A woodworking project does not always deal with making new stuff. Sometimes, it deals with fixing damages on the existing ones, such as carvings. In a woodworking project, fixing damages is like healing wounds. To treat them well as if nothing happened is our only objective. That’s why the best repair is the one that is invisible and permanent. To make as if something never happened is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, due to lack of skills and attention to details, things even go worse after the repair.
Just like us with our wounds, different types of damages in carving require different treatments. Most basic repairs, for example, may only require epoxies, inserts, or build-up materials as fillers to fix the problem. However, you must pick the epoxies very carefully as not all of them will work. Some epoxies, for example, won’t work with burned texture because high temperature will only cause the epoxy to crumble and melt. Therefore, knowing the right epoxy material is crucial as they will save you from useless pain and sweat.
There are 3 types of epoxy you can use to deal with most basic repairs: Qukwood, Kulis Karvit, and Quick-Cure Epoxy. All of them contain hardener and resin, 2 important keys to fix damaged woodcarving.
The Quikwood is available in stick form. If you want to use it, you only need to cut the end of the stick and knead the damaged parts together until they mixed thoroughly. You can use this epoxy to repair areas that have already been or will be textured with stone. It will take roughly 15 minutes for this material to set up.
Kulis Karvit is a bit different. It comes with 1 resin container and 1 hardener container. To apply this epoxy, you need to knead both of them at the same amount to form a solid mixture. You can use this material to fix damages that have been textured with a high temperature device, like a burning pen. It will be shaped and formed before it hardens, while the details will be pressed into the surface.
The Quick-Cure Epoxy, at the other side, is very helpful to deal with damages on non-wood and wood materials. To use them, simply mix or stir the same amount of hardener and resin, then apply on flat surface. The treatment will harden within 3 – 5 minutes.
If you need to remove or shape the epoxy, you can use a grinder, but be careful with the speed and bit. Use only the correct bit and set your grinder at low speed to reduce friction between the bit and epoxy.
Alternatively, you can follow these tips:
- Use a carbide cutter for bulk removal. At slow grinding speed, a tool like this will help speed up the removal. Besides, you can easily clean it using a pointed, sharp tool.
- If the carbide cutter doesn’t work well, you can switch to a bud-shaped stump cutter.
- If you want to shape putty-like epoxies, I recommend using 2 medium flame-shaped diamond bits. Apply with patience, low rpm, and light strokes to deliver excellent results. You can easily clean the bits from any loaded epoxies with an oven cleaner or acetone.
- Alternatively, you can also use a ceramic stone rode to remove or shape your epoxy. However, depending on your needs, you may need to modify this tool. I recommend using it with a 3/32” diameter rod with an inverted cone at the end and a diamond lap stone. This combination will deliver a very effective texturing in barb lines. If in any case you need to enhance the control and effectiveness, you only need to grind the small grooves, which you can find at the same side as the inverted cone. For this process, you should only use a fine-grit, safe-end diamond. As you are applying it, the grooves may leave a few teeth in the edge, while exiting the outer end of your cone. These teeth will allow you to control the bit easier and more aggressive. Please be carefully while using this tool and make sure you have a firm grip of it.