Need some advice on wood filler....don't cringe!

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Forum topic by Adam Weis posted 05-25-2010 08:07 PM 12270 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Adam Weis

36 posts in 4222 days

05-25-2010 08:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor maple finishing veneering sanding shaker modern tip trick question resource

So I am in a real jamb. I have been working on a table for a client with a veneered maple top. The top has fold out leaves and these leaves have a solid wood border I trimmed the veneered panels for the leaves on my table saw and to my dismay the bottom of the cut had some cross grain tear out. As I am in a huge hurry I glued on the border anyways, probably the dumbest decision i’ve made in a long time, but now I’m in a time crunch and need to find a way to clean up the sloppy edge where the veneer meets the border. I have not touched wood filler in 3 years but now I’m considering it. Does anyone have any advice on what type of filler to use or how to repair blemishes in maple? please help!

-- Adam,

15 replies so far

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 3131 days

#1 posted 05-25-2010 08:12 PM

Well I know the minwax wood fill used to work great but I dont believe it comes in a maple color which is stupid.
Another thing you ccould do I make your own. Take some maple saw dust and add a small amount of glue then stir and enjoy.

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3277 days

#2 posted 05-25-2010 08:46 PM

I always have a tough time getting wood filler to match anything once it is finished. Is it possible to actually accentuate the edge where the two meet? Maybe rout out a thin v groove “witness line”? Or possibly add a thin inlay and make it look intentional.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 3157 days

#3 posted 05-25-2010 08:51 PM

The best “filler” is typically sawdust and glue.

But, from looking at your work, you probably already knew that, and you want a push towards the right/better fix. I would strongly consider replacing a bit of that veneer with a dutchman patch. If you do it well, you can follow the grain of the wood, and it will hardly be seen. And, of course, if you used hide glue on the veneer, you can just lift the whole thing off with an iron and replace.

My advice … don’t cut corners, your reputation is invaluable.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2457 posts in 4072 days

#4 posted 05-25-2010 08:54 PM

Famo wood , either solvent or water base match maple better than any I know of.. I just t ried some on hard maple and it did as good as your going to get it.. a friend of mine just did some plywood panels banded in maple, he nailed the bands on and used this, it matched well

View KnotWright's profile


258 posts in 3689 days

#5 posted 05-25-2010 09:50 PM

Just wondering, why fool with wood filler anyway, why not use 1/8” radius round over bit and ease the edge with the tearout, this makes finishing it easier also, you won’t risk “burning” through your stain when you sand the table, and you wont have a sharp edge that might chip out after the table gets delivered.

-- James

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3779 days

#6 posted 05-25-2010 09:56 PM

If you don’t have to use filler don’t either add wood or trim some and if you trim some score it first to prevent tearout again and or dampen it or put tape of it.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 3515 days

#7 posted 05-25-2010 10:04 PM

Don’t know if it’s practical or appropriate for your specific piece – but I’ve used Stevinmarin’s approach a couple of times with good results.
Who’s to say that wasn’t part of your design plan all along——
“Only your hair dresser knows for sure.”

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3505 days

#8 posted 05-25-2010 10:10 PM

i think a good way to save it is to a small v groove and put in an inlay ..the saw dust is ok…but i think it might come out darker then what you have…just my 2 cents..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3869 days

#9 posted 05-25-2010 11:43 PM

Famowood does make the best wood filler. Sometimes with budget and time, that is the best and only option. I learned long ago that the little imperfections, we as builders and woodworkers see everytime we look at our finished piece, are never noticed 99.9% of the time.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2457 posts in 4072 days

#10 posted 05-26-2010 03:09 PM

Actually Timbermate is my preferred, we use it for grain filling , it doesnt shrink , does excellent , but Famowood matches maple and most hardware stores carry it

View MisterPants's profile


8 posts in 3130 days

#11 posted 05-27-2010 12:26 AM

I don’t care for Famowood, it never takes finish like other pieces. I recently started using some of the Timbermate and it seems to be much better. Had some chipout on a red oak ply cabinet and with the Timbermate you can’t even tell where it was (even with some Watco on the cabinet now). With Famowood my eyes always seem to go straight to the repair. Of course if the issue is small enough glue and sawdust are the best bet.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2687 posts in 3123 days

#12 posted 05-28-2010 12:02 AM

fine sanding dust and yellow or white glue is what I use.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4125 days

#13 posted 08-19-2010 07:45 AM

Famowood is good stuff but its pretty high on the toxic scale and flammable scale DO NOT use it in a unventilated space in fact use it outside if you use it at all.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3260 days

#14 posted 08-19-2010 08:45 AM

I like the use of sawdust (finer is better) with glue. I think using white glue will be less likely to darken the color. Recently, I needed something for a very small ding in a project and I tried something. What I did was to fill the little ding with CA and then sprinkled fine sawdust into the CA and then just gave it a quick wipe. After light sanding the ding was almost invisible. It just looked like some interesting grain in the wood. It is in one of my projects posted here on LJ’s, but I will never tell which one.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18390 posts in 3877 days

#15 posted 08-20-2010 01:57 AM

docholladay, won’t the white glue affect the way it takes fiinish?? Did the CA affect the stain and / or finish ?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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