A plank of rotten or old wood can be restored following the proper techniques of strengthening wood.
Poor wood hardening process will never deliver the required result. Wood can get damaged when it is exposed to harsh weather conditions.
And the process of overcoming deformation is known as the wood hardener process.
In this article, we will learn about a few effective techniques of how to make a wood harder.
Without making a delay, let’s begin.
Why Do You Need to Make the Wood Harder?
Hardening wood has many benefits. Below are a few of them:
● You can reuse well-preserved yet soft wood-pieces.
● A rotten wood-piece will get life back.
● A wood-piece can get recovered that has been damaged from exposure to excessive moisture.
● Buying new wood will be unnecessary when accomplishing a woodworking project.
● Wooden object’s lifespan will increase.
● A wood-piece becomes more robust and resilient.
The above points are some of the key benefits you can get by hardening wood. However, you should remember that all wood-pieces are irrecoverable.
You can’t recover a rotten wood-piece that breaks easily, an inhabitant of animals, and smells awful.
Little rotten up or softened woods can easily be recovered following the good wood hardening process.
3 Techniques to Make Wood Harder
We will discuss the most effective and active wood hardening techniques in this section. So, we came up with a list of 3 different easy to follow techniques. A beginner can comfortably accomplish these techniques with little effort and time.
Method 01: Make Wood Harder Using Fire
For many years, people have been using this technique to make the wood harder. It is an active method to make the most softwood harder with fire.
In this method, fire is used to remove humidity from wood. Simultaneously, the wood grain gets straightened, and the rotten parts get hardened because of the heat created by fire.
Since you are dealing with a fire in this process, following the right steps with precautions is mandatory.
Step 01: First, prepare a small hole in the ground with a fire pit – it should be open so that you can drive the wood.
Step 02: Charcoal and firewood need to be poured inside. Next, flare-up them. Without decent heat, you can’t complete the process effectively, so let the flames raise enough. Don’t stop pouring charcoal and firewood until the flame is settled.
Step 03: When the fire grows at least 6” high, then you can hold the main process of this method. Start holding the wood-pieces over the fire. While holding, you have to be careful because if you don’t hold the wood-pieces at least 3” above the fire, the wood-pieces can fire up.
Step 04: Ensure moving around the wood-pieces every few seconds. A wood-piece may get overheated if you let it absorb the heat for more than 1 minute in one place.
Step 05: The more moisture a wood-piece gets, the harder it will become. With the right amount of heat, a wood-piece will get rid of moisture.
1. Check if the wood-piece gets harder.
2. Touch the heated area, and you will get a dry-enough feeling if the area is perfectly-heated.
3. Remove the wood-piece from over the fire and give it a rest at least for the next 5 minutes.
Step 07: Now, the wood-piece has become more robust and rigid than before. If it is not, follow the same procedure again.
WARNINGS: It is advisable to use fire-retardant gauntlets and an object to keep your hands safe from a heated wood-piece.
Method 02: Make Wood Harder Using Epoxy
Another effective method to make wood harder is using epoxy. This process is much popular because it is much safer and easier than making wood harder using the fire method.
Using epoxy resin is a great alternative to the fire method since it is easy to use and beginner-friendly. Follow the below steps to make the process successful.
Step 01: The epoxy process requires deep cleaning of the wood-piece that you want to make harder. Any spot on the wood-piece will make the process unsuccessful.
Step 02: This step is to find the ideal epoxy resin for your project. Different epoxy resin offers a different level of strength. You should pick the best-suited epoxy resin and remember that the strongest one will always deliver the best result.
Step 03: Once you buy the ideal epoxy, the nest is to prepare a water and epoxy resin solution. Make sure to follow the instruction that comes with the bottle or package. Stir the solution until the mixture gets thick.
Step 04: Start applying the epoxy resin using an old paintbrush once it is prepared. Pour the mixture on the surface of the wood-piece and spread it evenly.
Step 05: If the wood-piece is too soft or too thick, take a drill and make a hole in the center. Fill the hole up with epoxy resin. This way, the wood will become hard inside, and you will get the best result sometimes.
Step 06: Once you finish applying epoxy resin on the entire wood-piece surface, leave the coat at least for the next 3 hours. As a result, the epoxy resin will harden a little on the surface. After 3 hours, start applying for another coat. You also can pour more epoxy into the hole if the wood-piece interior can handle it.
Step 07: If the piece of wood is to be used for anything that will come in contact with moisture or other materials, we recommend using 3 coats of epoxy.
Step 08: You have already applied enough coats of epoxy, and now all you need to do is, let the epoxy dry. Generally, it takes 3 days to be cured properly. Place the wood-piece in an open space where enough air is available. Within a few days, you will get a hard wood-piece coated with epoxy resin.
WARNING: Always prefer to apply the epoxy resin in a well-ventilated area because it creates fume. Also, wear hand gloves and goggles when working with it.
Method 03: Make Wood Harder Using Wood Hardener
The easiest and efficient method to make wood harder is using the wood hardeners. But keep in mind that wood hardener offers the best result if the wood-piece is too soft. Wood hardeners don’t offer effective results when the wood is too soft and rotten.
Step 01: Preparing the wood-piece before applying wood hardener is the most challenging. The wood-piece needs to be cleaned thoroughly, oil and grease-free, and dry enough. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove debris and dust.
Step 02: Take the wood hardener can. It can be a bottle or package. Stir or shake the bottle well. Then start spraying on the entire wood-piece surface.
Step 03: Once you finish spraying the 1st coat, let the coat dry. For this, give it a rest for a minimum of 1 – 2 hours. Then follow the same spraying process to apply the 2nd coat.
Step 04: You can spray up to 5 coats if you want to give the wood-piece a great look. Also, the surface will become super-smooth as well as shiny.
Step 05: After you applied the last coat, give the whole wood-piece an air dry for 5- 12 hours. Then if required, you can apply paint or other protective coat on the surface.
However, the wood hardener is safe to use, but you should still take all the safety precautions while working with it.
Hopefully, hardening wood methods will never be a challenging task, even if you are a beginner. It is recommended not to skip any of the steps of the above-discussed methods. Follow the steps meticulously, and you will have a successful wood hardening project.
Best of luck!