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Old 11-25-2020, 02:58 PM   #1
Ljpjohnson
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Default Repair of Soft Wood

My husband and I have a 1929 Briggs Leatherback Fordor. We are getting a new top installed soon. The car is in good shape but the left back corner has a few spots of soft wood. I have seen a post that mentioned something you could put on it to firm it up. Can someone tell me if they have done this and if so is it going to work to hold the staples for the new top? Also there is a corner spot that is missing a piece of the wood about the size of a 1” triangle. Wondering if I could use wood filler on that? Thanks for your expertise. You’ll are the best.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:53 PM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

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My husband and I have a 1929 Briggs Leatherback Fordor. We are getting a new top installed soon. The car is in good shape but the left back corner has a few spots of soft wood. I have seen a post that mentioned something you could put on it to firm it up. Can someone tell me if they have done this and if so is it going to work to hold the staples for the new top? Also there is a corner spot that is missing a piece of the wood about the size of a 1” triangle. Wondering if I could use wood filler on that? Thanks for your expertise. You’ll are the best.
I will tell you straight-up that you are approaching a path that you will likely regret. Early on in my professional career I used Kwik-Poly on two separate Fordors trying to save my customer money. Within a year of them driving their cars, the wood was breaking and coming apart due to it being brittle, -and the upholstery brads were not holding the panels any longer as the wood no longer had any elasticity because of the poly. Your top staples will be the same. I think in certain applications such as a house, or maybe a car that will only be a static display and never subjected to twists and vibration, it probably is a suitable for that. In your situation, I would suggest that you just replace the wood correctly.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

I 'repaired' the wood in my Townsedan where the drip rails attach with Git Rot. Then I used a marine epoxy to fill in the larger holes and give the nails something to bite. I also know that this is a temp fix because these cars twist a lot and vibrate.


Brent is right in that fact that if the interior portion is out of the car in that spot it is best to just replace the wood. If the soft part of the wood is on the top then the epoxies today should work at keeping things down. Sealed-that is another question. My two cents worth.


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Old 11-25-2020, 09:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

Well I have to agree with Brent and Mike. Something that you may want to consider is cyanoacrylate glue ("super glue") Many woodworkers have had great results. As long as you are at this point you might just as well replace the wood. At least try the cyanoacrylate is a section or two and see if it works.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

I have a fair bit of experience with epoxy and wood in a marine environment. Keep in mind that if your oak or ash has gone soft what you have is not "soft wood" what you have is rot. It no longer has structural strength. I agree that epoxy tends to be brittle, and likely won't hold nails well.

If there are gaps or voids, consider an additive that adds strength. The WEST system has a whole series of additives that either increase finishing sandability, add strength, add viscosity, etc. You can use it in a consistency from maple syrup to mayonnaise to putty. It depends what you add. DO NOT mix in large quantities, and be careful above 80 degrees ambient, it cures with heat, and it creates its own heat. You can get a runaway in a big potful, and that's exciting, not in a good way.

If you use an epoxy, consider small self tapping screws with a pre-drilled hole, it will hold far better. You could also use the epoxy as a filler/glue, and scarf in more real wood in the more damaged areas. That gets you real wood where the rot is without replacing the entire piece. Not likely in this application, but be aware that epoxy can degrade in UV, this is very true for WEST epoxy. It needs to be shielded from sunlight or at least painted.

Hard to say without photos, but there are options.

*Edit: Keep in mind when you repair rot, it almost always goes further than you thought.

Last edited by Mister Moose; 11-25-2020 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:43 PM   #6
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I think Kwik Poly is no longer made.
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Old 11-26-2020, 05:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

completely agree with Brent. there are no two ways around it. you might be able
scalp out some of the old wood and "layer" some new wood in, but in the end, prob as much work as just replacing.
I have a 41 woody in which I am going to "piece" in wood, but that is because that is the affect I am going for, not wanting a show car, but a patchwork quilt.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

If you decide to “fix”, rather than replace the wood, I would use epoxy to make the wood as solid as possible. Next I would wrap a layer or two of fiberglass matt around the weak area and extend it a ways over the solid area. Use a brush and soak the mat with fiberglass resin. This may get you by and should make a fairly solid repair.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

I have “scabbed” wood before. That is mainly where an outer edge has gotten dry or wet soft particularly on sills. That entails being able to get behind metal, cut out the bad and glue/screw/biscuit viable replacement wood. I have saved floor sills that way but still a bunch of work
Making bad wood viable again ain’t gonna work
System 3 makes a product; I have it but never tried it. Bought it for home repair not auto
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:58 PM   #10
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

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I think Kwik Poly is no longer made.
The product is still around, -just not the re-packaged/re-branded name. The epoxy was a methylmethaccrylate that is used in the repair of horse hooves.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

I used the Liquid Wood & Wood Epox products on the B Pillar wood on my 30 coupe. Not structural wood but it was riddled with tack and staple holes making it near impossible to attach new windlace and interior panels. Worked very well.

https://www.abatron.com/product-cate...n-maintenance/
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

I remember reading all the wood spar repair details that were published by Parson's for their wood main rotor blades back in the day. While removing bad sections and gluing in good replacement wood patches was successful, it was also a lot of work too. There was a good reason to repair the expensive blades. When considering replacement of smaller wood pieces that are basically support for the roof and body structural rigidity, a person has to weigh the benefits of such work against the benefits of replacement of the member depending on which is more practical. A person can just replace the damaged members. With wood, there is a lot of flexibility in repair and replacement methods since a well fit and glued joint is every bit as strong as one with no repairs or splices if the job is done correctly.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:36 AM   #13
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

Agree and disagree with Brent. Agree that a filler is not the way to go. Disagree that its ok to use such a product on a house. Then again I have made a decent living out of repairing rot on buildings, so keep on using the stuff! LOL.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

WELL ONE CAN DEBATE DOES AND DONTS, BUT PREP IS KEY AND IF YOU DONT HAVE DECENT WOOD TO ADHERE TO- YES IT WONT LAST.


THAT SAID- all depends on the project you are working with.
sorry bout the caps.......
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

its a shame got the michigan 90 year old hard wood on the coupe

Last edited by Jack Shaft; 11-27-2020 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:07 PM   #16
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaxweb View Post
I used the Liquid Wood & Wood Epox products on the B Pillar wood on my 30 coupe. Not structural wood but it was riddled with tack and staple holes making it near impossible to attach new windlace and interior panels. Worked very well.

https://www.abatron.com/product-cate...n-maintenance/
Contrary to what you may believe, the Quarter Lock Pillar Wood is very much structural wood for the body. It is actually what the quarter panel is screwed to from the backside. Remove that piece of wood and watch how flexible the body is in the jamb.



FWIW, the best way I have found to deal with old tack and staple holes is to buy a box of pointed toothpicks and dip the ends into wood glue, -then insert the pointed end into the holes in the wood and allow to dry (...think porcupine! ). Once dried, use a sharp wood chisel to shear the toothpick off at the base of the pillar wood. What I have found is most wood putties and/or fillers are intended to cover up the hole to make it aesthetically pleasing. If the wood has become hard (i.e.: lost its' elasticity), then when a new staple or tack is inserted into the wood, the wood fibers do not compress around the staple/tack enough to grip it firmly. Most epoxies I am familiar with do not allow for elasticity either. I would recommend against using any type of epoxy on the wood as a repair.
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:13 PM   #17
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Find a new girlfriend,the best cure for soft wood there is...



only if she's attractive.
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:49 PM   #18
Jack Shaft
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original wood is so hard you can shape it with a grinder..

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Old 11-27-2020, 01:05 PM   #19
Ljpjohnson
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

Thanks for all the great info, there are a couple of pieces we are going to replace. I like the toothpick idea. Did that for screw holes on door hinges that had been stripped out. Most of the wood is fine. Just a back corner that must hav head a leak.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: Repair of Soft Wood

I was interested in Tacoma Bob's comment about using cyanoacrylate glue ("super glue"). I built dozens of model airplanes out of balsa wood. To strengthen the bond I would use a water thin cyanoacrylate adhesive that is available from hobby supply places. It soaks into the balsa wood and makes it hard and dense.



I have not tired this on rotten wood so I have no idea if it would work in that application.
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