or shop.
This is an introduction to some of the more common
non-marine uses of epoxy. Most of these suggestions
deal with repair and restoration problems in an architectural or home environment. They’re based on our own
home repair projects and suggestions from epoxy users
like yourself. We hope you’ll be able to adapt these suggestions to your own projects, expand on them and explore new solutions.
Published by Gougeon Brothers, Inc.
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Introduction
These are suggestions and tips for household repair, restoration or building with epoxy. Most of these suggestions are about wood and wood protection, repair or reinforcing. Wood constitutes the largest portion
of most houses. It’s the most vulnerable part of a house and most likely to need repair and protection.
WEST SYSTEM epoxy is ideal for wood repair and
protection. It is highly versatile, and is easily modified for a wide range of household projects. Epoxy
is applied to the project using one of three Basic
Techniques. Each of these techniques offers many
possibilities for use around your house, some of
which are listed below.
Before you start
The procedures for handling and using WEST
SYSTEM epoxy on non-marine projects are the
same as for boat building and repair. If you
have not used epoxy before, read the WEST
SYSTEM User Manual & Product Guide for detailed information. Be sure to read all instructions and warnings on the product labels.
Coating
When working with epoxy, remember to:
WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin-based epoxy is a structural coating. It’s applied in thin
layers, usually unmodified, to provide a protective film or barrier, or a stable
structural base for filling, bonding and finish coatings.
Be Prepared
Use coating techniques to waterproof or seal surfaces that can be damaged by
moisture. It’s particularly beneficial to coat the endgrain of any new or replacement piece of wood near a source of moisture, such as porch posts, sign posts, the
bottom edge of plywood siding or sheathing, endgrain around plumbing openings
in walls, floors and cabinets, or any joint or surface that gets wet and is slow to
dry. Encapsulate and stabilize wood for long lasting finishes on exterior doors,
furniture and signs. Use epoxy to protect metal and electrical parts. Epoxy resists
many chemicals and is a good barrier against oil and grease, acids and alkalines.
Filling
Epoxy thickened with a fairing filler is used to fill low areas and gaps, to shape or
sculpt a surface, and to blend or smooth surrounding surfaces. Filling is most often done after structural assembly or a repair has been completed.
Use filling/fairing techniques to fill voids, bridge gaps, and shape and smooth surfaces in rotted, cracked or damaged wood sills, thresholds, frames, trim. Patch
and level floors before installing tile, carpet or other floor covering. Epoxy thickened with fairing filler can be built up and shaped to duplicate carved architectural details. Epoxy adheres well to metal and it is used as a high-quality auto
body surfacing filler.
Before mixing epoxy:
1. Check all parts for proper fit.
2. Be sure all bonding surfaces are clean and
dry.
3. Sand nonporous surfaces.
4. Keep application tools, paper towels, clamps
and other useful things within reach.
Work Safely
1. Avoid skin contact with resin, hardener or
mixed epoxy. Wear protective clothing.
2. Avoid eye contact with resin, hardener or
mixed epoxy. Wear eye protection.
3. Avoid breathing vapors or sanding dust. Provide adequate ventilation. Wear a dust mask
when sanding epoxy.
4. Read all instructions and safety warnings on
product labels.
5. Keep resins, hardeners, fillers and solvents
out of the reach of children
Mix carefully
Use WEST SYSTEM Mini Pumps to dispense
resin and hardener. Pump one pump stroke of
resin for each stroke of hardener. Mix small
batches. Mix thoroughly. Refer to the hardener container for working and cure times.
Bonding
Epoxy is used unmodified or thickened with an adhesive filler to structurally join
parts of the same or different materials. Bonding techniques include laminating,
hardware and fastener bonding, fabric application and filleting. The materials you
are bonding, the size of the bonding area, the load on the joint and the gap between the parts affect the bonding method you use.
Use bonding techniques for structural joining and joint repair, creating bearing
surfaces and attaching hardware. Laminate straight or curved wooden structural
members, bond scarf joints, fill voids with wooden plugs, repair broken tile and
masonry. Bond anchor bolts into wood, concrete and masonry for engine and motor mounts, attaching columns, posts and handrails. Bond metal reinforcing such
as screws, bolts, threaded rod and reinforcing bar to connect and increase load capability of beams, trusses or columns. Use epoxy with adhesive fillers for bearing
surfaces under columns, beams, machines, thresholds. Bond fabrics to stiffen flexible plywood decks, floors, tables, and other flat panels, reinforce beams, shelves,
tool handles, columns, and flagpoles. Fabrics also provide added film thickness
and abrasion resistance to decks, work surfaces, chutes, bins, or tanks.
1
Caution! The chemical reaction that cures the
epoxy also generates heat. A couple inches of
curing epoxy in a plastic mixing cup can get
hot enough to melt the cup and burn your
skin. Spread the mixture in a shallow pan to
dissipate the heat and extend the working
time.
Work Cleanly
Protect yourself and the work areas from
spills. Remove uncured epoxy from skin and
clothes with a waterless skin cleaner. Remove
excess epoxy from work surfaces with the flat
end of a mixing stick or with paper towels.
Clean residue with solvent.
ΠSealing & Protecting Surfaces
Basic barrier coating/smooth coating • Sealing around sinks
and counter tops • Sealing knots and flaws in trim • Building
abrasion-proof decks • Sealing concrete floors • Sealing plaster and drywall • Sealing wooden posts
 Repairing Rot Damaged Wood
Drilling and filling rotted wood • Excavating and filling rotted
wood • Excavating and replacing rotted wood • Repairing
windows and doors • Repairing thresholds and sills • Molding
trim in place
Ž Joining & Joint Repair
Laminating custom lumber • Repairing cracked and broken
wood • Gluing trim joints • Gluing biscuit joints • Repairing
furniture joints
 Bonding Hardware & Reinforcing Structures
Bonding fasteners • Bonding hardware • Bonding anchor
bolts • Splicing posts and beams • Reinforcing sagging
wooden beams • Bonding sister planks • Building trusses and
beams
 Tile, Masonry, Metal & Plastic
Repairing cracked plaster • Reattaching sagging plaster •
Bonding bricks and stones • Repairing cracked toilet tanks •
Setting tile • Repairing metal and fiberglass auto bodies • Repairing cracked concrete • Bonding PVC plastic
The techniques described in this manual are based on the handling characteristics
and physical properties of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy products. Because physical properties of resin systems and epoxy brands vary, using the techniques in this publication with coatings or adhesives other than WEST SYSTEM is not recommended.
Refer to the current WEST SYSTEM User Manual & Product Guide for complete
product information, and safety and handing information.
Because Gougeon Brothers, Inc. cannot control the use of WEST SYSTEM Brand
products in customer possession, we do not make any warranty of merchantability or any warranty of fitness for a particular use or purpose. In no event, shall
Gougeon Brothers, Inc. be liable for incidental or consequential damages.
Published by Gougeon Brothers, Inc., Bay City, Michigan, USA. All Rights reserved. No part of the contents of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the
publisher.
© September 2008 Gougeon Brothers, Inc.
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E1R6 0908
ΠSealing & Protecting Surfaces
Sealing around sinks and counter tops
Basic barrier coating
Seal the edges of sink and plumbing cutouts in particle board or
plywood counters tops and the the surfaces of high-moisture areas
such as dishwasher compartments. Water from leaks beneath
drop-in sinks and leaks or condensation from water lines or fixtures can penetrate, swell and rot the counter under the laminate.
When repairing damage around sinks and plumbing, shut off the
water source, remove the sink or fixture and thoroughly dry the
area before coating with epoxy. Excavate and fill any rot before
coating.
Coat the edges of backsplash
WEST SYSTEM epoxy is a structural coating. It provides a
strong, stable interface between the base material and other
coatings or other materials bonded with epoxy.
Prepare the surface as necessary for good adhesion. Dispense
only as much resin/hardener as you can apply during the mixture’s open time, and mix thoroughly. Pour the epoxy into a
roller pan. Use a thin foam roller to apply the epoxy in a thin
even film.
before installing.
Smooth coating
Coat the edges of cutouts.
An epoxy barrier coating that will not be exposed to sunlight
requires only good adhesion and an adequate film thickness.
An exposed barrier coat that will be a base for paint or varnish, also requires a smooth, even finish. For the smoothest
coating, remember, the thinner the film thickness, the easier it
is to control the evenness of the film and avoid runs or sags in
each coat—and reduce the amount of sanding required.
When applying the epoxy, roll lightly and randomly over a
small area to transfer the epoxy evenly. Increase pressure
enough to spread the epoxy into a thin even film. Overlap and
blend previously coated areas and finish with long, light, even
strokes to reduce roller marks.
800 Roller Cover can be
cut to narrower widths.
Before painting, coat cabinets interiors
that will have high-moisture levels and
poor air circulation.
Sealing knots and flaws in trim
Use epoxy to seal knots and fill flaws in lower grades of lumber
used for trim. Once it’s sanded and painted, you won’t be able to
tell the difference between it and clear lumber. Mix a batch of epoxy/fairing filler to the consistency of mayonnaise and apply it
like any other wood filler, with a plastic spreader or putty knife.
Epoxy does a better job of sealing knots and pitch pockets than
most wood putties. And it won’t shrink, so one application is usually enough.
Cut half a cover into segments to
make a smoothing brush.
Smooth, or tip off, each batch after it is applied by dragging a
foam brush lightly over the fresh epoxy in long, even, overlapping strokes. Use enough pressure to smooth the stipple, but
not enough to remove any of the coating. Alternate the direction in which each coat is tipped off, 1st coat vertical, 2nd
coat horizontal, 3rd coat vertical, etc. If a batch begins to
thicken before it can be applied, discard it and mix a fresh,
smaller batch.
Epoxy/407 or 410
fairing filler
Apply second and subsequent coats of epoxy following the
same procedures. Make sure the previous coat has gelled
enough to support the weight of the next coat. To avoid sanding between coats, apply all of the coats in the same day. After
the final coat has cured overnight, wash and sand it to prepare
for the final finish.
Seal knots and fill loose
knots and voids.
2
Building abrasion-proof exterior decks
Sealing floors
Add extra toughness and stiffness to surfaces like decks, table tops
and basketball backboards by applying fiberglass fabric in addition
to coating with epoxy. Use exterior-grade plywood. Apply fillets
to inside corners and round over all edges before applying fabric.
Fill voids and sand smooth before coating. For abrasion resistance,
cover surfaces with 12 oz cloth (for heavy duty applications use
737 or 738 Biaxial Fabric). Coat all surfaces with at least three
coats of epoxy, applied in the same day. Allow the final coat to
cure thoroughly, then wash/sand
and paint for UV protection.
Epoxy is used on porch decks and under carpeting and wood
flooring as a moisture barrier and on concrete garage and shop
floors as a finish coating that provides a barrier against grease, oil
and chemicals.
This is not recommended for concrete floors that have serious
moisture problems or floors that have been previously sealed or
contaminated with grease or oil. All of these conditions inhibit
good adhesion. Floors should be clean and dry before coating,
which can be difficult on floors below grade. Thorough cleaning
with detergents may help to clean some stains enough for epoxy
penetration and good adhesion.
To apply a thick coating in one operation, mix a batch of resin
and hardener. Add an epoxy pigment (such as 503 Gray Pigment)
for a solid color finish. Pour the epoxy on the clean concrete
floor, and spread it around evenly with a notched trowel or rubber squeegee. Smooth the coating with a thin foam roller on a
long extension handle. Allow the epoxy to cure thoroughly. Wash
the cured epoxy with an abrasive pad and water, and dry the surface with paper towels, before you apply glue or finish coatings.
Trim excess fabric
after epoxy gels.
Mix a batch of epoxy and
pour it on the floor.
Spread the epoxy evenly with a notched
spreader before smoothing with a roller.
Sealing plaster and drywall
To protect drywall (or plaster) in high-moisture areas like the
shower, coat the drywall with WEST SYSTEM epoxy before painting
or applying tile over it.
If the walls are painted, sand the painted surface thoroughly before applying epoxy. Coat the edges of and, where possible, the
backside of plumbing cutouts to prevent leaks or condensation
from wicking into the drywall. When repairing damage around
plumbing, shut off the water source and thoroughly dry the area
before coating with epoxy.
Use a thin foam roller
to smooth the coating.
Seal drywall in shower
area before tiling.
Seal around
plumbing openings.
Sealing wooden posts
Since porch decks are often wet, the
base of porch columns and posts is a
common place to find rot.
Seal bottom edge
where water sits.
Before installing porch posts and columns,
coat the bottom end grain to prevent water
from wicking up into the post.
Seal the floor below the tub and end grain
of plumbing openings through the floor.
3
 Repairing Rot Damaged Wood
Use WEST SYSTEM epoxy to seal and fill or replace wood damaged
by rot. The first step is inspecting and evaluating the depth of the
rot and the structural effect of the damage. If the piece is not
structural or the damage is shallow, a cosmetic repair may be appropriate. Always dry damaged wood completely before you attempt a repair. For doors, window sashes, railings or other
removable pieces, it’s easier to move the piece to a shop where
you can control the environment and working conditions. For
sills, thresholds and other fixed pieces, the drying, preparation and
repair can be much more difficult. Often with temporary support,
structural members can be removed to make a more thorough repair easier.
Drilling and filling rotted wood
This method is useful where strength is not important and the rotted area is too difficult to reach for excavating and filling or replacement.
Drill a pattern of 3 16" holes spaced 1" apart over the rotted area.
Each hole should be deep enough to pass through the rot, just
into solid wood. On vertical surfaces, drill the holes downward at
a 45° angle. Dry the area thoroughly. Inject or pour epoxy into
the holes until the wood is saturated. For deeper penetration,
warm the wood with a heat gun or heat lamp just before applying
the epoxy. Allow the epoxy to gel and fill the remaining voids
with epoxy/fairing filler. Sand after epoxy cures and paint for UV
protection
Excavating and filling rotted wood
Use a chisel to remove all weak, crumbly wood and leave a clean
cavity with solid wood exposed on all sides. Wet out the repair
area with epoxy, then add a filler to the remaining mixture and
trowel thickened epoxy into the cavity. Fill shallow voids with epoxy/fairing filler. Allow it to cure and sand it to shape. Adhesive
fillers are stronger than fairing fillers and could be used for deeper
voids in hardwoods. Fill the bottom of the void with epoxy/adhesive filler then top off with
epoxy/fairing filler.
Excavate all weak and
damaged wood.
To improve penetration,
warm the wood with a heat
gun before injecting epoxy.
Thinning epoxy with solvents improves
penetration, but reduces its strength and moisture
resistance. Adding 5% laquer thinner will reduce viscosity
60% and reduce compressive strength 35%, which is acceptable
for most non-structural applications.
Excavating and replacing rotted wood
Fill shallow voids
with epoxy/filler.
For cavities deeper than ½", bond in a wooden plug (or dutchman) shaped to match the cavity. This method will restore
strength, save epoxy, and prevent an exothermic reaction.
Use chisel to remove all rotted wood and shape the cavity. Carve
and fit a plug to fill the cavity. A long bevel on each end improves
the strength of the repair. Try to use the same wood or wood of
the same density.
Coat the bonding surfaces of the plug and cavity with epoxy.
Thicken the epoxy with adhesive filler and apply enough of it to
the cavity to fill any voids between the cavity and the plug. Press
the plug into the cavity and if necessary clamp it in place. Wipe
away any excess epoxy that squeezes out. Fill any remaining voids
with epoxy/fairing filler, allow it to cure and sand it to shape.
Fill deeper voids
with wood to reduce the volume of
epoxy.
If the piece is clear finished, select plug material to match the
color, texture and grain of the surrounding surface. You’ll want to
make the plug fit tight around the edges, and leave the plug
slightly high so it can be planed or sanded flush after the epoxy
cures.
A long bevel is stronger
than a short bevel.
4
Repairing windows and doors
This is a widely used method to repair
deteriorated stile/rail joints on window
sashes, paneled doors and other rotted
exterior joints. The example here shows
a typical door repair. Some severely
damaged doors (such as this one) or windows may not be worth repairing unless
they are historically significant or hard
to find.
Use a male mold to help shape inside corners. Cut the mold from scrap to fit into
the glazing recess. Cover all mold surfaces exposed to epoxy with packaging or
duct tape or wrap with plastic. Clamp the mold in position until the epoxy cures.
Steps 5 & 6 (below) shows a mold in place. Step 7 shows the mold removed after
the epoxy/fairing filler has cured.
Fairing compound
Tape covered
male mold
The first four steps show the preparation
of a rotted bottom rail/stile joint. The final four steps show the finish of similar
rot damage at the center rail/stile.
1. Probe with a knife blade
or awl to locate soft wood.
Excavate all soft, decayed
wood. Use a chisel or router
followed by a wire brush to
get down to solid wood.
Glazing recess—seal with
epoxy to prevent decay.
5. Install dowels with thickened epoxy. Apply enough
epoxy/adhesive filler to fill
all voids around the dowels
or rods. Be sure parts are
clamped or resting in their
proper position. Allow the
epoxy to gel.
2. Dry the repair area thoroughly. Use a heat lamp or
hot air gun to accelerate
drying.
6. Fill the remaining voids
with epoxy/fairing filler
mixed to a peanut butter
consistency. For larger
voids, use a wooden plug
or structural foam carved to
match the cavity. Bond the
plug in with epoxy/fairing
filler.
3. Drill holes for reinforcing
rods or dowels to tie adjoining pieces together. If necessary, drill through the
edge of the stile into the
rail. The drill diameter
should be slightly larger
than the dowel diameter.
7. Carve and sand the repair to shape. Any remaining flaws can be filled with
epoxy/fairing filler or
spackling.
4. Wet out all exposed surfaces including the reinforcing dowels and holes. Use
unthickened epoxy and
re-wet the area until the epoxy no longer soaks in. Epoxy will penetrate deeper if
the area is warmed first.
8. Prime and paint for UV
protection.
Note: If you’ve removed glass for the repair, it’s a good opportunity to seal glazing surfaces that show signs of decay—especially
along the bottom edge.
5
Laminating custom lumber
Repairing thresholds and sills
Laminate structural and trim pieces to any shape or size with
WEST SYSTEM epoxy. Pieces can be produced in a reusable jig
or laminated in place. Rip or mill pieces thin enough to bend
to the desired shape.
This method uses a simple female mold to control the shape of
the repair. The sides and bottom of the mold will wrap and enclose the threshold. As you cut each piece for the mold, wrap it
in packaging tape or plastic so the epoxy won’t stick to it.
Clamp with enough force to
squeeze a small amount of
epoxy from joints—avoid
excessive pressure.
Use a chisel or rasp and a wire brush to remove loose fiber from
the ends of the threshold. Open small cracks and checks with a
chisel. Make sure the wood is dry. Coat the end grain, cracks and
checks with epoxy. Continue to apply it until the wood absorbs
all it can.
Add adhesive filler to the epoxy until it reaches a non-sag consistency and apply to the inside corners of the mold. Smear some of
this mixture around the end of the threshold and prop the mold
in place under the threshold. Trowel thickened epoxy into the
ends of the mold to fill any remaining spaces and cracks.
Remove the mold after the epoxy cures, then use a file and
sander to do a little final shaping. Paint the repaired threshold to
protect it from sunlight.
Fill corners of mold
with thick epoxy.
Use plastic to avoid bonding to jig,
clamps or work surfaces.
Note: If you’ve used a thickness planer to mill hardwood
strips, it’s a good idea to sand the bonding surfaces with
coarse grit sandpaper before bonding. A rougher surface
provides better epoxy penetration and adhesion.
Plywood jig
Remove all soft wood, dry
thoroughly and wet out with
epoxy–fill deep voids with
thickened epoxy.
Female mold–Wrap surfaces with
plastic tape to prevent bonding.
Use staples to clamp thin strips–drywall screws on thicker strips.
Fasteners can be left in or removed on outer layer after epoxy cures.
Remove mold, shape, sand and
paint, after epoxy cures.
Molding trim in place
Use epoxy thick enough to
bridge gaps–thin enough to
squeeze out of joints.
Fill damaged sections of custom woodwork or older styles of
trim that are no longer readily available. Use a chisel to remove
loose and high spots in the damaged trim. Build up the surface
with a mixture of epoxy and fairing filler. Use a thin straightedge
to screed the fairing compound to shape. Use the adjoining trim
to guide the straightedge. Don’t work the compound too much.
When it’s close to the right shape, allow it to cure. Trim off high
spots with a plane or chisel. Use the straightedge as a guide. Repeat the process to fill low areas until the filled section matches
the adjoining trim. When fully cured, sand and paint it.
Straightedge
Stagger joints
Thick epoxy/fairing filler–Use
wood blocking wherever you can
to fill large voids and reduce the
volume of epoxy.
Laminate strips in place to build arches,
beams, curved handrails and stringers.
6
Ž Joining & Joint Repairs
Many joints in both new construction and repair can be bonded
with WEST SYSTEM epoxy for greater strength than with mechanical fasteners alone. Epoxy also seals joints from moisture, inhibiting rot and reducing shrinking and swelling. Epoxy fills gaps and
reduces flexing, while eliminating the need for precisely fitting
joinery.
Gluing biscuit joints
If you own a biscuit joiner, consider using WEST SYSTEM epoxy instead of yellow glue for certain assemblies. You can bond the miter joints in exterior trim like fascia or window trim boards.
Although the biscuits don’t swell as they do with yellow glues,
they do keep the joint lined up while the epoxy bonds the joint
and seals the end grain. Epoxy with slow hardener is useful for
complicated assemblies that require more working time than yellow glue and the joint is waterproof.
Gluing trim joints
Interior trim joints look better and stay tight longer if they are
glued. Use G/5® Five-Minute Adhesive to glue joints together
when you nail the trim in place. To avoid splitting thin or delicate
pieces, tape or hold them in place until the adhesive cures. G/5
hardens quickly and is clear so you cannot see the glue line.
Repairing cracked and broken wood
To repair wood that has broken along the grain, first dry fit the
pieces and remove any splinters that prevent a tight fit. Coat both
exposed broken areas with epoxy. If there are any gaps or missing
pieces, stir adhesive filler into the remaining mixture until it is
thick enough to fill the gaps. Smooth the thickened epoxy into the
void, then clamp pieces together until the epoxy cures. Wipe away
any excess epoxy that squeezes out.
Repairing furniture joints
Loose mortise and tenon joints can simply be glued
back together with WEST SYSTEM epoxy, if the piece or
pieces come completely apart. Clean old glue and
contamination from the bonding surfaces. Coat the
joint with epoxy and clamp the parts in position until
the epoxy cures.
If you want to maintain a natural wood finish, use a wood-toned
filler so the repair area will be less noticeable. You can also adjust
the color of the epoxy by adding powdered tempera paints, powdered aniline dye or some sanding dust from the wood you are
working on.
Note: These repairs are intended to be permanent.
They are not suitable for projects that may require
disassembly later. These techniques may not be
suitable for furniture of historical significance.
Cut a dowel or threaded rod
shorter than the hole depth.
You can also repair loose
joints even if the pieces are
still connected. With the
pieces fixed in position,
drill a hole through the
joint at about a 45° angle.
Drill from the least conspicuous side and don’t
drill all the way through
the bottom piece.
Avoid drilling all of the
way through seat.
Inject epoxy into the hole and push a dowel
or threaded rod into the hole. A tight fitting
dowel will force epoxy into all voids in the
joint. Clean excess epoxy as it squeezes out.
7
 Bonding Hardware
Bonding fasteners
Bonding hardware
Installing screws and other threaded fasteners with WEST SYSTEM
epoxy dramatically improves load carrying capacity. The easiest
method is to simply wet out stripped fastener holes and new pilot
holes before installing the screws. Epoxy penetrates the fiber
around the hole, effectively increasing the fastener diameter. Epoxy also provides a stronger interface with the fastener threads
than wood fiber and keeps out water.
Bonding hardware goes one step beyond bonding the fasteners
only and provides a solid bearing surface for the hardware. It also
seals the wood underneath, preventing moisture from softening
the door or corroding the hardware. This provides a stronger,
longer lasting attachment for security hasps and hinges.
WEST SYSTEM epoxy adheres well to most metals as long as you
prepare the surface properly. Cleaning with solvent and sanding is
enough preparation for most metals.
Wet out holes and fill with
thick epoxy/adhesive filler.
Wet out holes and
install the screws.
Drill oversized holes,
longer than the screws.
For even greater strength and stability, drill oversized holes 2/3 the
depth of the fastener. Wet out the holes and the fastener with epoxy, then fill the hole with thickened epoxy/adhesive filler. Use 404
High-Density (preferred) or 406 Colloidal Silica. Install the fasteners with just enough force to hold the hardware in place.
Apply epoxy to the back
of the hardware.
You can also coat the fastener, push
it into the freshly applied thickened
epoxy and clamp or brace the hardware until the epoxy cures. Screws or bolts bedded
in this epoxy will not move. They hold the
hardware tight against the door or frame
and resist tension and compression loads.
Smooth squeezed out
epoxy into a fillet.
1. Drill oversized holes.
Oversized hole
Normal pilot hole
1/3 2/3
For additional security, carriage
bolts have a smooth, low profile
that makes it difficult to gain
purchase with a pry bar and
eliminates the possibility of using
a wrench to loosen the fasteners.
2. Wet out holes and
fill with thick epoxy.
3. Wet out and install screws before
epoxy gels—don’t over tighten.
8
Bonding anchor bolts
One of epoxy’s best uses is to bond anchor bolts into concrete.
The principle is the same as for wood. Drill an oversized hole. Wet
out the hole with epoxy. Then place the bolt or threaded rod in the
hole. It’s a good idea to put a nut on the threaded rod so that its
top is barely above the surface. This helps to reduce the creep load
on the epoxy when the hardware item is tightened down.
Bonding multiple bolts
in oversized holes at
the same time assures
all the bolts are perfectly aligned, even if
the holes are drilled a
little off.
Nut should be slightly
above the surface.
Epoxy/sand grout between base plate and
un-level surface.
If you would like to be able to remove the fastener
after the epoxy cures, place a second nut at the bottom of the fastener and coat the fastener threads
with paste wax before bonding the fastener in.
& Reinforcing Structures
Splicing posts and beams
A scarf joint reduces the load on any one point
of the glue line by increasing the gluing area.
Because the joints connecting them can trap water, the ends of
beams and the bottom of posts in older structures often deteriorate. In many cases, the structure can be saved by splicing new
wood onto the ends. The proper joint between the two pieces can
make the repair as strong as the original solid piece.
Where a scarf joint is not practical, a strong joint can be
achieved by effective placement of concrete
reinforcing rods (rebar).
The longer the scarf angle—the greater the
bonding area—the stronger the joint.
Wet out the holes and reinforcing rods before
filling the holes with thick epoxy/404 filler.
Drill oversized holes and
dry-fit the rods to make
sure the two pieces will
align properly.
Smooth excess after
sections are aligned
and clamped.
Wet out the beam ends with plenty of un-thickened
epoxy and coat with enough thick epoxy/404 filler
to squeeze out when the pieces are joined.
9
Reinforcing sagging wooden beams
You can use WEST SYSTEM epoxy and concrete reinforcing
bars to reinforce sagging wooden beams in place. Rout a
groove in the bottom surface of the damaged beam so
that it will accept a standard steel reinforcing bar. (9 16"×
9
16" groove for a ½" bar)
Use floor jacks to raise the sagging beam to the desired
level. Place a jack on each side of the groove, or use
blocking to keep the groove accessible. Raise the beam
very slowly, especially if walls or other parts of the structure bear on it. Also consider plumbing in floors and
walls that may be affected. Get engineering help if you
are unsure of the effect of raising the beam.
Groove 1 16" larger
than reinforcing bar
Wet out the groove with epoxy. Then
fill the groove half-full with epoxy/adhesive filler, thickened to the consistency of peanut butter. Press the
reinforcing bar into it.
Bead of thick epoxy/404 filler,
1/2 depth of groove.
Reinforcing bar
Hold the bar in place by
driving drywall screws or
roofing nails alongside
the reinforcing bar at 12"
intervals. Fill the rest of
the groove with thickened
epoxy and clean up any
excess. Allow the epoxy
to cure thoroughly before
removing jacks.
Use 810 Fillable Caulking
Tubes to apply large/long
beads of thickened epoxy.
Drywall screw
(or roofing nail)
Cut a deeper groove with
a circular saw and chisel
or a chainsaw.
Steel or fiberglass plate
10
An alternate reinforcing method is to use
a flat plate of steel or fiberglass. Cut a
deeper, narrower slot with a circular saw
or chain saw. The flat plate acts as the
web of an “I” beam, held in column by
the wood beam rather than to top and
bottom flanges.
Bonding sister planks
Coat bonding areas with
thickened epoxy.
Where structural members have been damaged by rot or
weakened by cutouts for plumbing or ductwork, you can
build up the strength of the member by gluing additional
pieces or sister planks on one or both sides.
A bonded joint is far superior to a nailed joint in transferring
the loads. It is usually best to carry these sister planks as far
as possible beyond the problem area. If necessary, jack the
joist or rafter into position. Use enough epoxy/adhesive filler
to get good glue squeeze-out. Use drywall screws to clamp
the plank. Clean up the excess and allow the epoxy to cure
before removing jacks.
Sister planks
Building trusses and beams
When repair of a structural problem requires a non-standard
truss or beam, you can construct one in place or off site.
Pitched truss
CAUTION! Dimensions and materials of structural members are
governed by spans and anticipated loads. Consult an engineer or
architect.
Cut and fit top and bottom chords and bracing to the proper
span and pitch. Use plywood gussets on both sides of each joint.
Use full-width plywood panels on both sides for box beams. Assemble and bond the braces and gussets in place with epoxy/adhesive filler. Use drywall screws or nails to hold
everything in place until the epoxy cures. For added
strength, you can bond steel reinforcing bar into dados cut in the truss chords.
Flat truss
Top chord
Epoxies, as well as wood, can creep when the
structure is subjected to load at higher
temperatures. Use extra screws or nails
along with the epoxy in areas, such
as poorly ventilated attics, that
may get hot for long periods.
Webs
Bottom chord
Gussets
Coat all bonding faces with
epoxy/adhesive filler before assembly.
Plywood panel
11
 Tile, Masonry, Metal & Plastic
Repairing cracked plaster
Repairing cracked concrete
Plaster is usually made up of two layers: one facing the living
area, called the “white coat” and the other beneath it, called the
“brown coat.” When a crack appears in the white coat on the surface, it is usually because the brown coat has cracked.
WEST SYSTEM epoxy is an appropriate repair material for cracked
concrete. Just clean the loose debris from a crack and pour or inject epoxy into the crack. For larger cracks and on walls, add a little Portland cement powder (or just about any other powder) to
thicken the epoxy so it will stay in the crack, and force it into the
seam. Once the epoxy cures, the crack will be sealed with a water-resistant filler that won’t
shrink and fall out.
To make the most effective repair, scrape open the crack with a
“V” shaped tool well into the brown coat. Wet the brown coat
with epoxy and let it stand for about an hour. Mix epoxy/adhesive
filler to a peanut butter consistency. Trowel the thickened epoxy
deep into the crack. Leave the repair slightly concave so you can
use a dry-wall compound to fill the white coat flush with the surface. After the epoxy has gelled, use a wire brush on it so that the
topping compound can key into its surface.
Thicken epoxy with adhesive filler or
portland cement if unthickened epoxy
runs through crack. Trowel thick epoxy
into cracks on vertical surfaces.
Repairing cracked toilet tanks
Epoxy will bond to the porous side of ceramic materials like toilet
tanks. To repair a cracked or broken tank, first dry the tank thoroughly. Broken pieces should fit tight so the epoxy will not need
to be thickened. Coat the broken edges and fit the pieces together.
A small bead of epoxy should squeeze from the joint. Allow the
epoxy to cure. Clean the bead of epoxy from the exposed outside
with a single-edged razor blade. On the inside, apply a layer of fiberglass tape over the joint for reinforcement. Allow the epoxy to
cure thoroughly before refilling the tank. If any small chips are
missing, fill the void with thick epoxy/adhesive filler. Add white
pigment to the mixture on exposed sides make the repair less noticeable.
Dry thoroughly before
bonding with thin
epoxy.
Reattaching sagging plaster
Where plaster has let go of the lath and is sagging, carefully drill a
few holes through the plaster. Mix epoxy/adhesive filler to a mayonnaise consistency and inject into the holes with a fillable caulking tube or syringe. Clamp the plaster back into place against the
lath with a brace from the floor or use wood blocks and drywall
screws to draw the loose plaster tight against the lath. Allow to
cure. The epoxy will grab both the lath and adjacent plaster, holding them together. Remove the blocks or bracing after the epoxy
cures. Touch up the holes with spackling or drywall compound.
Reinforce with
glass tape.
Plaster pulled
away from lath
Bonding bricks and stones
Loose or broken bricks can be bonded with WEST SYSTEM epoxy.
If the mortar is solid and the gap is small, use a non-sagging epoxy/adhesive filler mixture thickened to a mayonnaise consistency.
Apply a layer to the inside of the cavity and push the broken brick
into place.
If the mortar is loose or missing, make a bonding grout of epoxy/adhesive filler and masonry sand. Add a little dry cement or
mortar for color, and apply it to the bonding surfaces as you
would mortar. Be careful not to get epoxy on the face of the brick.
You can bond stones with WEST SYSTEM epoxy for decorative
landscaping that will appear dry laid (without mortar). The stones
should be clean and dry. Use epoxy/adhesive filler thickened to the
consistency of peanut butter to chink stones in strategic places that
will prevent the laid up stones from shifting or settling.
12
Plastic film to
prevent bonding
block to ceiling.
1. Drill small holes
several inches apart in
the area of loose plaster. Drill through the
plaster only.
2. Inject thickened
epoxy between plaster and lath, then
plug the holes with
tape.
3. Draw plaster to lath with
wooden block washers and
drywall screws or use bracing to clamp plaster
against the lath.
Repairing metal and fiberglass auto bodies
You can repair badly corroded or damaged body panels with WEST
SYSTEM epoxy and fairing filler. Epoxy is stronger, more waterproof and it bonds to metal better than polyester body fillers.
Where the metal is missing completely, you can rebuild the area
by saturating fiberglass cloth with epoxy and using it to bridge the
holes. When the epoxy hardens, you will have a rigid backer that
will anchor the remainder of the repair.
Remove all rust and loose material. Grind or sandblast down to
bright metal. Apply a thin coat of epoxy to the prepared surface
and while the coating is still wet, abrade the surface with a wire
brush or sandpaper. Work the wet epoxy into the steel. When the
coating gels and while it is still tacky, either apply the wet fiberglass cloth or fill the dents or pits with thick epoxy/fairing filler.
Allow the epoxy to cure hard and sand it smooth. Re-coat sanded
fairing filler to seal it. Allow the final epoxy coat to cure and wet
sand it. Paint the repair area with standard automotive paints.
Grind to bright metal or
clean, solid fiberglass.
Share your ideas
These suggestions describe some of the more common uses
for WEST SYSTEM epoxy around the house. But, they are by
no means the limit of what you can do with epoxy. Many
WEST SYSTEM epoxy users have discovered its versatility and
have used it to solve a wide range of problems around the
house, shop, and garage.
You may have found a great solution to a problem not listed
here. You may have a better solution to one of these problems. Or, you may have a simple tip to make handling epoxy
easier, quicker or safer. If you have tip or suggestion and
would like to share it, we’ll include it in future editions of
Other Uses. A sketch or photograph would be helpful. Send
your suggestions to:
Other Uses
Gougeon Brothers, Inc.
PO Box 908
Bay City, MI 48707
Cover holes with fiberglass
cloth then fill voids with
epoxy/fairing filler.
E-mail: [email protected]
Resources
For more information about repair and building with WEST
SYSTEM epoxy visit www.westsystem.com and
www.epoxyworks.com.
Gougeon Brothers Inc. also publishes the following:
Setting tile
002-950 WEST SYSTEM User Manual & Product Guide
The primary guide to safety, handling and the basic techniques of epoxy use and complete descriptions of WEST
SYSTEM epoxy products. Free
WEST SYSTEM epoxy stabilizes the substrate to provide tiles an unchanging surface. After removing the old floor covering, lay out
the plywood or concrete backer board underlayment. To prevent
cracks from developing in the finished tile job, you can glue the
butt joint areas of all panels to the subfloor. You can glue the entire underlayment to the subfloor, but we especially recommend
treating the joint areas. Use epoxy/fairing filler to fill voids and
dips in the subfloor before installing the underlayment.
002 The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction
5th edition of The Book—for anyone building a boat or
working with wood and WEST SYSTEM epoxy.
002-970 Wooden Boat Restoration & Repair
An illustrated guide to restore the structure, improve the appearance, reduce the maintenance, and prolong the life of
wooden boats with WEST SYSTEM epoxy.
You can also use a slurry of epoxy/adhesive filler to set tile, which
you can apply with a notched spreader. Experiment with the
notch size spread rate to get the correct adhesive amount for the
style of tiles you are installing. Set the tiles into the adhesive mix
and press firmly to make sure that the tiles are well set and the
bottom of each tile has full contact with the adhesive. Clean up
excess before cure. Finish the floor with regular grouting.
002-550 Fiberglass Boat Repair and Maintenance
A complete guide to repairing fiberglass boats with WEST
SYSTEM epoxy.
002-150 Vacuum Bagging Techniques
A step-by-step guide to vacuum bag laminating, a technique
for clamping wood, core materials and synthetic composites
bonded with WEST SYSTEM epoxy.
Bonding plastics
Typically, epoxies don’t adhere well to many plastics. But, with
WEST SYSTEM G/flex® Epoxy and proper preparation, you can
achieve excellent adhesion to most plastics.
002-740 Final Fairing & Finishing
Techniques for fairing wood, fiberglass and metal surfaces.
002-898 WEST SYSTEM Epoxy How-To DVD
A video primer on WEST SYSTEM epoxy products and their
use. Includes Basic Application Techniques, Fiberglass Repair
and Gelcoat Blister Repair. DVD—59 min.
Sand ABS, PVC and polycarbonate plastics with 80-grit sandpaper
to provide texture for improved adhesion. Some plastics like
HDPE and LDPE (high-density and low-density polyethylene)
benefit from flame treating. First wipe the bonding surface with a
solvent to remove contamination and dry with a clean paper
towel. Pass the flame of a propane torch across the surface quicky.
Allow the flame to touch the surface, but keep it moving—about
12 to 16 inches per second. The flame oxidizes the surface and
dramatically improves adhesion with adhesives and coatings applied over it.
These publications are available through your local WEST
SYSTEM dealer. For the name of your nearest dealer or for additional information call 866-937-8797 (toll free).
The dealer list and basic technical information is also available
at the WEST SYSTEM web site: www.westsystem.com
13
build cored and solid doors § build human powered submarines § build artificial limbs and braces § build spiral
staircases § build fishing rods § build bathtubs § build aerodynamic bicycle wheels § acoustical panels for a
concert hall § bond anchor bolts into stone and concrete § build electric guitars § bond ceramic tile § barrier
coat exterior doors and windows § build dinosaur skeleton reproductions § seal table tops § seal concrete
floors § build body parts for Indy cars § seal the base of pilings and posts § build hockey skates § build hovercraft § restore exterior woodwork § build water skis § build a parabolic telescope mirror § laminated bridge
beams § build cellos § build and repair telephone and power poles § restore carousel horses § line the walls of
deteriorated sewer pipe § cast reproductions of carved woodwork and hardware § build archery bows § build
aircraft propellers § coat the in- Over the years, WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has terior of bird houses § build
graphite/epoxy calipers § build
been used in many exciting and innova-
pianos § repair automobile bod-
ies § build photo developer
tive marine and non-marine projects.
tanks § build dog sleds § build
handicap accessible showers §
The versatility that makes WEST SYSTEM
build epoxy/bronze powder
cast relief sculpture § build surf-
a valuable tool for boatbuilders also
boards § build hot tubs § build
skateboards § build experimen-
makes it a valuable resource for build-
tal electric cars § build mechani-
cal animals for movies § build
ers in a wide range of other fields. Our
aircraft § lock nuts against vi-
bration on machinery § build
customers have used it to manufacture
soap box derby cars § build jew-
elry § build underwater propulfor blimps § build R/C boat hulls
build satellite antennas § create
tographs § build acoustic guibuild drum frames § coat floors
sailboards § build speaker cabirace cars § repair damaged timvas lampshades § build opera
masks § build laminated beams
new products, create works of art and
build vehicles of nearly every shape and
purpose. WEST SYSTEM epoxy has been
to the North Pole and to outer space.
These are some of the projects that illustrate the creativity and diversity of
WEST SYSTEM epoxy users and the unlimited uses of WEST SYSTEM epoxy.
build bicycle frames § build mu-
sion devices § build gondolas
and airplanes § build windows §
look-a-like food for menu photars § build an X-ray generator §
for chemical resistance § build
nets § build fishing reels § build
ber framing § build wood/canhouse sets § build costume
§ build epoxy/wood sculpture §
seum displays § repair trunk de-
cay in bonsai trees § build fishing lures § build racing ice skates § build fencing foils § build plywood aquariums
§ fill holes in bowling balls § build violins § manufacture bathroom sinks § build rock textured handholds for
sport climbing walls § build furniture § build pickup campers § build epoxy/foam sculpture § chemical resistant
pumps for environmental clean up § build horse carriages § seal electrical connections and motor windings §
encapsulating prototype circuit boards for brake systems § build showers for RV's § build millimeter wave antennas § build sleds § build very large format cameras § build industrial duct work § simulate water in model
railroad scenes § build metal detectors § bond lead lining for radiation protection § bond connectors to space
suits § build protective mats for launch pads § build hardware boxes for space shuttles § build prototype space
station air ducts § build parts for a particle physics accelerator/collider §cast reproductions of carved woodwork and hardware § build hovercraft § build wind turbine blades
®
Gougeon Brothers, Inc.
P.O. Box 908
Bay City, MI 48707
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