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Tradie's Bog hasn't set (my fault!), how to fix?

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  1. #1
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    Default Tradie's Bog hasn't set (my fault!), how to fix?

    Hello prospective helpers,

    OK, I've worked out that I messed it up trying to extend the 'workable' time by using minimal amounts of the hardener to decrease the setting time. Obviously I used *less* than the minimal amount required for the chemical reaction to occur!



    (I'm blaming it on being a different brand than I usually use! I'm more used to that brand's colour and can usually adjust amounts by 'eye', iykwim!)

    I was using it to fill in nail holes, dents and gaps in an architrave I made around a window.

    Sooooo...... The Bog is now the texture of dried chewing gum. I can 'scratch' it off with my fingernail. I can scrape some of it off with a scraper, but that's going to be a big annoying job, and will mean that the gaps/dents/nail holes will still have the 'unset' bog in them, which makes sanding almost impossible.

    Is there any other way of fixing this? (ie, some magic thing I can paint over it to 'harden' it?)

    Or..... Scrape out ALL of it & re-do with the correct ratio of bog:hardener,

    Or.... Start all over again from scratch with new architraves???

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    Just scrape it out, or drill it out whichever suits. Don't worry if you dont get it all out, as long as you get enough out to put a new batch over the top which will set, and then you can paint over.

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    I can suggest a few options.
    Try a heat gun or hair dryer and see if that has some effect, just don't blister the paint unless you are repainting.
    Wait until morning and see if it has hardened.
    Scrape out as much as you can and try again.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Not your fault. Builders bog is c$@& and has next to no work time in it.
    Builders bog is polyester resin mixed with industrial talcum powder.
    Polyester resin needs accelerant and catalyst to harden. To simplify matters, the resin is pre accelerated and the catalyst supplied separately since otherwise you would need to add two things. Problem is that accelerant ratio is dependent on temperature and the manufacturer is aiming at the average temperature of the Antarctic continent, so for the general folks there is too much accelerant and unless you add catalyst one molecule at the time, you either have no time or it does not polymerise.
    To your question, to incorporate catalyst in the matter you pushed into nail holes and crevices will prove to be rather difficult, so I am afraid you will have to scrape out all the soft putty and start again. Put the bog in the fridge, work early in the morning or late at night and be careful with the amount of catalyst you add to it. A few dry runs with a small amount may help.
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
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    I think Sellys are the geniuses that make the builders bog with the white hardener so you don't know if its mixed or not. That's the beauty of bog, being able to go off quick to finish the job. I usually fill with a few layers if trying to build out a corner or similar but only use a sharp chisel or hand plane blade to shape between coats and only sand the final coat otherwise the dust needs cleaning off thoroughly between coats to ensure adhesion.

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    It would be very simple to make a better bog. Not only it needs the catalyst to be coloured, it needs to be much more diluted in a larger volume, to allow for a more accurate dosage. Not rocket science really.
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
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    I never had this issue, I just imagine golf balls and peas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    I never had this issue, I just imagine golf balls and peas.
    Yep, that's what my Dad taught me, and it's always worked.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handyjack View Post
    I can suggest a few options.
    Try a heat gun or hair dryer and see if that has some effect, just don't blister the paint unless you are repainting.
    Wait until morning and see if it has hardened.
    Scrape out as much as you can and try again.

    Good luck.
    Heat won't work, it's a chemical reaction which set's it off, more hardener quicker set time, not enough hardener, well it will eventually go off but may take a while.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    I thought it was a matchbox and pea. ..... I pretty much have a guess, a light pink is a longer set and red, super quick. Old stuff goes off heaps quicker as well, whilst mixing even.

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    Use a Dremel with a milling bit to dig out these small holes. Add some acetone should do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    I never had this issue, I just imagine golf balls and peas.
    True, but unfortunately there is inconsistency in the batches and between brands so if you get a hot day even if you do a golf ball and a split lentil, it will go off quicker than you need and you end up throwing half of your mix away. The problem is so obvious and so widespread and so easy to fix, that sometimes I think it is intentional so you use more than you need ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Not your fault. Builders bog is c$@&
    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for your detailed information. It seemed the consensus was to scrape out the first lot and try again. So, I've done that part.

    But following your comment above, I thought I'd ask if there was anything else to use instead that would be better? I always like an excuse for a trip to Bunnings.

    I used the Builder's Bog only because I'm familiar with it & thought it was the *thing* to use?

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    1K Club Member Random Username's Avatar
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    If you want "the thing" to use, chuck the Builder's Bog into the bin, followed by any other tins of polyester/catalyst fillers, swear on your copy of AS1684 never to buy it again, go to a fibreglass or boat shop, and buy some marine epoxy such as West System or Bote Coat.

    Advantages:
    It's waterproof - as in it works for boats.
    It's strong - by 'boats', it's not just your little canoe, it's 30 meter wooden yachts held together with it, not to mention aircraft.
    Different hardeners are available - typically slow, medium and fast, not to mention clear if you want to use it as a finish layer like varnish.
    It can be used with different fillers to give it bulk and different sanding and strength characteristics - from flour (yes, that stuff in the pantry), to sawdust, to talc, to metal powders or even sand.
    No shelf life, unlike bogs which harden in the tin.

    Disadvantages:
    If you buy it from Bunnies, it's called Araldite and it (literally) costs you ten times as much. (35ml for $16/Araldite vs. 1.5 litres for $70/Bote Cote)
    It needs painting over if used outside (needs UV protection...but bog needs this as well).

    Read here for extensive how to use hints:
    Epoxy by the Leading Epoxy Manufacturer | WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

    You may now discard your bog.
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    Holy @@@@. Its a few nail holes and dents. No need to spend a fortune on epoxy. The experienced painters used on a previous job were filling nail holes with plaster top coat. Upon questioning they reckon they've tried lots of different products but this seems the best. Builders bog has its place but generally not for just nail holes.

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Ha ha, Random is correct, Epoxy is "better" in the sense that it adheres to wood much better than polyester, and gives you a wider choice of polymerisation speeds, but to go to a marine supplier for bog to putty some nail holes is the same as using dynamite to fish for bait.
    Using the same criteria you can buy Polyester resing from bunnings, industrial talcum powder and make your own builder bog with the correct amount of accelerant. (forget it)

    Use the same stuff you have already, just make it faster. If it gets hard half way through, scape it off the bowl and start again.

    I too enjoy going to Bunnings. Each time I need screws or bolts or nails, I go and buy a box, use 1/4 of the box and tuck it away.
    At this stage I can start my own hardware store ...
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
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    Random Username,

    That stuff all sounds like great info, but kinda too complex for the small job I need to do! I do get your point that there is better stuff to use but for my purposes it needs to be quick, easy to get and not too expensive. But mostly easy to get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipper View Post
    Holy @@@@. Its a few nail holes and dents. No need to spend a fortune on epoxy. The experienced painters used on a previous job were filling nail holes with plaster top coat. Upon questioning they reckon they've tried lots of different products but this seems the best. Builders bog has its place but generally not for just nail holes.
    I actually have some plaster top coat! I'm planning to use it for the nail holes in my gyprock walls. I was a little worried about using in on the timber architraves in case the wood 'moves' and causes it to crack?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Ha ha, Random is correct, Epoxy is "better" in the sense that it adheres to wood much better than polyester, and gives you a wider choice of polymerisation speeds, but to go to a marine supplier for bog to putty some nail holes is the same as using dynamite to fish for bait.
    Using the same criteria you can buy Polyester resing from bunnings, industrial talcum powder and make your own builder bog with the correct amount of accelerant. (forget it)
    Kind of agree with this - too much for my little project!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Use the same stuff you have already, just make it faster. If it gets hard half way through, scape it off the bowl and start again.
    I think you've hit the nail on the head with this idea, Marc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I too enjoy going to Bunnings. Each time I need screws or bolts or nails, I go and buy a box, use 1/4 of the box and tuck it away.
    At this stage I can start my own hardware store ...
    Me too! Except I usually go in for some nails, & come out with a whole bunch of other stuff I 'need'!!

  20. #20
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    There is no reason to use Polyester. If if it is a hole you have to fill, go for epoxy. if it is small, Get some of these: Parfix 1kg Ready To Use Multipurpose Filler | Bunnings Warehouse

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    Quote Originally Posted by justonething View Post
    There is no reason to use Polyester. If if it is a hole you have to fill, go for epoxy. if it is small, Get some of these: Parfix 1kg Ready To Use Multipurpose Filler | Bunnings Warehouse
    This is good stuff. Keeps for ages if you keep the plastic liner on it and add some water before storage.

    I also really like Polyfilla powder filler- working time of 1 hour and only need to mix up very small amounts. Easy to sand too and cheap

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    Quote Originally Posted by joynz View Post
    This is good stuff. Keeps for ages if you keep the plastic liner on it and add some water before storage.

    I also really like Polyfilla powder filler- working time of 1 hour and only need to mix up very small amounts. Easy to sand too and cheap
    Haven't mixed any before, but isn't Polyfilla only for inside only While the Parfix is for both in and outdoors?

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    Polyfilla comes in both interior and exterior. Marked on the pack. I have only used the interior.

    Imagine it is the same to work with though.

    The Parfix is for both interior and exterior. I find the powder slightly easier to sand than the Parfix, The pollyfiller sands off a bit like plaster.

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    Haha this thread is gold.


    For the record, IT IS rocket science trying to mix this stuff.
    Especially up this way, in summer with the heat and/or humidity.
    (I started a thread on this some time ago)
    you're lucky to get 20 seconds of working time before it goes off.
    And that's with using the minimal possible amount of hardener.

    Pea and golfball.....how do you work that out?
    Do you have a pea and golfball sized scoop?

    It would be so much easier if it came in a 50/50 mix ratio and two scoops to use rather than a 1L tin and a tiny tube.
    I don't think I've ever ever EVER used up a tin and tube of hardener equally.

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    So true, a pot split in half with equal amounts in each one with accelerant one with catalyst ... not rocket science.
    By the way rather than buying all those plaster based interior fillers, buy plaster of paris that cost peanuts and add a few lemon drops to the water before you add plaster to it (not the other way around) the plaster will slow down with citric acid. I used to manufacture a version of polyfilla or spackfilla as it was called in those days. Plaster of Paris, citric acid in powder form and a wetting agent. Something like 1000% profit.
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    PG You have to mix it inside that spiral looking ducting of yours with the air con in full blast, and that's after you have put the whole lot in the fridge for half a day before hand. Better still, chuck the whole lot out, and put beer in there instead like I did years ago. I think I had some on a fence post and it didn't set after 6 months. I think that polyester stuff does go off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justonething View Post
    PG You have to mix it inside that spiral looking ducting of yours with the air con in full blast, and that's after you have put the whole lot in the fridge for half a day before hand. Better still, chuck the whole lot out, and put beer in there instead like I did years ago. I think I had some on a fence post and it didn't set after 6 months. I think that polyester stuff does go off.
    6 months?
    ...........mate, if it's not gone off after an hour, give up......

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  28. #28
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    I think that anything will go off after 6 month
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatypusGardens View Post
    Haha this thread is gold.


    For the record, IT IS rocket science trying to mix this stuff.
    Especially up this way, in summer with the heat and/or humidity.
    (I started a thread on this some time ago)
    you're lucky to get 20 seconds of working time before it goes off.
    And that's with using the minimal possible amount of hardener.

    Pea and golfball.....how do you work that out?
    Do you have a pea and golfball sized scoop?

    It would be so much easier if it came in a 50/50 mix ratio and two scoops to use rather than a 1L tin and a tiny tube.
    I don't think I've ever ever EVER used up a tin and tube of hardener equally.

    Beg to differ, If we are still talking about Builders bog, It hardens through a chemical reaction not really heat which does accelerate it but only very marginally. If you cant get 2 -3 minutes out of a mix you are using way too much hardener

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipper View Post
    Beg to differ, If we are still talking about Builders bog, It hardens through a chemical reaction not really heat which does accelerate it but only very marginally. If you cant get 2 -3 minutes out of a mix you are using way too much hardener
    You can beg to differ all you want.
    It is what it is.


    I just said I've tried it with the minimal amount of hardener.
    Many many times,

    Unless you live where I live, your argument fails.
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    Sorry, no need to have a melt down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipper View Post
    Sorry, no need to have a melt down.

    Hardly a "meltdown"


    Just typical of internet forums.




    person A: "I've tried A B and C with product X and it doesn't work"

    person B: "Have you tried A B and C?"

    person A:






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  33. #33
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    Default Tradie's Bog hasn't set (my fault!), how to fix?

    I thought it was the plug in the other thread having a meltdown, or has the Internet solved that one.
    I had a life, but my job ate it...

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    Come on guys, Polyester resin time of polymerisation can vary from not hardening at all under 10C to hours under 20C to minutes above 30 and seconds above 40 all using the same amount of catalyst. That is a non debatable fact. The manufacturer does not have the market power to produce two different speeds so uses higher amounts of accelerant in order not to fail in colder climates. to the detriment of hotter places.
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    Of course, epoxy has a choice of three different speeds of hardener.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrislovespugs View Post
    Random Username,

    That stuff all sounds like great info, but kinda too complex for the small job I need to do! I do get your point that there is better stuff to use but for my purposes it needs to be quick, easy to get and not too expensive. But mostly easy to get.
    You may think that using epoxy resin is too complex for a small job but, I can assure you that, after you have obtained the smallest "sample pack" of (say) Bote Cote, you will be amazed at how often you find "little jobs" for which you can use it - in very small quantities. (I am currently half way through a 750 mg [total] 'pack'.)

    Personally, I am grateful that "Random Username" guided me to it.

    Just one additional "word of advice". It is necessary to mix the two epoxy components in the correct amounts/ratios. If you do buy any 2-part epoxy products for small jobs, I strongly recommend that you ALSO purchase a "Digital Pocket Scale" (from EBay), accurately to measure the two quantities each time.
    For a 1:2 ratio, all that you then need to do is to place the mixing container on the scale, set the "tare" to zero, add the X-amount of the hardener and then add the resin until the total is 3-X and mix.

    My scale cost about $11 (20 months ago) but they are now about $13 - no doubt due to the "fall" of the AUD since then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    You may think that using epoxy resin is too complex for a small job but, I can assure you that, after you have obtained the smallest "sample pack" of (say) Bote Cote, you will be amazed at how often you find "little jobs" for which you can use it - in very small quantities. (I am currently half way through a 750 mg [total] 'pack'.)

    Personally, I am grateful that "Random Username" guided me to it.

    Just one additional "word of advice". It is necessary to mix the two epoxy components in the correct amounts/ratios. If you do buy any 2-part epoxy products for small jobs, I strongly recommend that you ALSO purchase a "Digital Pocket Scale" (from EBay), accurately to measure the two quantities each time.
    For a 1:2 ratio, all that you then need to do is to place the mixing container on the scale, set the "tare" to zero, add the X-amount of the hardener and then add the resin until the total is 3-X and mix.

    My scale cost about $11 (20 months ago) but they are now about $13 - no doubt due to the "fall" of the AUD since then.
    Hi Frodo,

    I assume your method relies on the epoxy components being liquid? ie. you measure in 100ml hardener and then 300ml resin? I have std builders bog and ran into the issues the OP had so was looking to make it more scientific, however scraping out the bog to a exact Xg and then adding hardener when its 50:1 might be too hard. I note the BoteCote website says this on ratios

    "Modern Formulation. The Bote-Cote formulation is a modern one. It mixes at a ratio of 2:1 resin: hardener. This has an immediate benefit to the user of being easy to get the correct ratio when mixing. (Many older formulations are 5:1, a tiny error in the hardener [which would make it 4:1 or 6:1] is a huge percentage error which will cause weak epoxy or worse.)"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleBlack View Post
    I assume your method relies on the epoxy components being liquid? ie. you measure in 100ml hardener and then 300ml resin? I have std builders bog and ran into the issues the OP had so was looking to make it more scientific, however scraping out the bog to a exact Xg and then adding hardener when its 50:1 might be too hard. I note the BoteCote website says this on ratios

    "Modern Formulation. The Bote-Cote formulation is a modern one. It mixes at a ratio of 2:1 resin: hardener. This has an immediate benefit to the user of being easy to get the correct ratio when mixing. (Many older formulations are 5:1, a tiny error in the hardener [which would make it 4:1 or 6:1] is a huge percentage error which will cause weak epoxy or worse.)"
    In reading back some of the postings on this thread I note that there are actually two types of products under discussion.
    1 Polyester products, such as Tradies Bog (Builders Bog)
    2 Epoxy Resins, such as Bote Cote.

    (Earlier, I was ignorant of the difference until advised by "Random Username")

    The ratios specified by Bote Cote (an Epoxy Resin) are quite specific and must be closely adhered to.
    Note that a 2:1 ratio of Resin to Hardener could require one to
    measure in 100 ml Hardener and then add 200 ml Resin - to give 300 ml in total.
    (For small quantities I would weigh [say] 10 g of Hardener and add 20 g of Resin to give - 30 g in total. That is why I recommended that one purchase a "Digital Pocket Scale", accurately to measure the two quantities each time.)

    Polyester Resins (such as Builders Bog) use a "Catalytic" hardener, of which (theoretically) only a small amount is required to engender the chemical change from liquid/paste to solid but a larger amount is likely to speed up this change. (While I realise that "a word to the wise is infuriating" and do not wish to tell you something which you already know : - A Catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.)

    I am sorry that I cannot help you further in this matter. When using "Builders Bog" the main problem that I have had in the past is that it often sets hard far too fast - and NOT that it does not set!

  39. #39
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    I believe that the matter of setting time is a secondary one. The main question of the OP was how to address the fact that he had putty up nail holes with bog that will never set for lack of catalist. That of course has no answer. Dig it out and start again. No magic bullet.
    I also noticed that the two resins are discussed together.
    The reality is that the polyester putty is cheaper and more forgiving yet has a main defect. Too much accelerant in it. Add to that, the fact that most of the time people will mix only a small amount making it even harder to produce a mix that sets in an acceptable timeframe and you have a product that does not perform as it should in the hotter climate or hotter month. Selling different speeds is probably not viable and selling the resin with the accelerant and catalyst separate is not feasible since mixing the two without resin will explode. Eventually someone will catch up and sell fast and slow builder bog ... ?
    May be.
    As for epoxy, the price and the need for exact measurements keeps it in the specialised boating market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    As for epoxy, the price and the need for exact measurements keeps it in the specialised boating market.
    Not quite true, Marc.

    A "Sample Kit" is only about $15 - plus postage.
    Since "Random Username" directed my attention to it several years ago, I have found uses for very small quantities (a few grams) in many small repair and construction jobs - which is why I also advised the purchase of a $12 set of "Pocket Scales." (So, the total "start-up" cost is about the same cost as a "slab".)

    For example, epoxy resin can be used for the repair of cracked/broken plastic components. (If such a repair can be done from the rear in conjunction with fiber-glass tape [or "threads"], the repair is not seen and likely to be stronger than the original.)

    Recently, I used about 10 grams of it to set in place a nut, of the correct thread, into the base of a cantilevered standard lamp.
    The original thread was in (virtually) "sheet-metal" of about 2 mm thick and the threaded tube screwed into this had (not unexpectedly) stripped the thread.
    The repaired lamp base now has about eight times the distance of thread to hold it down as it had originally!

  41. #41
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Yes, Frodo, you and me may adapt to the novelty and the conceded very small extra attention required.
    Check out the environment in todays building site and see if there is scope for miniature scales ...
    Another just as fiddley "solution" would be to buy a double syringe epoxy dispenser from Araldite and mix the glue with a bit of talcum powder or flour. Easy enough right? Someone want's to try? Anyone?
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
    Franz Kafka

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Check out the environment in todays building site and see if there is scope for miniature scales ...
    However, I am NOT on a building site.
    I am happily retired doing minor repairs in my garage/"man cave".

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Mm ... OK ... I thought it was obvious that I was trying to find logic behind the poor product available due to the lack of a market.
    Man cave is probably a market that Synthepol is not interested in.
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
    Franz Kafka

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