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Help Regarding Epoxy Knot Filling (OR not?)

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Forum topic by Tetroniker posted 07-15-2018 04:53 PM 1810 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tetroniker

7 posts in 98 days


07-15-2018 04:53 PM

Hello forum, I need a bit of advice on what to do here. A friend of mine gave me some oak and I’m in a bind about what to do for dealing with the knots. The problem is that I hate epoxy filled knots, the aesthetic is just not for me. I have seen almost every variation of epoxy filled knots, and I don’t like it.

The oak will be used on a table, and here is where my problem is. As I understand it, people take issue with food surfaces where there is no treatment to voids, cracks, and knots. However, epoxy filled knots is relatively new, and eating on tables isn’t. ;) I can’t imagine it being too much of an issue, or is it?

Have you ever left the knots alone on your tables? What other alternatives is there for me? I was considering brushing epoxy into the knots cracks etc. to “seal” it. I really just don’t know what to do since I just love the look of leaving them alone.

Thanks in advance for any advice,
Tetroniker


13 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4993 posts in 2498 days


#1 posted 07-15-2018 05:36 PM

If crumbs in the voids of your table surface, don’t bother you, then there is no need to fill them.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Tetroniker's profile

Tetroniker

7 posts in 98 days


#2 posted 07-15-2018 07:20 PM



If crumbs in the voids of your table surface, don t bother you, then there is no need to fill them.

- bondogaposis


So my only alternative is to not fill them? I see.

Thank you.

View LesB's profile

LesB

1818 posts in 3590 days


#3 posted 07-15-2018 07:26 PM

You answered you own dilemma when you said “I just love the look of leaving them alone”.

That said there is an alternative to epoxy resin but it still may not be what your are looking for.

Use CA or super glue to secure the knots and fill the voids and cracks. It comes in three versions, thin, medium and thick. If the voids or cracks are large I would suggest first packing them with some fine sawdust of an appropriate color. If the knot area is dark you may want to use walnut or similar saw dust, I collect my sawdust using a belt sander or orbital sander that has a built in dust collector. Then apply a dose of thin CA glue followed immediately with either the medium or thick glue. The thin glue acts as a wicking agent to draw the thicker glue in. Keep applying the thicker glue until no more will soak in. If the cracks or gaps go all the way through the board you will need to put some painter’s tape on the back side to stop the glue from flowing out. I have done this on many projects and turnings with great results but if your final finish is say just an oil finish you will still have “shiny” spots similar to epoxy.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10571 posts in 3179 days


#4 posted 07-22-2018 04:35 AM

“I really just don’t know what to do since I just love the look of leaving them alone.” It’s YOUR Table if that’s what you Love, then leave it that way! If you decide fill them use an Epoxy.

-- (Rick S.)... "Don't Worry About What People Think! They Don't Do It Very Often Anyway!"

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

793 posts in 2105 days


#5 posted 07-22-2018 04:39 AM

I might spray in some lacquer to make sure it is sealed and the bits and pieces do not easily chip out. At least then you can vacuum out crud after dinner or periodically. And water will not find new places to soak in.

Or, if you do not like epoxy, have you thought about lentils? A tablespoon or two of lentils would be a nice touch to a table.

-- I'd like to see a forklift lift a crate of forks. It'd be so damn literal!

View BobAnderton's profile

BobAnderton

283 posts in 2937 days


#6 posted 07-22-2018 01:21 PM

Just us talking, I don’t think historically boards with knot holes would have been used for table tops. I’m not saying it never happened, but I think the aesthetic historically was that clear stock needed to be used for table tops. It’s only recently that an appreciation of things that don’t look mass produced has made knots and voids in table tops acceptable, depending on your aesthetic. In this day and age when it’s considered nice to have machining marks and distressing on surfaces, what’s a few knot holes among friends? That’s not my thing, but most of the world has moved on and left my aesthetic behind in many ways.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1374 posts in 309 days


#7 posted 07-22-2018 02:13 PM

cover it with a doily. [out of sight = out of mind]

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5559 posts in 2555 days


#8 posted 07-23-2018 01:35 AM

Depending on your taste you could drill out the knot and insert a dowel, either of the same wood or something else. I had a couple of bad spots in a piece of plywood, drill through and made some plugs for them.

It is a shop jig so it did not matter to me, but I fixed a nightstand for a friend using same method. His wife though it was unique and I ended up doing a couple more for other furniture they had.

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

View torus's profile

torus

158 posts in 560 days


#9 posted 07-23-2018 01:42 AM

tempered glass to cover whole table will keep the look and keep it clean (it will cost you).

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View Nubsnstubs's profile (online now)

Nubsnstubs

1408 posts in 1877 days


#10 posted 07-23-2018 04:13 AM

It’s oak, and Oak is pretty plentiful pretty much anywhere you, including the desert. Check the knot sizes, find yourself an Oak tree and look for dead branches about the same size as the knot holes. Take them home and punch or knock out any loose stuff from the knots. Fit the branches into the holes. Use whatever epoxy you think would work to hold the branch pieces in. After your adhesive cures, sand flush to surface. What this does is you keep the look of the actual knot hole, but have put in a branch piece that fits, and could possibly look more natural than filling with wood dust, chips or other filler material like coffee grounds and such.

if you really like the look of open cracks in knots, don’t bother doing any of the suggestions mentioned. It’s your table, and you and your wife are the only people that should be happy with what you built….......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View Tetroniker's profile

Tetroniker

7 posts in 98 days


#11 posted 07-24-2018 12:22 PM

Thank you for providing a bunch of ideas and options!! I have some time to think about it prior to finishing. So right now I don’t know which direction I’ll go, but maybe an option will reveal itself as the project comes to a close. :)

Thanks again LJ forum.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1374 posts in 309 days


#12 posted 07-24-2018 02:26 PM

go buy another board – or two – or three.
never build a table that you will hate for the rest of your life.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Tetroniker's profile

Tetroniker

7 posts in 98 days


#13 posted 07-24-2018 02:30 PM



go buy another board – or two – or three.
never build a table that you will hate for the rest of your life.

- John Smith


The issue is not that I’ll hate it, I’ll in fact love it with the knots just the way it is. I just felt torn over if I should fill the knots or not (since some say it’s unsanitary to leave them).

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