Rotted door jambs. New House Debacle:

Repairing A Rotted Door Jamb:
Epoxy Filler

 
In This Article:

Rotten wood is scraped away from door jambs and treated with epoxy wood hardener, then filled with epoxy.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Moderate) Time Taken: 2 Hours

By , Editor

Start:

My original task was to repaint the door jambs on this house. After sanding the loose paint (the primer did not seem to bond well) I noticed that all 6 patio doors in this house had some degree of rot damage in the lower parts of their jambs.

I used a chisel to scrape away the soft, rotted wood.
It just keeps going: At first the rot looked superficial, but it actually went in quite deep.

 

The first epoxy product: LiquidWood® by Abatron, Inc. Applying epoxy to rotted door jamb.
I mixed equal parts of the two ingredients in a paper cup and brushed it on the wood that had only minor water damage.

 

This center section between the fixed and swinging doors had to be dried before I could continue.
Abatron's WoodEpox® product, an excellent filler. I mixed equal parts in a paper cup.

 

WoodEpox is applied with a putty knife.
After hardening, I used a sharp knife to shave away excess epoxy.

 

A Surform tool is effective at smoothing the hardened epoxy. A rasp or coarse file would also work.
I shaped the epoxy until it was smooth and flush with the original wood. This material is similar to auto body filler (Bondo).

 

The jamb after being primed and painted.

 

Notes On Working With Abatron's Products:

Abatron recommends using LiquidWood first, to penetrate the wood softened by rot (but still intact), and then following that with their WoodEpox as a filler for voids. The wood must be dry.

I have used WoodEpox by itself with excellent results. It seems to harden in a few hours if it is kept warm, 70 to 90 degrees. In the above example, I used an electric heater to warm the area, even though it was outdoors and the temperature was in the 50's.

I have had less success with their LiquidWood product. It definitely soaks into the wood, but it takes a long time to harden, even when warmed.  I have been tempted to try more heat (the heat gun can reach 1000 degrees) but I notice bubbling when LiquidWood gets too hot. Excess heat will likely cause some degradation in the epoxy.

Their instructions do not specify exactly how hard LiquidWood needs to be. My biggest problem has been the inability to sand the epoxy when it is still tacky. But I suspect that the tackiness would not be a problem if the LiquidWood was covered with their WoodEpox product (in other words, the treatment was not on the finished surface of the wood).

I have used LiquidWood outdoors and let it cure for several days to a week, at around 70 degrees. It gradually loses it's tackiness during that time span. This fact makes it difficult to use here in Northern Michigan, essentially limiting it's use to the summer months. 


See an article about using wood filler blocks to repair severe rot damage on a similar door jamb.

 

 

Tools Used:

  • 1 Inch Chisel, Hammer
  • Putty Knife, Paint Brush
  • Heat Gun or Electric Heater.
  • Surform Tool or Rasp

Materials Used:

  • WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Filler
  • LiquidWood Wood Hardener

 

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Written January 3, 2000
Revised January 6, 2005