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Homemade wood filler???

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Forum topic by msinc posted 02-12-2018 02:13 AM 869 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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msinc

478 posts in 584 days


02-12-2018 02:13 AM

Many moons ago, when I was a kid in high school we used to make our own walnut wood filler by mixing fine walnut dust collected in the shop with “some liquid that I don’t remember what it was”.....anyone out there kind enough to please share how you make your own wood filler out of real wood sawdust? To throw a curve into it, how about what to mix the saw dust with to fill say cracks in a board or maybe fill a small knot hole or hide a finish nail, etc. I am thinking it might need to be a little different mix since one is just filling pores in the wood, but the other is kind of a little bit “structural” so to speak? Not trying to hold the board together with “filler” it is plenty stabilized and not moving…just want to make it look a little better if possible. Thanks for any info, as always it is greatly appreciated!!!


25 replies so far

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1085 posts in 989 days


#1 posted 02-12-2018 02:23 AM

For filling knot holes, I’d use 5 minute epoxy mixed with the sawdust. As for wood filler, dunno.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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woodbutcherbynight

5487 posts in 2490 days


#2 posted 02-12-2018 02:35 AM

My Grandfather used very fine wood dust of same species and hide glue.

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

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msinc

478 posts in 584 days


#3 posted 02-12-2018 02:37 AM

Isn’t hide glue the stuff you get as powder and you add water and boil it? Never really messed with it other than to read about it in a book. Is there a working time? I thought about the 5 minute epoxy clear stuff and just mix in some saw dust. Thanks fellas for the replies so far!!!!!

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jmartel

8054 posts in 2231 days


#4 posted 02-12-2018 02:39 AM



Isn t hide glue the stuff you get as powder and you add water and boil it? Never really messed with it other than to read about it in a book. Is there a working time? I thought about the 5 minute epoxy clear stuff and just mix in some saw dust. Thanks fellas for the replies so far!!!!!

- msinc

Also comes in a tube like normal wood glue. Just takes a lot longer to set up. Titebond makes liquid hide glue, and there’s also Old Brown Glue.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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msinc

478 posts in 584 days


#5 posted 02-12-2018 02:51 AM


Isn t hide glue the stuff you get as powder and you add water and boil it? Never really messed with it other than to read about it in a book. Is there a working time? I thought about the 5 minute epoxy clear stuff and just mix in some saw dust. Thanks fellas for the replies so far!!!!!

- msinc

Also comes in a tube like normal wood glue. Just takes a lot longer to set up. Titebond makes liquid hide glue, and there s also Old Brown Glue.

- jmartel

Thank you sir, I will check those out!!

View Rich's profile

Rich

3336 posts in 670 days


#6 posted 02-12-2018 05:02 AM

Don’t boil hide glue! Just sayin’.

There are countless ways to do what you want, and no one technique is likely best for all of them. You can fill small cracks with things like sawdust mixed with white glue, you can sprinkle sawdust into the crack, rub it in firmly, and run thin CA glue along it. You can use a product like Timbermate, or the epoxy mentioned earlier. Larger cracks will do best with materials like epoxy putty, epoxy or Timbermate.

For knots, it really depends on the situation. If they are solid and not loose, don’t do anything, although you might need to seal them when you go to finish. If they are loose, a good low-viscosity (probably not a quality of the 5-minute stuff) epoxy will get into the nooks and crannies. You might want to add pigment, but any sawdust will thicken it and make it less likely to get down in there and fix the knot in place. Also, some clear packing tape on the back of the board to keep it from flowing out the bottom is a good idea.

Regarding nail holes. I never have them, but something like Timbermate would do the job.

There are also a huge variety of options to apply after the piece is finished. Various fills — wax fill, hard fill — the list is a long one and the choice depends a lot on how the piece will be used. You wouldn’t use a wax fill on a table top for instance.

I could go on, and others will surely offer even more ideas. It’s one of those things that’s good to have some practice with and a big bag of tricks.

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

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woodbutcherbynight

5487 posts in 2490 days


#7 posted 02-12-2018 05:21 AM

I agree with Rich, one should have several different methods of dealing with imperfections. When I made my circle cutting jig the plywood had some wicked knot. Rather than toss it I drilled out the hole and turned a plug on the lathe and glued it in. Below is picture. Took out the offending knot but let the character of the spiral and such in place and set it off with a piece of mahogany. Now if you are painting then any filler or even automotive filler Bondo works well. I generally do not paint but my current project is being painted, sacrilege I know. Hopefully I will be forgiven once the overall project is posted and my reason for the paint is explained.

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

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Rich

3336 posts in 670 days


#8 posted 02-12-2018 05:32 AM


Rather than toss it I drilled out the hole and turned a plug on the lathe and glued it in.

- woodbutcherbynight

Nice jig. I’d have probably filled it after drilling with epoxy putty. That’s just me though, not a better or worse solution. That’s kind of the theme here. There are lots of ways to skin a cat, and every situation will have multiple options that all do the trick. A lot comes down to what you’re comfortable doing (I don’t have a lathe, so turning a plug would be difficult), and what things you have on hand. There are lots of fixes I did in the past that I’ve learned better ways of doing today, and I’m sure I’ll find new and better ways in the future.

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

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msinc

478 posts in 584 days


#9 posted 02-12-2018 01:17 PM

Thanks for the replies and info fellas, it is greatly appreciated!!! Food for thought has been the solution to many a problem.

View Walker's profile

Walker

142 posts in 553 days


#10 posted 02-12-2018 05:22 PM

For small things to be filled I’ve had success with just sawdust and Titebond wood glue. For example filling in around inlays.

-- ~Walker

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splintergroup

2202 posts in 1303 days


#11 posted 02-12-2018 07:04 PM

My grand dad would just make lots of airborne dust from the desired wood, breath deeply through his nose, then use the sawdust saturated boogers to fill the holes.

Just kidding 8^)

I’m in the mix dust with glue camp. One needs to watch the color of the glue used, standard yellow glue will change the color pos the wood dust used. Clear epoxy works well but will not absorb finishes well.

I’ve found that if possible, add some off the finish to the dust when mixing with epoxy/glue, it really helps getting the final color matched.

View PPK's profile

PPK

1095 posts in 890 days


#12 posted 02-12-2018 10:29 PM



My grand dad would just make lots of airborne dust from the desired wood, breath deeply through his nose, then use the sawdust saturated boogers to fill the holes.

Just kidding 8^)

- splintergroup

I got a really good laugh outa this…

-- Pete

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alittleoff

541 posts in 1357 days


#13 posted 02-12-2018 11:58 PM

I try and save different colors of wood when I’m sanding it. I keep it labeled in small plastic containers. When I need a filler I use the wood dust that came from the same kind or wood and mix other colors to it if I need to lighten it up or get it a little darker. I usually use titebond 3, seems to work well for me. It’s really hard to match wood perfectly, but if you fool around a little you can get real close.
Gerald

View msinc's profile

msinc

478 posts in 584 days


#14 posted 02-13-2018 12:42 AM

Thanks for all the replies. I will start cleaning out my band saw when I switch to a different wood from now on…you never know when you are going to need some filler. I don’t know why, but my band saw produces some seriously fine dust.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3336 posts in 670 days


#15 posted 02-13-2018 12:49 AM


Thanks for all the replies. I will start cleaning out my band saw when I switch to a different wood from now on…you never know when you are going to need some filler. I don t know why, but my band saw produces some seriously fine dust.

- msinc

If you want to go that direction, this spice grinder does a good job of producing very fine dust. I dedicated one to wood dust, although, like I said earlier, I don’t do the wood dust fills much anymore. There are many other techniques with far better results.

https://www.amazon.com/KRUPS-Electric-Grinder-Stainless-3-Ounce/dp/B00004SPEU

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

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