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Home made Grain fillers

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Forum topic by Gene Howe posted 11-08-2010 06:18 PM 10037 views 5 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gene Howe

8240 posts in 2890 days


11-08-2010 06:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip resource

Lots of us work with open pored wood like red oak and need some sort of grain filler. I’v found a couple home brewed ones and one commercial product I like.

Here are two home brews I’ve used.

Use 400 grit wet/dry paper. Just wipe the piece with some oil and sand. The dust will fill the pores. Add oil, if it gets too dry. Any clear oil will work. I use Watco clear. BLO would work, too.

Or, coat the wood with Watco or BLO, then sprinkle on 4F pumice. It’ll take about a teaspoon per square foot. Rub it in using a cloth (lint free). Then, wipe across the grain to remove the excess. I use burlap for both methods. Also, I like to let both methods get a bit tacky before using the burlap.

I’ve also used a product called Timbermate, Recommended by Charles Neil. Amazon or Eagle America carries it.

All above will give you a real smooth finish. The pumice turns translucent, the wood dust, of course is already matched and Timbermate has several colors. Or, you can color it yourself.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton


8 replies so far

View Dez's profile

Dez

1162 posts in 3539 days


#1 posted 11-08-2010 06:33 PM

Gene
Good tips, thanks for the info.
I also like the Timbermate.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 3589 days


#2 posted 11-08-2010 06:40 PM

I follow the classical path: pumice or Plaster of Paris.
I use pumice in a slurry either mixed with a drying oil or shellac, or water for the plaster.
I use a small rubber squeegee to apply the filler across the grain.
This is the way I was taught more than 40 years ago by a master finisher/refinisher.

-- 温故知新

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7167 posts in 2260 days


#3 posted 11-08-2010 06:54 PM

I like the oil and sandpaper method for a very smooth finish but a problem arises when you have two contrasting woods adjacent to each other. The dark sandings end up in the light pores and to a lesser extent (visibly anyway) vice-versa. I’ve had a problem finding a truly clear grain filler, even asked at Lee Valley and they didn’t have one, but I recently found this place: https://www.woodessence.com/Default.aspx online . I ordered some aniline dyes, water-borne poly and clear grain filler from them. I’m in the process of testing them but the filler seems to be almost the same as the clear wb poly except a slightly higher solids content (35% vs 30%) and different instructions for use. Both are of course tintable with the dyes.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8240 posts in 2890 days


#4 posted 11-08-2010 07:57 PM

Well Paul, masking tape works….hehe
The pumice seems to disappear, but I’ve not tried it across two contrasting woods.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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shipwright

7167 posts in 2260 days


#5 posted 11-08-2010 09:04 PM

I have to admit Gene, I haven’t tried pumice. I do like and use the oil technique but try masking my last project. The stuff I bought seems to work but I will try pumice. Thanks Gene. Good topic.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8240 posts in 2890 days


#6 posted 11-09-2010 01:30 AM

Let us know how that clear filler works out. Not sure I’d like working with poly as a filler. Too messy.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7167 posts in 2260 days


#7 posted 11-09-2010 03:43 AM

When I post my current project, it will be included in the blog. Maybe two weeks.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3195 days


#8 posted 11-09-2010 05:36 AM

Shipwright, Crystalac makes a clear grain filler. I recently bought a quart but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. Everything I’ve read on it says that it is water clear (guess that would depend on your water, eh?).

When I get the opportunity to try it, I’ll leave a review post.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

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