Epoxy goes mainstream
The great gap filler
Q: How do you repair epoxied joints? By knocking them apart?
A: You can't knock an epoxied joint apart as easily as one assembled with water-based glues. What I do instead when chair making is saw off a piece-say a back slat, flush at the seat and head crest. Then I drill out the joints, making the hole in the head crest twice as deep as the one in the seat, and epoxy a new slat in place. This same technique works for replacing an arm or a leg, but you must be very careful when cutting out the broken part to avoid removing stock at the joint from the adjoining part.
Q: Do you prepare a joint for epoxy differently than for yellow glue?
A: Yes. One of the things I like about epoxy is that it lets me make what I call "floating dowel" joints. With these, I drill slightly oversize holes so the dowels have a loose fit. Epoxy fills the space around the dowels, as shown in the photo, which makes them stronger and lets me make adjustments when clamping the parts together. Another nice feature about epoxy is that it won't swell dowels or biscuits because there's no water in it.
Robert offers four-day seminars on rocking-chair building as well as one-on-one instruction. For more information, write Robert Hensarling, 4326 East Main Street, Uvalde, TX 78801, or visit his Web site: mesquiterocker.com
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