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View Pabs's profile

how to cover up a small knot hole

by Pabs
posted 04-16-2018 01:14 PM


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54 replies

54 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4926 posts in 2468 days


#1 posted 04-16-2018 01:16 PM

You can’t hide it. Just fill it with epoxy.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JayT's profile

JayT

5812 posts in 2327 days


#2 posted 04-16-2018 01:19 PM



You can t hide it. Just fill it with epoxy.

- bondogaposis

Yep, and don’t try to make the epoxy look like the cherry because it will never match. I like to tint the epoxy black on those occasions. Make it a feature instead of trying to hide it.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21046 posts in 2800 days


#3 posted 04-16-2018 01:24 PM

Drill it out enough to install a plug made from the same wood. Plug cutters can cut into the face grain of a piece of scrap that matches the wood. Align the grain as best as you can, and glue the plug in. Plane flush with the surface after the glue dries.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

242 posts in 3570 days


#4 posted 04-16-2018 02:13 PM



Drill it out enough to install a plug made from the same wood. Plug cutters can cut into the face grain of a piece of scrap that matches the wood. Align the grain as best as you can, and glue the plug in. Plane flush with the surface after the glue dries.

- bandit571


I had considered this but was wondering how that would look…would the perfect circle cutout really stand out? I’ve done it with end grain and they obviously really stand out (which is a desired effect in that case) . But if I were to make the plug from face grain then the only obvious thing would be the contour I guess.

-- Pabs

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1115 posts in 2069 days


#5 posted 04-16-2018 02:22 PM

Why not just get another board?

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

242 posts in 3570 days


#6 posted 04-16-2018 02:27 PM



Why not just get another board?

- Kazooman


ha….well, a few reasons. I had done some work to this board before noticing this knot and it’s gonna be something I give away to a friend so rather not waste a full board for something I’m not getting paid for :)

-- Pabs

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4354 posts in 2425 days


#7 posted 04-16-2018 03:10 PM

Trying to hide will most likely make it look worse. Of course it’s hard to tell when all we know its aboard. That’s not a lot of information to go on.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1122 posts in 2966 days


#8 posted 04-16-2018 03:30 PM

Had the same problem with this entertainment center , I increased the depth forgetting that my original width was because of some defects and had to make three heart shaped patches (Dutchmen) to cover (see pics in project).
1) I drew some hearts in sketchup, printed them and used them as a pattern to make a template from 1/4” ply with the heart shapes.
2) Used an inlay kit with the templates to cut out the defect areas
3) removed the bushing spacer, and then cut the outlines in a piece of cherry from the same tree to make the patch.
4)Took the board to the bandsaw and then resawed the patches out

No they’re not perfect and indistinguishable, and I did purposely skew the grain alignments to try to feature the fix rather than hide it.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View mel52's profile

mel52

532 posts in 381 days


#9 posted 04-16-2018 03:33 PM

Let my wife talk to it. When she is done, the board will feel so bad it will fix itself. LOL.

-- MEL, Kansas

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

447 posts in 1611 days


#10 posted 04-16-2018 03:35 PM

+1 = new board. or

+1 = Either drill out the knot or if only one side is displayed: use a router with inlay template guide and circle template and cut 1/2 thickness deep around knot. Then find another board with same grain pattern, and cut out an inlay patch. With careful selection of plug/patch, knot repair can be invisible to everyone except another wood worker.


Drill it out enough to install a plug made from the same wood. Plug cutters can cut into the face grain of a piece of scrap that matches the wood. Align the grain as best as you can, and glue the plug in. Plane flush with the surface after the glue dries.

- bandit571


-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#11 posted 04-16-2018 03:54 PM

I’d have laid the cuts out to avoid the knot, but if I found myself in a situation like that, I’d use epoxy putty. It comes in various colors that can be mixed, tinted with pigment or dye in order to achieve pretty much any color. I’d fill the knot with it (after testing recipes and allowing them to harden to match the base color of the wood), sand it smooth and then use Prismacolor pencils to match the surrounding wood.

I keep thirty or so pencils in my repair kit in various wood shades and warm greys, etc. They work beautifully on the epoxy and also on Timbermate. You really don’t have to be an artist, the idea is to obscure the edges and give some variation to the overall patch so it doesn’t attract the eye. I use Timbermate to patch worm holes in mesquite and I’ve gotten to where they blend so well, even I can’t find them when I go back and look.

Mohawk Blendal sticks are great too, but since you can go to any art supply store and get pencils for $1.50 apiece, it’s the easier way to go. Take a piece of the wood to the store and pick out three or four colors that will complement the board.

BTW, you don’t just color the patch, you want to go across the edges to obscure them. Use your finger to soften/blend the pencil lines.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3069 posts in 1597 days


#12 posted 04-16-2018 04:02 PM

Fill with epoxy but best to tint to match color.

I generally use artists acrylic paint.

You’ll probably be surprised ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

302 posts in 2037 days


#13 posted 04-16-2018 05:06 PM

Go buy a silver coin that fits over the hole, buy the year of birth for who you are making it for.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21046 posts in 2800 days


#14 posted 04-16-2018 05:45 PM


Just pine…...

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1576 posts in 3183 days


#15 posted 04-16-2018 06:24 PM

if you can’t hide it accentuate it! Make a butterfly inlay or bowtie. Me, I’d just shoot it up with cryocyclolate and make it solid and go on. But an inlay would be cool!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12331 posts in 2496 days


#16 posted 04-16-2018 06:47 PM

Epoxy and black dye, or anything dark like iron filings, walnut sanding dust. Alternately you can use super glue and some dark filler.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1224 posts in 720 days


#17 posted 04-16-2018 09:37 PM

Absolutely nothing wrong with an epoxy fill. It’s wood. Wood has knots. Kinda like the mole on Cindy Crawford. People have moles. She’s still gorgeous! :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10271 posts in 3149 days


#18 posted 04-17-2018 01:23 AM



Fill with epoxy but best to tint to match color.

I generally use artists acrylic paint.

You ll probably be surprised ;-)

- rwe2156

Good Idea! RWE! I’ll keep that in mind.

Although I generally Select The Wood that will be best suited for the Project I’m planning, BEFORE I start it.

Rick

-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK!

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1115 posts in 2069 days


#19 posted 04-17-2018 02:25 AM

We are not talking about a huge live edge slab of some exotic species. It is well short of two board feet of cherry. Get another board and move along!

Personally, if it was something I was making for myself, I might just stabilize the knot and live with it. However, for any piece I was giving to a friend, I would do it the right way and select another board. I never sell anything I make, and have given many pieces as gifts. I always strive to make those to the best of my ability.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5545 posts in 2525 days


#20 posted 04-17-2018 02:59 AM

I think it has a character to it to just use another species of wood and let it stand out.

Here ya go. Had two knots, drilled them out and turned new pieces to go in.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View bold1's profile

bold1

302 posts in 1964 days


#21 posted 04-17-2018 10:52 AM

Drill several holes in a pattern, and plug them. Everyone will assume you designed it that way. Or as was suggested install an inlay there.

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

242 posts in 3570 days


#22 posted 04-18-2018 12:13 PM

thanks guys for the many replies/advices. I’ll be working on this tonight and determine what solution I’ll go with.
actually playing with the idea of ripping the board in half and laminating a strip of darker colored wood. I could then remove that knot hole since it’s in the middle. The darker wood (rosewood) would be a nice accent to the cherry ( i think) and take care of my problem…kill two birds with one stone :)

-- Pabs

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2386 posts in 1504 days


#23 posted 04-18-2018 12:32 PM

Instead of ripping you could just cut a groove (lengthwise) with dado blade or router and glue in a strip of contrasting wood or grain.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

242 posts in 3570 days


#24 posted 04-18-2018 12:47 PM



Instead of ripping you could just cut a groove (lengthwise) with dado blade or router and glue in a strip of contrasting wood or grain.

- Lazyman


yes that’s an option as well.. .but the only reason not to do that is that I’ll be finger jointing at the end of that board. figured It might look odd with one one the fingers being two tone.. .but maybe not?
or the other option is to make the inlay go only part ways , not all the way to the ends of the board, that way it would not interfere with the finger joint. it’s a 4 foot long board by 5 inches. I could simply stop 6 inches from either end, making the inlay 3 feet long by an inch or so.

-- Pabs

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2386 posts in 1504 days


#25 posted 04-18-2018 01:07 PM

You could also size the inlay strip so that it lines up with one or more of the finger joints in which case it might look better if the strip was done on the adjoining sides as well.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3069 posts in 1597 days


#26 posted 04-18-2018 01:20 PM


thanks guys for the many replies/advices. I ll be working on this tonight and determine what solution I ll go with.
actually playing with the idea of ripping the board in half and laminating a strip of darker colored wood. I could then remove that knot hole since it s in the middle. The darker wood (rosewood) would be a nice accent to the cherry ( i think) and take care of my problem…kill two birds with one stone :)

- Pabs

You could also consider a simple inlay like a diamond or star.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

242 posts in 3570 days


#27 posted 04-18-2018 01:47 PM


- Pabs
You could also consider a simple inlay like a diamond or star.

- rwe2156

yes, that’s also an option.. but I also have the issue that the board might look naked if left on it’s own like that.

I was asked to make something like this but in wood.

and she wants it for large towels and she wants longer. asked for it to be 4 feet long (in order to put about 10 full size towels) and because full size towels are larger than hand towels the width of the piece need to be larger. I’m aiming for close to 5 inches wide and 4 feet high. I’m afraid it will look boring on its own, that’s why I’m thinking of the inlay in the middle .

-- Pabs

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

1198 posts in 691 days


#28 posted 04-22-2018 07:27 AM

For my $$$$ it will depend on the meaning of the word “small” knot, or defect.I usually use Shellac sticks, which come from a variety of sources, but I like The Behlen brand sold here and use a “burn in knife” as shown in the picture. I would top out at somewhere near 1/2” width x about the same length, though it looks a lot less noticeable in smaller sizes. On large patches I often don’t try to “fix” but instead choose to accent instead, and sometimes draw attention to it as a focal point. My favorite color is usually black as wood often will have black defects anyhow.

For the burn in knife I would look at E-bay instead of here. Usually 20 bux will buy a brand new one, and most I have seen are all made at the same place. You can heat a more solid piece of metal, but I have found the cheap electric get hotter, and stay lit for long enough to do the work. Once paid in, leave the board for the night, and I’ve never had a repair come out. As stated in the ad they can be used on solid surface counter tops as well.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#29 posted 04-22-2018 03:36 PM


For my $$$$ it will depend on the meaning of the word “small” knot, or defect.I usually use Shellac sticks…

- therealSteveN

Of all the ways to fill a 1/2” knot, burn-in isn’t one of them. I use Mohawk products, and whether it’s EZ Flow, Planestick, hard fill or any of the other burn-in products, they aren’t made to fill large voids. That’s what epoxy putty is for. You can pour a fill too, but the putty has the advantage that the surface isn’t glossy and it’s easy to do graining with pencils or markers. It sands beautifully too.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View mudflap4869's profile

mudflap4869

1829 posts in 1575 days


#30 posted 04-22-2018 07:35 PM

Make it look like a bird nest with its head sticking out. Areal conversation piece.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#31 posted 04-23-2018 04:28 AM

I’ve intended to do a blog post on using epoxy putty (which was what I recommended for this fix in an earlier post) combined with Prismacolor pencils and Blendal sticks for a while. This post inspired me to finally get off my butt and do it.

Check it out here: http://lumberjocks.com/RichTaylor/blog/121721

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5545 posts in 2525 days


#32 posted 04-24-2018 04:01 AM



I ve intended to do a blog post on using epoxy putty (which was what I recommended for this fix in an earlier post) combined with Prismacolor pencils and Blendal sticks for a while. This post inspired me to finally get off my butt and do it.

Check it out here: http://lumberjocks.com/RichTaylor/blog/121721

- Rich

For those pondering taking a look at what Rich posted, do it. Is very informative and useful stuff.

My 2 cents worth anyway.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View AxkMan's profile

AxkMan

65 posts in 243 days


#33 posted 05-03-2018 01:21 AM

Most common way is to plug it with a dowel. Match the dowel diameter to the drill diameter. Make it snug enough so you have to use a mallet to hammer it in. Then you sand down as much as possible. That is the standard way of handling holes or any damages.

The other way would be to cut off a section on a bench saw and match the area. Then glue up the 2-3 pieces to make one piece. Then reassemble.

If you can’t unassemble or reach it you can attempt a jigsaw and do the above. A little messy at this point.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#34 posted 05-03-2018 02:22 AM


Most common way is to plug it with a dowel. Match the dowel diameter to the drill diameter. Make it snug enough so you have to use a mallet to hammer it in. Then you sand down as much as possible. That is the standard way of handling holes or any damages.

- AxkMan

There’s nothing standard about that. You’ll be left with a patch exposing end grain which will stand out like a sore thumb.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View TheFridge's profile (online now)

TheFridge

10095 posts in 1602 days


#35 posted 05-03-2018 02:38 AM

I use epoxy with dust and chips. Usually looks good enough.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

242 posts in 3570 days


#36 posted 06-28-2018 03:59 AM

So this is what I did…the middle inlay is what I did to cover up the hole… in the end I’m glad as I’m happy with the overall look of it with that detail… I hope the friend I’m doing this for likes it as well :)

-- Pabs

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1656 posts in 1914 days


#37 posted 06-28-2018 05:06 AM

What’s it for Pabs. Is it a shelf

-- Aj

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

242 posts in 3570 days


#38 posted 06-28-2018 10:24 AM

t


What’s it for Pabs. Is it a shelf

- Aj2


it’s a towel rack. A friend posted on facebook that she was looking for something like in the pic but made of wood and also that she wanted much bigger for body towels. This is the model it’s based on

-- Pabs

View simmo's profile

simmo

69 posts in 3588 days


#39 posted 06-28-2018 08:00 PM

Make a nice shaving from matching timber, roll it up tight , poke it in the hole super glue it plane and sand flush
If the knot hole is surrounded by a darker ring match that and me it look like a solid stable knot, simply

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1656 posts in 1914 days


#40 posted 06-28-2018 08:12 PM

Oh wow that’s very clever.
Nice work.

-- Aj

View JayT's profile

JayT

5812 posts in 2327 days


#41 posted 06-28-2018 08:24 PM

Looks very good, Pabs. Nice job of making a repair into an intentional feature.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21046 posts in 2800 days


#42 posted 06-28-2018 10:08 PM

Looks good!

There seems to be some posters on here, that have no clue as to how a plug cutter works….If done correctly, and the match is matched….the hole will disappear. It is used on face grain, and edge grain….and never shows end grain.

The come in a range of sizes, too. Been using a 3/8” tapered plug cutter….and either use a matching grained board, or a contrasting board. Pays to save the cut-offs…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View jbay's profile

jbay

2583 posts in 1016 days


#43 posted 06-28-2018 11:48 PM

That was a nice fix Pabs.
It would never have looked as good trying to plug a hole with any method.
It takes a lot of coloring in to hide the circle around a plug.
Here is the best blog on LJ’s I have seen on the subject. (if you need it in the future.)
http://lumberjocks.com/RichTaylor/blog/121721


Looks good!

There seems to be some posters on here, that have no clue as to how a plug cutter works….If done correctly, and the match is matched….the hole will disappear.

- bandit571


Nice way to start off your comment.
I suggest you re read what you are responding to.

AxkMan said: ”Most common way is to plug it with a dowel. Match the dowel diameter to the drill diameter”.

Rich said: ”You’ll be left with a patch exposing end grain”

There was no mention of using a plug cutter.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#44 posted 06-28-2018 11:56 PM


I suggest you re read what you are responding to.
AxkMan said: ”Most common way is to plug it with a dowel. Match the dowel diameter to the drill diameter”.

Rich said: ”You’ll be left with a patch exposing end grain”

There was no mention of using a plug cutter.

- jbay

I had no idea his post was referencing that. I did a search on the page and found no mention of a plug cutter other than his.

He’s right though, done correctly a plug cut from the face of a board will completely disappear. Just like this one from earlier in the thread. I know it seems hard to believe, but there is a plug patching a hole in this photo. I dare anyone to find it however, it’s that invisible.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21046 posts in 2800 days


#45 posted 06-29-2018 01:40 AM

Plus..I even use a plug cutter from Veritas…...

Yep, about a dozen plugs in this picture…find them.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#46 posted 06-29-2018 02:05 AM


Yep, about a dozen plugs in this picture…find them.

- bandit571

Why so many? Do you make that many mistakes? On average, one of my projects contains roughly zero plugs.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

3009 posts in 1974 days


#47 posted 06-29-2018 02:22 AM

Op nice looking fix and very nice looking project. Sorry your thread has to deal with the guy who knows everything, is perfect and just has to have the last word cluttering up your thread.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21046 posts in 2800 days


#48 posted 06-29-2018 04:25 AM

There is one other way to cover up old bolt holes and knot holes…..used for a LONG time. Called a Dutchman.

You remove a bit around the bad area ( just like the OP did) and then glue in a “patch”....IF you match the grain, the patch will disappear. Or, the patch can be almost any shape you want. Once glued in, patch is then planed/sanded down to match the surface.

Doesn’t need a fancy router guide and bit. Usually a bit of chisel work will do, patch can be a hair thicker, and planed flush after the glue has cured. Even Norm Abram used a few Dutchman patches….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

906 posts in 3199 days


#49 posted 06-29-2018 08:43 AM

I dare anyone to find it however, it s that invisible.

- Rich

It’s a highly specialized technique that you’re obviously neither aware of nor capable of.
It’s called ‘distraction crypsis’.
It involves a small IED and….tile grout? Dunno….I’ve seen many attempts, but this is one of the finest examples I’ve seen.
Hope no one was hurt.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

906 posts in 3199 days


#50 posted 06-29-2018 08:46 AM

.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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