Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grazing

Today was a day off from the Farm House restoration work, because the middle of it was taken up with a visit to the vet for Evangeline, for a checkup. Her vet is all the way over in West Hollywood, so the whole affair takes a good chunk of time. It's a bit of an ordeal, but Evangeline is worth it.


After a visit with the vet, they took Evangeline in the back office for a short time to take some tests, and while we waited Lydia and I went down the block to a coffee house to have a wee nosh and a cuppa, as is our custom during visits to this vet.

As is now traditional, the coffee house provided free Wi-Fi, and as we left I looked back at the seating area and saw six people, all in a row, in front of identical Apple PowerBooks. I mean identical, and from the look of them I believe they were the latest model. It was the Organization Man redux; all that was missing was matching gray flannel suits and Phi Beta Kappa keys. It was like performance art, only performance art is never this good. I made a mental note never to bring my Windows machine here, lest I get recognized as an intruder and trampled to death by the herd.

After we got back, I checked on the aprons, and to my great relief I found that the treatment had worked sufficiently well. There is still a trace of stickiness, but the epoxy is nonetheless completely hardened. 

To recap, then, what worked to complete the curing of the sticky epoxy was to heat the wood so that it was warm to the touch, and to keep it at that temperature for a long period. I applied the heat in three two-hour sessions, and it needed the whole time to achieve the desired result.

I have concluded that the reason that this experience with LiquidWood has been more troublesome than the others is that I was applying it to wood that was fragile because it was dry and thin (one-quarter of an inch), but was not spongy from rot or destruction of lignin. Moreover, I did not drill holes to help penetration of the wood, because of its thinness and fragility. This resulted in a lower mass of epoxy than I have ever used before, spread out over a greater surface area. As a result, despite the induction period, the heat dissipated so much after applying the epoxy that it was too cold for a proper curing. 

In such a situation, then, it is necessary to apply heat directly after application, so that the epoxy will cure properly without needing a lengthy session of corrective action afterward. It is also a good idea to drill tiny holes partway into the wood whenever possible, in order to increase the mass of epoxy deployed.

Alternatively, you can just fabricate a new piece.

2 comments:

  1. Something new would be out of place on something so old:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love Evangeline and those tortoise shell whiskers! Squirrel

    ReplyDelete

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