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[SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Repair of damaged wood columns (Rot & Termite damage)

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Dennis, the product you're thinking about is WoodEpox and LiquidWood by
Abatron, Inc., 5501 95th Ave., Kenosha, WI 53144; tel. 800-445-1754. They
report it's been used to repair lots of historic structures.  I've used it
to repair my 1960's plywood sailboat - ok so far. The LiquidWood is a thin
epoxy and absorbs into wood really good. I had less luck with WoodEpox
filler; mixed according to their instructions, it was too stiff - maybe I
needed more resin to add to the filler.

Other sources of epoxy and fillers (widely used for boat construction) are
System Three Resins, Inc., PO Box 70436, Seattle, WA 98107; tel.
206-782-7976;  and West System by Gougeon Brothers, Inc., PO Box 908,
BayCity, MI 48707; tel. 517-684-7286.  I've used the System Three
resin/hardeners and they're easy to mix (2 parts resin to 1 part hardener).
The West System is trickier - 5 parts resin to 1 part hardener; they have
special mixing pumps that must be used to deliver the proper amounts.  They
also have lots of info available.

There are several articles in ASCE journals by Prof. R. Richard Avent/
Louisiana State Univ. Dept. of Civil Engineering about using epoxies to make
structural repairs to trusses and heavy timber members which have seasoning
cracks. Avent has written a chapter in the wood engineering textbook by Tom
Williamson and Keith Faherty (McGraw Hill Book Co.) on this technique.  He
uses epoxies by Sika Corp. (NJ), mostly to fill cracks/splits.

In hot weather, the epoxies "kick over" fast so you have to work with small
amounts. Ask for recommendations on hardeners/catalysts to use to give more
open assembly time before curing in hot weather.

John Rose/APA, Tacoma, WA 

>We have a quasi-historic (not registered) structure (a country club) in
>town that is constructed of heavy timber post and beams. The columns are
>8x8 Fir spaced approximately 12 feet on center. At a couple of locations,
>the lower two feet of these columns are rotted away by a combination of
>years of water and some obvious termite damage.
>It is not feasible to remove the columns. 
>I have read of a product that is an epoxy wood mixture used to repair
>similar damage. The product is used in the restoration of historic sites
>and can be easily molded, formed and shaped. Once dry it can be easily
>sanded to match existing contours or whatever is needed to match existing
>The compressive strength of the product is far superior to the original
>wood and the wood to epoxy bond is excellent.
>I can not seem to find the advertisement for the product, but seem to
>recall seeing it in Fine Home-building or similar magazine.
>Do any of you know of this product or of something similar for wood column
>I tend to favor this since the finished product will be both termite and
>rot resistant - rather than simply splicing in a new section of column.
>Dennis S. Wish PE