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Using opticon on wood?

I would like to use a wood lathe to make pendants out of some
interesting exotic wood pieces I have. But the wood needs to be
stabilized. In woodworking it’s customary to use either epoxy or
cyanoacrylate glue as wood stabilizers to fill cracks, etc. But
these wood pieces are fairly small. I’m considering using Opticon to
fill the small cracks and toughen up the spalted areas. Does anyone
know if this will work? I could find no online references to using
Opticon on any wood other than the petrified variety.

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry

if can penetrate it will work

You can use 1 pint of acetone/2 part epoxy. Squirt in the entire tube
or syringe/acetone in a glass jar. Leave the pieces in for a week.

One of the epoxies- 220 I think? Will not turn yellow.


Opticon is intended to fill cracks in transparent materials, where
by matching refractive index of the material more closely than does
air, it makes the crack less visible. But while it is an epoxy, if
used as directed, where the hardener is added later, the filling
other than the surface layer does not harden. It does not stabilize
materials when used like this. If you fill your wood with it after
mixing with hardener, it might work better, but be aware that opticon
is optimized as an optical agent, not as an adhesive or for permanent
stabilization of porous materials. I’d try small test samples to
examine the results before trusting it to work as you wish. You
might also want to test some of they polyester resins, such as are
used for fiberglass or carbon fiber laminates. Some of them cure
harder and whiter than do many epoxies. Some of those might be found
even in local hardware stores.

Peter Rowe

Hi Kathy,

May I ask what woods? I use Australian burls 1) because they are
beautiful, and 2) because I live in Australia. I have a friend in
Brazil that ships me some of their local timbers, which are very
nice and are usually just a harder version of the European species.

Okay to the point North Coast Knives have a tutorial on stabalising
wood that is very inventive :-

The site has a wealth of

Regards Charles A.

I asked wood turner/sculptor husband about this. Since he doesn’t
know opticon can’t comment on that.

Re NEW INFO on super glues!! Restoration experts at the Renwick have
made a determination that super glues begin to break down at 15
years. This could critical info for anyone using these glues in sold

FYI bill would turn first, then fill then either re-turn or just
proceed to finishing. Bill also says for filling a void epoxy works
better. You can mix in fine dust. Super glue is best for deep narrow
cracks. Super glue can crystalize and so while it can make spalted
material solid, it may not look great. Try them and see what works

Marianne hunter

it would be far cheaper to use a silicone based flexible and clear
sealant than opticon - for one thing the opticon will only last
temporarily as the wood is exposed to humidity then drying it will
eventually fall out as it won’t adhere fully or permanently.Unless
you then seal the entire finished piece with the opticon or whatever
else in with a waterproof marine varnish or good shellac whatever
you choose will be subject to changes in the weather.If it contains a
stone as well you may mask the stone before sealing otherwise the
reflectivity will be reduced.If it is also stone set, make sure to
undercut the seat to help hold it in and also consider using an
adhesive like one of the GS line of adhesives to give a stone a bit
of extra help as wood can’t be readily burnished over a stone like
metal : it has zero malleability! Opticon is the best “filler” for
things that are hard and not susceptible to changes in humidity, but
it is only for very small fractures and fissures.It is not
appropriate for filling gaps in wood whereas wood fillers or a
product like “man in a can” can be tinted with anything from paint
to food grade powdered pigments and will dry hard and remain like
stone in the gap once cured (which is faster than most adhesive or
flexible sealants available with the exception of a pourable resin
like ice brand which comes, in one form, in a syringe with two
barrels that automatically mix the right ratio of catalyst to resin
and can be applied directly to the work in very small or pin-point
quantities.If you choose a resin it too can be tinted, but the waste
would be great unless you have a quantity of pieces of the same wood
colour to fill, in which case man-in-a-can may be better a choice
than other wood putty brands or fillers: it’s cheap, you can use it
for far more things in the studio (holding work, to engraving to
multi-use mould making as it is as hard as stone when dry, cleanup is
easy, and it is relatively less toxic and more permanent than epoxies
compared to other choices (i.e- cyanoacrylates will burn out if
placed in a kiln or torched, some epoxies and caulks emit noxious
acetic fumes while curing,etc.). If the wood hasn’t been fully dried
and you have a kiln or access to one you should consider drying it
thoroughly before filling, sealing or embellishing to avoid problems
after you have worked the pieces to completion…


I have been toying with the idea of doing wood pieces set with
stones. This “man-in-a-can” sounds like a product I would be
interested in. What’s the real name of it? It’s certainly an amusing
name, but I can guess what kind of reaction I would get in a
hardware store if I asked for it by that name! I do gourds too, and
would like to try molding something on the surface of gourds, and it
sounds like it might be good for that.

thanks for the advice,
Vicki K. SoCal, Part time Arizonian