Just a short post of the wonder of mixing micro-crystalline balloons into Rhoplex™. Whenever I do this I have to slow way down, and practice patience, which is not one of my virtues. Currently we have this lovely Louis XIV chest of drawers (the real thing, not a reproduction) to conserve for a private client, a family heirloom.
For this project we are filling areas with a prior pest infestation, which led to bug bores, undermining the strength of the wood in some areas. (Underside of drawer, right.) The bores will be filled with the mixture thickened to a runny paste.
Micro-crystalline balloons are dangerous in their powdered state. They are like a fine powdered glass. They can harm your eyes if airborne, and can cut in your nose and lungs. Once mixed they become part of a mixture to use with respect and with a protocol of safety, but are much less dangerous.. I wear a full face mask when mixing, and gloves, and have wet wipes around me for spills before I move away.
The part that takes patience is that in a jelly jar half full of Rhoplex™, only two spoonfuls of balloons can be carefully added at a time. If you add more, the balloons become airborne with the first ouch of the mixing knife. It takes a very gentle up and down movement to wet the balloons into a glob before you can gently stir to fully mix. EVER. SO. SLOWLY. It is so hard to remember. The small jelly jar mixed below (and colored for the use under the dresser edge) took approximately 30 minutes to mix, as it took 8 spoonfuls of balloons, 2 at a time, slowly slowly!
Once fully mixed, the mixture is injected into all visible holes, shown below. A second treatment will be applied to repair some terribly broken edges — but that is another post!
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