Jul 062009

The customer service guys at Highland have noticed a real run on two products lately, both by the Abatron Company. The first is called WoodEpox and the other is Liquid Wood. Now when I studied concrete in college (did you know there are people who take entire college courses in concrete?), they told me that the Egyptians and Romans were the first to make extensive use of concrete in construction. Look at the aqueducts and the other major engineering projects still standing in these cultures and you can appreciate the massive use of concrete even in that time and place.

Look around you anywhere in our cities and try to picture making any kind of large structures without concrete and you get some idea of how important it is to be able to make a solid permanent shape by preparing a form and pouring in a semi-liquid. Then along comes Abatron’s WoodEpox and Liquid Wood, allowing civilization to take another step forward.

With Liquid Wood, simply mix it up and paint it onto a decayed wooden surface and it will absorb into the wood and return the wood to something very close to its original condition. For instance, if you are turning a bowl and find a punky spot where normally you would put in a little CA glue to harden it up, this stuff works much better. You can sand it, cut it, turn it, shape it and paint it just as if it were the original wood. If some of the wood is missing, you apply Liquid Wood first to firm up the underlying layer and then use WoodEpox to reshape the part that is missing. The guys at the store say the mixture is about the consistency of a dry pie crust dough (don’t ask me if any of them could actually make a pie) so you can shape it, make a form for it, and work it close to the finished shape before it hardens. You can also tint or stain it if you want. Then after it hardens to a compressive strength of 5000 psi (about twice that of regular concrete), you can continue to shape and sand it with regular woodworking tools until you achieve the final shape. You can paint it if you need to and it’ll blend right into the surrounding work and nobody but you will ever know it’s there.

The possibilities are endless, but one big usage that comes to mind (particularly in neighborhoods like the one where Highland is located) is window sills. The houses there were mostly built in the first third of the last century, and some (well, many) of the window sills are beginning to go. This stuff is perfect for repairing them — knock off the really rotten stuff, paint the rest with Liquid Wood, reshape the window sill with WoodEpox to match the remainder, prime and paint, and you are off for the rest of the weekend. How can you beat that?

The Romans would have been proud. You may even find yourself thinking about building an aqueduct next weekend.

MORE INFO ON WoodEpox & Liquid Wood

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