Boy's Cherry and Walnut Dresser #7: Filling in the Blanks

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Blog entry by Patrick Jaromin posted 09-25-2008 07:49 PM 5108 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Dead Flat Part 7 of Boy's Cherry and Walnut Dresser series Part 8: Dresser Finds a Home »

One of my favorite features of the top, is actually technically a defect—a quarter-sized knot hole. While both my wife and I agreed that it added “character” to the top, I couldn’t simply leave it as it was; it was large enough to swallow up small objects whole and naturally not very stable.

After some searching, I found a few references to folks filling holes like this using “Pour on” epoxy, of the type you might use to encase small chatchkis in a bar top.

A large knot

A Slow Leak

On the first pour, I found myself constantly “topping off” the depression. I would fill the knot, level it off and a couple minutes later, most of it had been absorbed into the knot. By the time it cured 24 hours later, there was only a thin layer of epoxy, coating, but not filling the knot hole.

Pour on epoxy

Puzzled, I decided to simply pour again. This time it filled just fine. The next day, while moving the piece, I discovered the cause: the knot hole went clear through the board and the epoxy was leaking out the bottom! With the first coat effectively plugging the hole, the second coat filled it nicely and easily sanded flush (something I was a bit concerned about). The effect is exactly what I had hoped for.

My Favorite Finish

I spent quite a bit of time sanding this piece—and it still probably wasn’t enough. For the finish, I had purchased a wipe-on, “low sheen” Tung Oil-based finish. The first coat on the drawers resulting in less than spectacular results. Though each row was was made from a single board, a couple adjacent drawers were a noticeably different shade. This prompted a second, more vigorous round of hand sanding (and a few choice words). This time, they took the finish much more consistently. A week later I had built up 5 coats on all parts and was ready to attach the top and call this project “done.”


After reading Dick Cain's forum thread about “Photographing Your Work” (PDF from Wood Carving Illustrated), and feeling duly shamed about my previous point-and-click-using-built-in flash-against-any-old-background photo sessions, I decided to step it up a notch. Unfortunately, I don’t really own any real photographic equipment and can’t afford to start yet another incredibly expensive hobby at the moment.

So my first attempt fell rather far from the intended mark. I may take another crack at it later in the week—perhaps using a cleaner and less wrinkled backdrop and a couple more lights if I can find someone to lend me any! If the new pics are any good I’ll update this post.
In the meantime, here’s my (rather humbling) attempt at perfeshunal fotogerphy.

3/4 View of Dresser

I thought I’d put some pics of the new baby’s older siblings on top…in theater we called this “dressing the set”...

Closeup of drawer detail

UPDATE: Here’s the finished “project” page:

Click for details

[originally posted at]

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

9 comments so far

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3974 days

#1 posted 09-25-2008 08:11 PM

Exquisite detail and design as always. You did a beauiful job on this piece. Thanks for posting and info on filling your knot hole.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4192 days

#2 posted 09-25-2008 08:26 PM

That’s a really nice piece and that color will only get richer with age. Favorited :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View NICUTO's profile


27 posts in 3817 days

#3 posted 09-25-2008 08:53 PM


That thing looks freakin SWEET! i really like that contrast of the woods. The chocolaty color of the walnut works great with the reddish color of the cherry.

Great job on this one! I cant wait to see what you come up with next.

-- Nick, Maine;

View Grumpy's profile


24656 posts in 4051 days

#4 posted 09-25-2008 11:29 PM

Great result Patrick. Thanks for experimenting with the epoxy thats what I will be doing on my bar top (one day). good job on the photography.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

406 posts in 4033 days

#5 posted 09-25-2008 11:48 PM

Thanks, all! I’m gonna experiment a bit and see if I can get some better looking pics for the project page—more for personal satisfaction. There’ve been quite a few really nice project pics posted here lately and I’m feeling like I need to “keep up”. :)

I’ve gotta spend some time painting the baby’s room now, but I’m looking forward to starting on the matching crib soon. If Martin ever runs a contest for the most baby’s room projects on Lumberjocks, I might just have the edge on Gary on that one!

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View Denappy's profile


116 posts in 3883 days

#6 posted 09-26-2008 04:02 AM

Wonderful work, your choices of woods is really awesome! Pictures are really good too! Thank you for sharing!

-- -=Den

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3913 days

#7 posted 09-27-2008 11:43 PM

Interesting story on the bottomless epoxy hole.

You may want to move your pieces away from your backdrop so the shadow is not so noticeable. Some slaved flash units in behind the piece help also ;-) I recently gave all my photographic stuff to my niece, she’s starting out in a field I retired from a long time ago so I thought I’d give her a hand.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

406 posts in 4033 days

#8 posted 09-28-2008 12:07 AM

Mark – Thanks for the tips. Moving the piece may be doable…not so sure about the slaved flashes though :).

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View dion kendall's profile

dion kendall

43 posts in 3643 days

#9 posted 01-20-2009 05:09 AM

i was searching for some ideas on a dreeser. i really love this one….... really nice!

-- dion trinity east

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