End grain and clear epoxy (discoloration)

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Forum topic by Ryban posted 09-22-2020 04:41 AM 175 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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09-22-2020 04:41 AM

So I’m building a surfboard and am just about ready to glass the board (with an epoxy resin), and decided to do some tests first.

When I was attaching the cedar rails (sides), I made the first layer out of balsa to provide an accent, and to cut some weight. However, I decided to do these as short end-grain up-down-oriented pieces, because it was so much easier than trying to get the balsa to follow a curve:

I’ve regretted this decision, as the end grain orientation can’t be planed nicely, and caught all the cedar dust as I was sanding—I had to go through and carefully sand down just the balsa portion to remove this. Now it’s looking OK.

Unfortunately, the end grain soaks up epoxy and gives it a dull brown-ish color, instead of the nice white-ish color of the balsa. This is sort of a bummer. It won’t impact the surfing capabilities of the board, but it does take away from some of the aesthetic.

What would you guys do? One option I’m considering is mixing up some epoxy with a white additive, or using a paint, and just painting the accent balsa. That way the end grain is sealed, the color will be set.

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