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Product Guide

Epoxy Repair Kits

Eventually, all houses need some fixing. An epoxy repair kit can often take care of rot and other damage.

Last winter I helped my buddy, Connecticut remodeler and Fine Homebuilding author Chris Green, build and install a kitchen. We used biscuits to align the face frames on the cabinet boxes. Late one afternoon, I made a lazy move. Instead of repositioning a tall cabinet to cut a biscuit slot near the top of the box, I reached overhead with the joiner. The tool slipped and mangled the inside edge of the plywood. I was embarrassed, but Chris didn’t flinch. He walked to the other side of the room and came back with his West System epoxy kit.

“For repairs that are more structural in nature,” Green said he prefers West System epoxy over other wood fillers. “It’s a super adhesive and gap filler all in one. The ability to adapt the viscosity from a maple-syrup consistency to mashed potatoes and everything in between is a huge advantage.” The one downside, he told me, is that it is slow drying.

The thing is, you don’t have to make a mistake like I did, to find a use good use for an epoxy repair kit. Where these products really shine is on exterior repairs, often the result of poor flashing and water management details, the kind of thing green builders are often called in to fix. I’ve seen large sections of porch columns successfully rebuilt with epoxy. Yet I’ve been warned to proceed with caution.

South Dakota woodworker and remodeler Ben Brunick has done extensive repair to damaged window sash and other exterior trim with epoxy. He is quick to remind me that unless you first fix the problem that is causing the rot, you are wasting your time. The wood around the repair will just continue to degrade and the repair will fail.

Ben recently…

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3 Comments

  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    I've used the Abatron WoodEpox on numerous repair projects, and it is a great product. Sands easily, binds well to the existing wood, and never cracks. If there is a negative, set-up time is a little long, especially in colder weather.

  2. Dan B | | #2

    I recommend Advanced Repair Technology's wood products FLEX-TEC HV and Prime-A-Trate. (http://www.advancedrepair.com/unique_features_flex-tec-hv.html)
    Primatrate is a 2 part epoxy wetting agent that penetrates into wood fibers. Before Prim-a-trate sets up, apply Flex-Tec, a 2 part epoxy. Flex-Tec is easy to work and does not sag. Has no VOCs. Once hardened (1-3 days), it is sandable and paintable. Flex-Tec will adhere to its hardened self, so it can be built up. I have used it to repair defects on Victorian porch details.

  3. Eric Anderson | | #3

    I do a lot of restoration work on the coast of Maine, This is a great article and I use Abatron for
    some projects and west system for others depending on the nature of the repair. If it is cosmetic in nature wood epox is just stellar! If requires more of a structural bond and you need to assure a strong bond I prefer west system. Check out their fillers and my new favorite: g-flex product. I have learned what best works from wooden boat repairs and old house restoration projects and they all have particular qualities to take advantage of depending on need and workability.

    Ever messed up with router on a to be painted wood part? Wood epoxy is a life saver! fill it and rout it again.

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