We’re not sure know how long these products from J-B Weld have been available but we noticed them at Menard’s recently. (As of this writing, they don’t even appear on the J-B Weld web site.)
The J-B Weld “Wood Restore, Liquid Hardener” and “Wood Restore, Repair Putty” seem remarkably similar to the Minwax “Wood Hardener” and “Wood Filler.”
But of much more significance for those doing restoration work is the J-B Weld “Wood Restore, Wood Repair Compound” and “Wood Restore, Premium Liquid Epoxy Wood.” These products seem quite similar to the Abatron “WoodEpox, Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound” and “Liquid Wood, Epoxy Wood Consolidant,” which are great products. Actually, the J-B Weld product is a 2:1 formula, not 1:1 like the Abatron, making it perhaps closer to Advanced Repair Technology’s “Prime-A-Trate” formula.
7-Corners is the only place we know of in-town to sell WoodEpox, so to see something like this at Menard’s is fantastic. We checked Home Depot and other than QuickWood, they have no wood epoxy products. FYI, J-B Weld also makes a QuickWood knockoff they call “QuikWood.” Note: Guse Hardware sells the ART epoxy.
Our Review: We’ve not had good luck with the Minwax Wood Filler. This product seems similar to Bondo, which may work fine on cars, but doesn’t seem to be the right choice for wood. It is too rigid when it dries, doesn’t move with the wood, and cracks and separates after a year or two, creating a repair that needs re-repairing. (Note: our tests have been on exterior soft woods that go through extreme temperature changes. Other applications may yield different results.)
We’ve had much better luck with the actual epoxy products. These have the elsatomeric qualities that are desirable when repairing rotten wood. Perhaps a lot of people get confused because they see that the Minwax wood filler is a two-part product, like epoxy, so they think it performs like epoxy – it does not.
While we haven’t tried the J-B Weld epoxy putty, it looks, smells, and feels similar to the WoodEpox compound. We hope it performs similarly.
As to why J-B Weld decided to create two seemingly opposing formulas, Our only guess is they looked at the sales figures for both products and thought they would go after both market segments; the Minwax-like products are considerably less expensive. But, as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.