Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Plastic Wood...or would it?

Why can't they leave things alone? What the heck happened to Plastic Wood?

Mortimer Snerd was cast in Plastic Wood. So were most McElroy figures. Some vintage figure-making books suggest using Plastic Wood as a casting medium.

Chuck Norwood's trapdoor was held in place with a loose pin. It kind of rattled around. I decided to install two wood screws, one at either side of the head. One of the sides just above the ears is too thin to receive a screw hole, however, so I decided to build it up. I needed just a small bit of casting, not a major job.

So I bought a new can of Plastic Wood and gave it a try.

I built up a nice thickness on the inside of the head with Plastic Wood. I let it set up for a couple of days. I drilled a pilot hole for the wood screw and began to thread the screw into place. The Plastic Wood clump fell apart and broke away from the wood. I picked up the clump and dug my thumnail into it to see how well it had hardened. It crumbled apart. Plastic Wood not only won't stick to wood, it won't even stick to itself.

Someone must have thought the previous formula was wrong. They must have decided to fix it. It ain't the same. The can looks the same. I still have one of the old cans. Empty.

Don't try to cast a head or hands from Plastic Wood. If you drop the cast, it will break apart.

In the past I've used DAP Wood Dough successfully for such things. But I've run out of it. I went to Home Depot and Lowe's. They don't carry it any more. Maybe because DAP now owns the Plastic Wood trademark.

The DAP website has a link that helps you find dealers for their products. The nearest one is in Daytona. It might be worth the drive. Unless they fixed that formula, too.

I found several more goopy wood filler products under various names that look and work—more precisely, don't work—exactly like the new, improved Plastic Wood. I now have an assortment of cans of wood filler products decorating a shelf in the workshop. Too bad none of it will fill wood.

Maybe I can do an Andy Warhol-like painting of the cans.

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