In the previous segment, I decided to glue some dowels into small bits of plywood to create a mould for filling in the plate holes with epoxy. Next, the moulds got a coating of paste wax so the epoxy wouldn’t stick to them:
Now, how to get these things located exactly? The hole in the washers is too small for them to poke through, so I grabbed a cheap washer of the same size and reamed it out with a 7/16” drill:
Now I could line up this reamed out washer with the circle I’d drawn around the real washers, and poke the dowel through it:
Then, clamp the base in place:
So before I go mixing up epoxy, I try to get everything ready to go. As for the choice of filler, a “cold weld” epoxy was a pretty obvious choice (JB Weld is what I had handy). It’s quite strong, and will look good when painted over with fresh gold leaf. JB Weld has a pretty long open time, but it’s always better to be prepared. My main applicator was just a piece of stiff poster board cut to shape and gently folded down the middle. I also grabbed a small piece of steel (cut from a windshield wiper spring) for “detail” work.
With the pasteboard I could scoop up a glob of epoxy and let it flow down into the hole. The small piece of steel was useful for pushing the epoxy down into narrower gaps. At this point I also gathered up my safety equipment — disposable nitrile gloves, a respirator, and goggles.
I used a kitchen digital scale to measure out equal amounts of the two parts. Note that when mixing any epoxy it’s important to keep the proportions as exact as you can! Otherwise you end up with unreacted material and thus a weaker bond.
To be continued in part III.