Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-31-2018, 04:45 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mike66's Avatar
 
City: Warwick, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Susan Helena
Vessel Model: Albin40
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 238
Wood columns splitting

Okay all you wood experts out there. This is a non-boating question, although my house is on the oceanfront. Some of our turned porch columns are splitting vertically. Since we're in RI, they are subject to the freeze/thaw cycle. I wiil add a photo when I get home, but the splits are fairly wide ?1/8". I'm thinking of filling them with epoxy by taping up the sides and filling from the top with a thin, flexible epoxy. Is this the right approach or is there a better way?
Replacement would be very expensive. Thanks for any help or opinions.
__________________
Advertisement

mike66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2018, 05:05 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
City: New York
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 299
Mike, the problem with wood columns is well documented, because of that most every column we install these days are fiberglass, with Fypon base and cap..

When forced to use wood the initial coating and handling and install will set the tone for years to come....I won’t go into the long list but airflow, oil based primer to all raw surfaces and many other tricks will determine how well the wood columns hold up..

Also old growth woods which are unavailable today always performed better than today’s wood..

As far as your problem, yes your on the right track, oil prime the cracks, get the primer inside and around, next tape off and use a high quality flexible, paintable outdoor caulking, (many brands to choose from) . Fill void, run with finger, let dry, it will shrink a little, that’s good...Oil prime again, let dry, apply Bondo, much like sparkle, it’s two parts, easy on the hardener. Let dry, sand flush, oil prime and paint...

It a little labor intensive, but if you want to give yourself the best shot of long lasting repair, it’s the way to go..
__________________

Genecop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2018, 05:16 PM   #3
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,402
I would use thin, then thickened epoxy.

Not using any primer or oil first.

Then prime and paint.

If you are lucky and the cracks clean enough, the epoxy fill should be stronger than the wood.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2018, 07:32 PM   #4
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9,683
Could the timber have been green unseasoned or underseasoned wood? Doesn`t change the fix but may explain the occurrence.
__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:12 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
mike66's Avatar
 
City: Warwick, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Susan Helena
Vessel Model: Albin40
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 238
Looking closer at them, my guess is the columns were built up from flat boards, the turned. They are over 130 years old if original, but they could be more modern reproductions. They were there in the 1930's photos we saw.
Here are some pics. Thanks for your responses so far. As usual different ways of approaching a problem. Click image for larger version

Name:	20180901_080404.jpeg
Views:	82
Size:	34.6 KB
ID:	80391Click image for larger version

Name:	20180901_080259.jpeg
Views:	78
Size:	34.7 KB
ID:	80392Click image for larger version

Name:	20180901_080320.jpeg
Views:	77
Size:	30.0 KB
ID:	80393Click image for larger version

Name:	20180901_080309.jpeg
Views:	75
Size:	27.4 KB
ID:	80394
mike66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:14 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
mike66's Avatar
 
City: Warwick, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Susan Helena
Vessel Model: Albin40
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 238
Sorry for the duplicates
mike66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:16 AM   #7
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,402
You could also through bolt every so often and then plug the holes
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:22 AM   #8
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,375
The big house we used to own in CT had 22 round columns. We would caulk them with paintable acrillic and be done. Would have to recalk every 5 or 6 years but replacing them was not an option.
They never really got worse
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:24 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
mike66's Avatar
 
City: Warwick, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Susan Helena
Vessel Model: Albin40
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 238
Will bondo expand and contract with the wood?
I may through bolt the large ones in the base. Washers good enough? I could use 1" dowel for plugs.
mike66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:46 AM   #10
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,402
Thicker washers would be best, you also could use lag bolts if also using epoxy...saving plugging a second hole.

I wouldnt use Bondo for large cracks that work, yes it would just probably crack again, though it might be a thinner crack.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:54 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
City: New York
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 299
The caulking will do the bulk of the work....the bondo will do it’s job to hide the caulked seam..as post #8 said, caulk and paint will do the job, you could just caulk and prime and paint, you will always see a hint of the caulked joint..That’s where the Bondo Comes In, it will allow you to mask that seam, sand to a feather edge and conceal the seam...

Drilling and bolting to close the gap up could get you in trouble..when building columns we use strap clamps to exert pressure, the forces need to be exerted circular not linear...

If you want to help the cause further.....get some air in, air flow / access bottom and top of columns will prolong life and the repairs...
Genecop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 07:56 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
City: New York
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 299
https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Bondo...0081/206680651
Genecop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 08:00 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
City: New York
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 299
Mike I just checked out the photo..instead of Bondo use Abtron...here is the link..You could also bolt through the square sections, but I’m not sure I would...I use Abtron products for more serious repairs, they also make great concrete repair products..
https://www.abatron.com/product/woodepox/
Genecop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 08:06 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
City: New York
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 299
The square bottom sections can be closed up easily if the wood is sound...clean out the vertical crack...inject glue, clamp, countersink drill, and screw...They should pull right in...That’s the move for the square section...
Genecop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 08:17 AM   #15
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,402
Just to be fair, through bolting or lagging does have some concerns. First is whether the posts are laminated or solid. If laminated, bolting or lagging should not be too much of an issue. If solid wood, it can cause further splitting.

Either way, bolting or lagging should be done (in my mind) as a last ditch, mostly to pull together the splits for epoxying and uising the smallest bolts or threaded rod possible to prevent further splitting.

Clamps might work fine and should be tried first if you can get some appropriate ones.

If the posts are substantial support the way they are and the cracks can be considered more cosmetic than structural, then repair to that degree.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 08:19 AM   #16
TF Site Team
 
Pack Mule's Avatar
 
City: Paris,TN
Country: USA
Vessel Name: William
Vessel Model: Outer reef 32
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,333
Those cracks look they are from when the boards were originally glued together to make the columns. Over time the glue joint has failed and the wood shrunk. I would clean the cracks out best I could and probably use some thickened epoxy or bondo , shove it in the cracks, let it dry and add some more when it dries and shrinks . Then I would sand prime and paint . Prime it with primer that works with the paint your going to use. Acrylic latex is some pretty good stuff if you don’t want to use oilbase.
__________________
Marty
Pack Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 09:07 AM   #17
Guru
 
foggysail's Avatar
 
City: Ashland, MA
Country: United States
Vessel Model: 1990 Silverton 40 aftcabin
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Just to be fair, through bolting or lagging does have some concerns. First is whether the posts are laminated or solid. If laminated, bolting or lagging should not be too much of an issue. If solid wood, it can cause further splitting.

Either way, bolting or lagging should be done (in my mind) as a last ditch, mostly to pull together the splits for epoxying and uising the smallest bolts or threaded rod possible to prevent further splitting.

Clamps might work fine and should be tried first if you can get some appropriate ones.

If the posts are substantial support the way they are and the cracks can be considered more cosmetic than structural, then repair to that degree.


A similar approach that I would consider is to use water proof glue (big box stores) for the bonding along with clamps. You should also use boards on each side under clamps to squeeze the gaps closed. The boards or some other type of spacers will prevent the clamps from marking your posts when they are tightened. YOu should be able to avoid fasteners.
foggysail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 09:17 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
mike66's Avatar
 
City: Warwick, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Susan Helena
Vessel Model: Albin40
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
A similar approach that I would consider is to use water proof glue (big box stores) for the bonding along with clamps. You should also use boards on each side under clamps to squeeze the gaps closed. The boards or some other type of spacers will prevent the clamps from marking your posts when they are tightened. YOu should be able to avoid fasteners.
Definitely knew that there would be some great opinions out there. I think my first approach will be to see if the flat sections will come together with clamps. If so, outdoor glue should do it. If not, the the epoxy or caulk route. They do hold up a small roof, so there is load, especially in the winter with snow and ice. Glue and screw is pretty strong.
mike66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 09:23 AM   #19
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,459
Greetings,
My $.01. "Glue and screw is pretty strong." Once the glue/adhesive is set, there is really no need for screws...Clamps with glue/stick-um.
__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2018, 11:19 AM   #20
Guru
 
DHeckrotte's Avatar
 
City: Philadelphia, PA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Revel
Vessel Model: 1984 Fu Hwa 39
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 999
Some of you have probably noticed that I'm not red hot at diesel/charging/electrical issues. But I am a retired architect who's done a fair bit of restoration and woodwork.


Those columns are clearly not old. They're made of glued-up boards then turned to shape. There's not much paint build-up. In the good old days of lousy water-resistant glue and availability of decent lumber, they'd be turned from a solid piece.


The remains of the failed glue no doubt remain in the joint and there's no easy/reasonable way of cleaning it out. Unless you're up for removing the columns and working on them in the dry and horizontal, you'll have a very tough time getting the new glue into a dry joint. If you were to tape the joint to prevent/reduce glue from running out and injecting the glue in stages, say 4" at a time, you might be lucky or sufficiently successful.


Clearly gluing with something good and tolerant of dirt (saturates and glues the dirt to the wood) is required. West System or similar 'runny' epoxy is one. Clamping the square portions of the column is easy; clamping those turned portions is hard. It might be best to force thickened epoxy into the joint using a putty knife.


There's something to be said for filling the cracks with sealants and forgetting about it, buy some time. Problems include continued warping of the boards in the column, water intrusion and trapping the water in the joint behind the sealant. Also, the typical sealant commonly suitable for this kind of 'paint prep' is latex AC20 or similar; the stuff remains just a little hygroscopic, like latex paints, and dirt collects on the smears of sealant.


Bondo, auto body filler, is inert fillers and polyester resin. Polyester does not bond to wood very well. Abatron is an epoxy filler and will adhere to dry wood. https://www.abatron.com/product/woodepox/ It's made for filling rotted cavities and making up missing portions of wood.
__________________

DHeckrotte is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012