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  1. I would never use penetrating epoxy and would certainly never thin epoxy myself. This sacrifices much of the waterproof characteristic of the expoxy and it just isn't necessary. Epoxy is tenacious. It does not need to soak in much to adhear and becomes a much more waterproof coating if left alone. If the wood is solf and deteriorating, replace it. There are no good short cuts.
  2. Like almost everything boat the key is the prep. I clean oily woods on the mating surfaces with acetone within minutes of gluing with epoxy. It removes the oil from the surface and dries almost instantly. OK, give it a minute or 2.
  3. I find that self tappers work fine for wood to wood if you drill a proper clearance hole through the first piece and a pilot hole into the second.