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Filling gouges prior to refinishing dining table top.

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Forum topic by Fax posted 07-13-2017 09:31 PM 2203 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Fax

62 posts in 294 days


07-13-2017 09:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

Hello friends,

What would you recommend for filling small gouges on old dining table ?
1/8 to 1/4 inch wide, maybe 1/8 inch deep.
I stripped the old varnish completely.

I am not sure what to use for filling the gouges because I don’t know what would hold better.
Could I use TIMBER-MATE WOOD FILLER PASTE ?

I plan to use alcohol based dye stain and then Arm-R-Seal
Thank you very much for your help!

-- Julian Paul Jones


18 replies so far

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10628 posts in 2217 days


#1 posted 07-13-2017 10:49 PM

Before using a filler, try steaming them out. If you do use a filler, my preference is slightly darker than surrounding wood instead of trying to match color because trying to match exactly is difficult (for me) and the next best thing is a tad darker. I haven’t used that brand of wood filler, right now I’m using Elmer’s wood filler and it does the job but I don’t stain or dye it. Most important—practice on a scrap piece or the underside of the table.

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

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#2 posted 07-13-2017 11:15 PM



Before using a filler, try steaming them out. If you do use a filler, my preference is slightly darker than surrounding wood instead of trying to match color because trying to match exactly is difficult (for me) and the next best thing is a tad darker. I haven t used that brand of wood filler, right now I m using Elmer s wood filler and it does the job but I don t stain or dye it. Most important—practice on a scrap piece or the underside of the table.

- Rick M

Thank you very much Rick !
I appreciate it very much !
Julian

-- Julian Paul Jones

View Rich's profile

Rich

1981 posts in 426 days


#3 posted 07-13-2017 11:49 PM

You can steam a dent; it will do nothing for a gouge. A dent compresses the fibers and sometimes steaming will cause them to swell back up, but if wood is gouged out, it won’t work. Timbermate is a respected product, and you can blend colors to get a good match. I disagree with going darker — get it as close as you can and if it’s a bit too light you can darken it when you dye it by using extra dye on that spot.

Since it’s a tabletop, durability is key. I’ve switched to doing hard fills with a variety of fill sticks and grain markers. The result is extremely durable and virtually invisible, but it wouldn’t be worth getting into for just one job.

One tip is that irregularity along the edges of the fill is less noticeable than a clean, straight line. For example, if you are filling a round hole, it will blend in better if you take a knife or chisel and make it more elongated along the grain — not a perfect oval though. Same thing with a straight, clean gouge. By making the sides less regular, it will not be as noticeable because the eye is drawn to a clean line and it stands out. Again, go along the grain to help mask the edges.

I don’t know what kind of wood it is and how pronounced the grain is, but if your fill looks too even in color and stands out, you can take a fine artist’s paint brush and add extra dye to try to imitate the grain. It doesn’t have to be exact, but just enough so it doesn’t stand out.

Here’s a video that shows an example of what I’m saying. It uses burn-in sticks, but the concept of making the spot irregular is the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xiyBjZuP_Q

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

747 posts in 332 days


#4 posted 07-13-2017 11:56 PM

For solvent based filler, I prefer Famowood, but those are some deep and wide gouges. They will be very difficult to cover acceptably no matter how you do it. have you considered just having the top sanded on a wide belt sander to get rid of the damage?

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1176 posts in 1635 days


#5 posted 07-14-2017 01:04 AM

This week it’s how do I hide these dents and gouges, next week it will be how do I add dents and gouges to make my table look old and valuable.
It’s madness.

-- Aj

View Rich's profile

Rich

1981 posts in 426 days


#6 posted 07-14-2017 01:05 AM



This week it s how do I hide these dents and gouges, next week it will be how do I add dents and gouges to make my table look old and valuable.
It s madness.

- Aj2

LOL. So true, Aj!

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#7 posted 07-14-2017 02:24 AM



You can steam a dent; it will do nothing for a gouge. A dent compresses the fibers and sometimes steaming will cause them to swell back up, but if wood is gouged out, it won t work. Timbermate is a respected product, and you can blend colors to get a good match. I disagree with going darker — get it as close as you can and if it s a bit too light you can darken it when you dye it by using extra dye on that spot.

Since it s a tabletop, durability is key. I ve switched to doing hard fills with a variety of fill sticks and grain markers. The result is extremely durable and virtually invisible, but it wouldn t be worth getting into for just one job.

One tip is that irregularity along the edges of the fill is less noticeable than a clean, straight line. For example, if you are filling a round hole, it will blend in better if you take a knife or chisel and make it more elongated along the grain — not a perfect oval though. Same thing with a straight, clean gouge. By making the sides less regular, it will not be as noticeable because the eye is drawn to a clean line and it stands out. Again, go along the grain to help mask the edges.

I don t know what kind of wood it is and how pronounced the grain is, but if your fill looks too even in color and stands out, you can take a fine artist s paint brush and add extra dye to try to imitate the grain. It doesn t have to be exact, but just enough so it doesn t stand out.

Here s a video that shows an example of what I m saying. It uses burn-in sticks, but the concept of making the spot irregular is the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xiyBjZuP_Q

- RichTaylor

This is so nice of you to write all this in detail !
Thank you so much !!!
This is very helpful!

I used burn-in sticks and actually bought almost all the colors, over 60 different colors and have used them a lot in the past.
Every day after work I go by the Woodcraft store or Rockler and buy more dyes, stains, varnishes, and so on… it is a never ending expense, but a wonderful hobby.

I also bought graining markers and graining pigments from Mohawk Co. and used a lot of it on furniture, especially recently after the kids grew up enough to be more aware of the furniture.
Now I can do a lot more.

Thank you Rich !

-- Julian Paul Jones

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#8 posted 07-14-2017 02:27 AM


This week it s how do I hide these dents and gouges, next week it will be how do I add dents and gouges to make my table look old and valuable.
It s madness.

- Aj2

Actually this week I saw a table that was over $6,000. It was made to look like 100 years old with chains and all sorts of things and meth. I don’t do that yet but maybe someday it will be another thing, madness, to add to my skills.

LOL. So true, Aj!

- RichTaylor


-- Julian Paul Jones

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#9 posted 07-14-2017 02:29 AM


This week it s how do I hide these dents and gouges, next week it will be how do I add dents and gouges to make my table look old and valuable.
It s madness.

- Aj2

LOL. So true, Aj!

- RichTaylor

Actually this week I saw a table that was over $6,000. It was made to look like 100 years old with chains and all sorts of things and meth. I don’t do that yet but maybe someday it will be another thing, madness, to add to my skills.

-- Julian Paul Jones

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#10 posted 07-14-2017 02:31 AM


This week it s how do I hide these dents and gouges, next week it will be how do I add dents and gouges to make my table look old and valuable.
It s madness.

- Aj2

LOL. So true, Aj!

- RichTaylor

Actually this week I saw a table that was over $6,000. It was made to look like 100 years old with chains and all sorts of things and meth. I don’t do that yet but maybe someday it will be another thing, madness, to add to my skills.

-- Julian Paul Jones

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#11 posted 07-14-2017 02:37 AM


For solvent based filler, I prefer Famowood, but those are some deep and wide gouges. They will be very difficult to cover acceptably no matter how you do it. have you considered just having the top sanded on a wide belt sander to get rid of the damage?

- TungOil

Thank you very much for your help !
I will check into it about the Famowood.
I don’t know if the fillers will eventually pop out when the wood shrinks or expands over the years.
I will have to sand it lightly with 220; It has veneer and the gouges are done by the kids with some toys.

-- Julian Paul Jones

View Rich's profile

Rich

1981 posts in 426 days


#12 posted 07-14-2017 02:42 AM


I used burn-in sticks and actually bought almost all the colors, over 60 different colors and have used them a lot in the past.
Every day after work I go by the Woodcraft store or Rockler and buy more dyes, stains, varnishes, and so on… it is a never ending expense, but a wonderful hobby.

I also bought graining markers and graining pigments from Mohawk Co. and used a lot of it on furniture, especially recently after the kids grew up enough to be more aware of the furniture.
Now I can do a lot more.

- Fax

Wow Julian, you’re well equipped. Since you have all the burn-in tools, one of the easiest ways to tackle your tabletop is to leave the gouges alone (unfilled), dye it, put on your first coat of Arm-R-Seal and when that’s cured, use a Mohawk clear E-Z Flow stick (M315-0001) to fill the gouges, and use the burn-in knife to level it as usual. Then you can add your final coats of Arm-R-Seal and it’ll be undetectable where you did the fill. Anytime I have color left in the damaged area I try to go with the clear stick. E-Z Flow and Planestick are my two favorites of theirs, and they’re very durable too.

I like to experiment with different finishing products and techniques as well so I don’t have a lot of doubts when it’s time to finish a project.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#13 posted 07-14-2017 03:10 AM


I used burn-in sticks and actually bought almost all the colors, over 60 different colors and have used them a lot in the past.
Every day after work I go by the Woodcraft store or Rockler and buy more dyes, stains, varnishes, and so on… it is a never ending expense, but a wonderful hobby.

I also bought graining markers and graining pigments from Mohawk Co. and used a lot of it on furniture, especially recently after the kids grew up enough to be more aware of the furniture.
Now I can do a lot more.

- Fax

Wow Julian, you re well equipped. Since you have all the burn-in tools, one of the easiest ways to tackle your tabletop is to leave the gouges alone, dye it, put on your first coat of Arm-R-Seal and when that s cured, use a Mohawk clear E-Z Flow stick (M315-0001) to fill the gouges, and use the burn-in knife to level it as usual. Then you can add your final coats of Arm-R-Seal and it ll be undetectable where you did the fill. Anytime I have color left in the damaged area I try to go with the clear stick. E-Z Flow and Planestick are my two favorites of theirs, and they re very durable too.

I like to experiment with different finishing products and techniques as well so I don t have a lot of doubts when it s time to finish a project.

- RichTaylor

AMAZING IDEA !!! So glad I didn’t do anything yet. It makes sense, since the gouges are not that deep. I just bought three bottles of SOLAR-LUX NGR DYE STAIN by Behlen, from Woodcraft this evening on my way home. I got Medium Red Mahogany, American Walnut, and Nutmeg Brown. I will dilute the dye maybe 50/50 with denatured alcohol and try it on a separate piece of wood first.
I will follow exactly the steps you say. Wonderful idea. Thank you so much for letting me know !
In the beginning my wife was getting very upset about my new hobby but now after doing many things, I am getting much better at it and recently I did one chair which she loves it and wants the rest of them done.
Whenever my son damages some furniture I actually use it to my advantage and smile…don’t tell her that.

-- Julian Paul Jones

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6428 posts in 3205 days


#14 posted 07-14-2017 04:33 PM

I have used Timbermate successfully on a number of projects.
The only real issue with Timbermate is that it is water based so it must be sealed before applying a waterbased finish.
The two best things about Timbermate is that there is virtually no waste as all “crumbs” can be reused and almost any color can be reproduced by blending with other Timbermate colors or adding other coloring.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 294 days


#15 posted 07-14-2017 04:56 PM



I have used Timbermate successfully on a number of projects.
The only real issue with Timbermate is that it is water based so it must be sealed before applying a waterbased finish.
The two best things about Timbermate is that there is virtually no waste as all “crumbs” can be reused and almost any color can be reproduced by blending with other Timbermate colors or adding other coloring.

- oldnovice

Thank you very much for your advice !
I also have most colors of Timbermate fillers.
I just wonder if any patches or fillers I put might pop out in a few years as the wood expands and shrinks ; what do you think ?
I don’t know how fillers hold after a few years.

-- Julian Paul Jones

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