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Subject: Replacement for Araldite AV1253

Replacement for Araldite AV1253

From: Martin O'Brien <martin<-at->
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Robert Proctor <robert [at] whittenandproctor__com> writes

>We have been using Araldite AV1253 carvable epoxy for replicating
>missing frame ornaments but are concerned by the warning stating
>"this product contains chemicals known to the State of California to
>cause cancer". One product I have found through a quick Google
>search is Abatron WoodEpox which clams to be "Greenguard Certified".
>Can anyone recommend this or any other product as a substitute for

I have 20+ years of experience with both Araldite 1253 and Abatron
WoodEpox.  I find both valuable and hope they both will always be
available.  They are different in how they are mixed.  Araldite, I
mix on a palette.  WoodEpox, I mix by kneading the two parts (like
clay) in gloved hands.  They are also different in how they work in
their cured state.  WoodEpox is much easier to carve--almost too
easy to carve.  It may be considered a bit too soft, but maybe not
for your particular application.  Araldite 1253 will carve more like
real wood and thus yield sharper, more crisp detail.  Knowing these
qualities ahead of time, or working with a practice piece, will tell
you what you need to know.  1253 is a venerated mainstay of wooden
object conservators. WoodEpox is perhaps more popular among
architectural conservators. Both are excellent products.

As far as safety goes, keep in mind that almost every chemical I
have in my conservation lab is "known to the State of California to
cause cancer." While I take safety *very* seriously, my opinion is
that the "California warning" is a bit overkill.  Whenever I am
mixing *any* epoxy, I protect myself by using gloves, respirator
and/or proper ventilation.  From all the literature I have read,
epoxies are inert once they have cured. The same precautions (dust
mask) when carving or sanding wood should be taken when doing the
same with cured epoxy.  So yes, I think Abatron WoodEpox will work
provided you practice with it a bit in order to become familiar with
its properties.

As an aside:  There are retail or hobby grade epoxies available,
such as PC Woody and Sig Epoxolite that, in my experience, are
almost identical to Araldite 1253.  I have yet to find anything in
the retail or hobby world remotely similar to Abatron's WoodEpox.

Martin O'Brien
Wooden Objects Conservator in Private Practice

                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:19
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
                       Message Id: cdl-26-19-002
Received on Sunday, 23 September, 2012

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