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Ant colony in walnut slab

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Forum topic by ric53 posted 06-18-2015 11:38 AM 814 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ric53

147 posts in 987 days


06-18-2015 11:38 AM

Hi guys, looking for an opinion. I have a customer that fell in love with a slab of walnut that at one time held a colony of ants. She wants to retain the look and has asked me to make a bench out of it. Not a problem as there is plenty of wood to support weight. The question I have is should I fill the tunnels with epoxy or not. I’m afraid that filling them may cause the overall look of the piece to change. Also, I’m afraid that with that much epoxy I’ll get a milky look and loose the appearance of depth. Any thoughts?

-- Ric, Mazomanie


7 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7489 posts in 1475 days


#1 posted 06-18-2015 12:03 PM

First thing I’d do is make absolutely certain there are no more ants in it.

As to your question … maybe you could sand it and gather some of the sanding dust. Then poke a bit of dust into each hole using a pencil eraser or small stick to get it down into the holes. The drip a few drops of SuperGlue on each spot and allow to dry. Then the tunnels will be plugged and you’ll still be able to see where each one was.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dabcan's profile

Dabcan

252 posts in 2139 days


#2 posted 06-18-2015 12:13 PM

Kinda depends how many holes. If it were just a few, I think it’d look interesting and I’d leave them, if it’s a ton and people are going to catch their clothing on it or get dust/dirt stuck in them (not sure of the size), then I’d fill them with epoxy mixed with ground coffee. Gives a nice dark colour (slightly darker than the walnut usually) and could be a nice feature to the bench.

But like I said, depends how many holes, where they are, etc.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

View JayT's profile

JayT

4788 posts in 1679 days


#3 posted 06-18-2015 01:17 PM

If using just the epoxy by itself, yes, you will probably get a cloudy appearance due to air bubbles. The solution is to tint the epoxy—I use Testor model paint. Mix up the epoxy, add a drop or two of paint, mix the color and fill. Don’t try to match the walnut, do something with some contrast, either darker or with a metallic look.

I’ve not heard of using ground coffee before. It sounds pretty interesting, so I’ll have to try it sometime. The only issue is that I don’t drink coffee, so would have to steal some of my wife’s. Will that get me in trouble? :-)

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View PhillipRCW's profile

PhillipRCW

387 posts in 732 days


#4 posted 06-18-2015 03:59 PM

It might be easier to help if you post pictures of it.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

700 posts in 692 days


#5 posted 06-18-2015 04:34 PM



If using just the epoxy by itself, yes, you will probably get a cloudy appearance due to air bubbles. The solution is to tint the epoxy—I use Testor model paint. Mix up the epoxy, add a drop or two of paint, mix the color and fill. Don t try to match the walnut, do something with some contrast, either darker or with a metallic look.

I ve not heard of using ground coffee before. It sounds pretty interesting, so I ll have to try it sometime. The only issue is that I don t drink coffee, so would have to steal some of my wife s. Will that get me in trouble? :-)

- JayT

That’s a great idea to use Testor’s paint. I never thought of that.
I’m going to have to go buy a set to have in my shop.

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 690 days


#6 posted 06-18-2015 04:55 PM

I haven’t dealt with tunnels but have filled some rather long and up to 1/8” cracks in the past. I flooded the cracks only, sanded the excess off then coated the top of the table with clear epoxy, I got no creamy look, the few bubbles I did get I was able to poke out with a needle or forced them to rise with my wife’s hair dryer.

-- I meant to do that!

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#7 posted 06-18-2015 05:06 PM

Ask the customer, let them decide. If I were to fill them, I would use a contrasting color or black. Getting a perfect match is difficult and (to me) always looks like you tried to match and failed.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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