Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Things You Can Do with Epoxy

The other morning I decided to fix the loose hinges on the door to our basement. The screw holes in the mdf door had loosened so that they didn't hold the hinges tight anymore. Like most boatbuilders would, I turned to epoxy for the solution. I took the door out to the garage, removed the hinges and dribbled some mixed epoxy (West System 105 resin, 207 hardener) into the holes then painted on a bit of epoxy thickened with 406 colloidal silica and screwed the hinges back in place. Those hinges should be very secure now!

While I was fixing doors, I fixed a hole in a hollow core bathroom door, again with epoxy. The hole, about 5" in diameter, was made smaller by hot-gluing most of the pieces back in place. A larger gap that remained was filled with half of a popsicle stick. All the cracks were painted with unthickened epoxy then the area (which formed a valley) covered with epoxy thickened with 407 "low density fairing filler." The advantage of this stuff is that it forms a smooth surface and sands easily. It required two applications to get a smooth and flat surface on the door. It has since been primed, the door replaced, and once it receives paint will be hard to notice.

The third epoxy-realted task of that morning was to fix my sandals (actually, it was the sandal fix that got me started in that direction in the first place). The strap had pulled out adjacent to the heel on each sandal rendering them useless. Good sandals are expensive so I was motivated to attempt to get this pair back in service for a little longer. I filled the void where the strap was supposed to be with unthickened epoxy (a fair amount of epoxy went into that space, I think it partly filled a cavity under the heel), shoved the broken strap in as far as it would go, then drilled a 1" screw in from the side through the strap and into the footbed below the heel. After over a week using the repaired sandals, it seems like my fix was pretty effective and I have, for now, crossed sandals off of the shopping list.

The final epoxy project of the morning was a craft conceived by my daughter. She likes going through the wood scrap bin to see what she can make of them. This time she picked a 4"x4" thin piece of scrap and wrote on it a note to Mom. She then found some colourful glass pieces and used the epoxy I was repairing my sandals with to glue the pieces onto the wood (with my help). Voila, instant craft and a gift for Mom.