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Try Minwax wood strengthener on weak Balsa.

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Try Minwax wood strengthener on weak Balsa.

Old 11-18-2015, 05:08 PM
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Default Try Minwax wood strengthener on weak Balsa.

This stuff is simply amazing! If you have a weak place or very thin Balsa sheeting due to oversanding you should try Minwax Wood Strengthener. It was made to strengthen rotten wood but it works great on Balsa wood. It is super thin and instantly soaks into the wood and dries in seconds. You will be amazed at what you can do with it!
I get mine at Home Depot.
One can goes a long way. Just don't go crazy with it or you'll add weight to your plane.
Old 11-18-2015, 05:41 PM
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Warning Will Robinson!

That is some sticky stuff! Whatever you do, don't spill it or get it on yourself.

I do some wood turning and a piece I was turning turned out to be very punky inside. I got a can of Wood Hardener and it had a metal seal inside the screw off lid. I'd seen my A/C contractor dad do this a thousand times, so I put a screwdriver on top and punched it through. Only to send a shower of Minwax wood hardener across the shop. In the ensuing reaction I knocked the can off the bench and poured 3/4 of a can all over myself and the floor.

When I picked up the can, I was glued to it and couldn't put it down. After peeling it off my hand I picked up the screw driver and had to peel that off too. My shirt was glued to my chest and my hair was a complete mess. There was no way to clean the stuff up and the workshop floor was sticky for ages. Showers, solvents, soap, nothing helped. Do not have an accident with this product. If you do, you'll remember it for a lifetime.

It's a good product and I've used it on several occasions. I've even got a fresh can in the shop for the current project that is on my lathe. Just be very careful, it's the stickiest substance you'll ever find and you can't clean it up. I'm not the only woodworker who has horror stories of this stuff getting away from them.

Dave
Old 11-18-2015, 07:32 PM
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Too bad there is no video of the spill!!? Good candidate for America's Funniest Videos. Sounds kind of nasty. I was just wondering if it is fuelproof?
Old 11-19-2015, 01:59 PM
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Hahahaha! Man, you've got me laughing so hard my eyes are leaking!

Yeah, it was a real comedy of errors. It was crazy that everything I touched stuck to me and then would have to be peeled out of my hand. Then it was stuck to the other hand, the stuff was everywhere. A good friend of mine tells a very similar story of the first time he used it. We laugh about it every time we discuss this stuff. And we've both continued to use it.

I've never used it on a model but I would think this stuff to be almost anything proof. It's really a great product, you just need to know what to expect.

Dave
Old 11-19-2015, 07:53 PM
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I'm curious. What does it cost? Does it eventually dry and become non sticky? Do you just brush it on? Can it be thinned? What is its shelf life like after opening it? Does MonoKote stick to it?
Old 11-19-2015, 08:21 PM
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I just Googled it and could not find strengthener, but the Hardener is $11 a pt. One guy recommended it on cardboard, as it makes it as hard as plastic. That sounds interesting for turtle decks or evens sheeting a wing.
Old 11-19-2015, 08:23 PM
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make sure u go potty before u start lol
Old 11-20-2015, 04:45 AM
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I have used good old Butyrate dope to strengthen and to add water resistance to balsa for decades. Is the Minwax product comparable? How much weight does it add after cured ? I'm just looking for some insight from someone whom has used both products .
Old 11-20-2015, 06:00 AM
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If it is as good as dope, or better, I may try some too. It is pretty much unobtanium lately without a special order. I never liked the way it dries up with half the bottle left. The smell is addicting though. Always liked that for some reason.
Old 11-20-2015, 08:07 AM
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This the stuff? Minwax 41700 1 Pint High Performance Wood Hardener


http://www.amazon.com/Minwax-41700-P.../dp/B000BPINKS

Says it cleans up with acetone.
Old 11-20-2015, 12:18 PM
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I've never used a brush, for my applications I'll wipe it on with a rag, pour it on or even pour it inside to bowl to soak the piece. It penetrates the punky wood and dries hard, like the name implies. It's not tacky after curing.

As to what it weighs, I've never worried too much about how much weight it added to a wooden bowl.

Dave
Old 11-20-2015, 12:29 PM
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Sounds like just low grade CA to me.
Old 11-20-2015, 01:26 PM
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Definitely not CA. I don't know what it is, but it's not CA.

I have a feeling that it'll be a might heavy for the use proposed here. Not sure why anyone would want to use it on balsa or how well it would work for that purpose. But I have balsa and I have a fresh can of Minwax Wood Hardener.

I'll do up a test case this weekend. I'll weigh a piece of thin balsa, then soak it with Wood Hardener, let it dry, test the strength and re-weigh.

Dave
Old 11-20-2015, 03:29 PM
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If it is fuel proof, I was thinking of using it inside the fuselage and on the firewall. I checked all the local hardware stores here, and they have another brand of "wood hardener" that cleans up with water. I have a feeling methanol will dissolve it, so I left it on the shelf. $11. Maybe next time I go to Detroit I'll pick some up it it looks promising.
Old 11-20-2015, 04:27 PM
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So I took a piece of 1/16" light weight contest balsa that was 1 1/2 x 7 1/2", reserving a piece the same size from the same piece for comparison. I soaked the piece in Minwax Wood Hardener, dipping it 3 times to cover completely until the surface looked filled as recommended by the instructions.

Before treatment the piece weighed .799 g. After treating and drying, it weighed .979 g. Unfortunately, it didn't feel any stronger than the untreated piece and broke at about the same force.

I don't see it doing much for us.

Dave
Old 11-21-2015, 06:40 AM
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so I read the thread for nothing,,, doooh!!
Old 11-23-2015, 06:49 AM
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Wow, shipping is $22 to me, and $15 for the stuff. I will look for it in Detroit if I ever get over there, that is if I find out that it is fuel proof. The water based stuff here seems like it may be good for something too. Maybe rotten window sills or something similar at least. I doubt it is fuel proof being a water base. http://www.homedepot.com/p/PC-Produc...4440/100649629 This looks like the water based stuff I found here. I used polyester resin to fix a rotted window at the cottage a long time ago. I thinned it a bit with acetone, and it soaked in nicely and hardened up pretty good. I noticed the new owners replaced the windows, but I think it was an OK repair. I guess the same method could be used for the airplanes.

Last edited by aspeed; 11-23-2015 at 06:58 AM.
Old 02-22-2016, 11:05 AM
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It's purpose is for hardening rotted wood so it can be repaired. They make a 2 part putty to go with it but it is basically autobody filler. I have used it for fixing rotten window sills. You can get it at any big box store or local hardware store.
Old 02-28-2016, 05:39 AM
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jeeze m with this stuff i wont have to use viagra
Old 04-11-2016, 03:51 PM
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I coated the inside of the fuse on my Top Flite P-51 Mustang 60 size after I built it.
I recently recovered an old Sig Kougar (built in 1989).
The chin block was fuelsoaked. I used cornstarch to soak most of the fuel.
When I had most of the fuel out of the wood I then coated it with Minwax Wood strengthener followed by balsaritre. The covering stuck very good on that area.
I've never had it dry sticky.

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