• Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by moke posted 03-01-2014 06:38 PM 1415 views 2 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View moke's profile


1175 posts in 2774 days

03-01-2014 06:38 PM

I have watched many videos where folks like Norm Abram uses a brad nailer to attach a face strip or some other type of thing where the hole is going to be in plain site…he patches the hole and it appears not to show. Evidentially I missed the show where he says what he uses to fill in the hole. I have used most of the big box fillers…they seem to shrink with application of poly…or just plain show. So years ago, I quit using my brad nailer. I have tried many things from Kreg to pin nailer or just glue ( which is what I generally use, but takes consideralby longer).

I would like to know if you are happy with what you have used or currently use, what it is? I am mainly interested in stainable…and maybe I just live with gluing and clamping…what say you?
Thanks in advance for any advice,

-- Mike

13 replies so far

View michaelsgarage's profile


71 posts in 1924 days

#1 posted 03-01-2014 06:45 PM

timber mate wood filler. its a beauty. best bang for your buck. its water based so if it dries up you can reactivate it with water you can also use dye to change the colour of filler it also come it tons of different colours. goodluck!

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#2 posted 03-01-2014 07:10 PM

Stainability always sucks in my experience. Sometimes I’ve mixed
pigments into the filler and then the stain darkens it a little. You
want the filler just a little darker than the stained wood, imo,
since lighter sticks out more and darker looks like a little pin
knot or something.

Another approach is to fill with oil-based fillers after staining. They
can be colored and come in colors. Some get harder than others.

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1749 days

#3 posted 03-01-2014 07:43 PM

Norm uses the low bandwidth of video to hide those pesky nail holes.

I have tried numerous methods to fill holes and if you fill them before staining you get blotches. After stain is better, and between coats of finish is best. Remember to always use a filler slightly darker than the stain and it will hide better.

If you really want to hide the holes, use wax sticks and blend them in to match the color around the hole, and do this between finish coats. You will hardly be able to tell they are there.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2349 days

#4 posted 03-01-2014 07:58 PM

I use hide glue mixed w/ some saw dust from the ROS. You can adjust the color by what type of sawdust you use.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View moke's profile


1175 posts in 2774 days

#5 posted 03-01-2014 08:13 PM

If I fill inbetween coats of poly (which I spray) do I need to “clean” out the holes from the poly? I always wonderered about the video hid his mistakes….

Loren…what brand would an oil based filler be? I want one that is really hard. Also, I am a photographer by trade and in the “old days” we always retouched tiny tiny things with a 000 brush…I could go back and “retouch” in darker stain…but I would only use brads to save time from glue set up time…I am not sure if I would be gaining anything, but I guess sooner or later you have to fill something, right?

-- Mike

View Bobsboxes's profile


1367 posts in 2662 days

#6 posted 03-01-2014 08:18 PM

My cure was a 23 ga. Pin nailer, it holds great till glue sets. Then I use a dab of tight bond and sand the area by hand, while glue is still wet. On most wood the hole goes away.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View waho6o9's profile


8190 posts in 2575 days

#7 posted 03-01-2014 08:26 PM

+1 for Bondo

I find that useful as well.

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1749 days

#8 posted 03-01-2014 08:27 PM


No cleaning needed. Just fill the holes between the coats and ensure that they are flush with the surface, then apply the top coat. I just use the wax filler sticks from the box store and they work very well.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#9 posted 03-01-2014 08:39 PM

Just like oil paints take a long time to really dry, so does oil
putty. It may get hard eventually (I’ve had is get hard
and dried out in the containers) but it doesn’t hard fast
like Durham’s water putty. Some oil putties may have
hardeners in them that interact with the air or something
like that, but normally I think the solvent just kind of outgasses
and the putty hardens up. They don’t shrink and they
don’t dry out while you’re using them if you add a little
thinner, so the consistency can be manipulated.

To some extent I’ve had success mixing off-the-shelf
oil stains with oil putty, but it doesn’t take much stain
to overwhelm the body of the putty and then it
usually doesn’t get dark enough. I use fresco colors
from Woodworkers supply to mix with stains and putty
to get the colors I want. Oil soluble aniline dye powders
will work too and some dye powders will dissolve in
both oil and water. Woodworkers supply has 3 or 4
lines of powered pigments/dyes.

An advantage of the oil/solvent putties is you can pack
holes, scrape flush with a putty knife and them wipe
excess out of surrounding pores with a rag with thinner
on it. It doesn’t raise the grain.

Famowood is one brand. You should see one or two at
a hardware store – just look at the cleanup instructions. I’ve
bought tinted ones in little 1 or 2 oz. jars at lumberyards
that serve the cabinet trade. There may be a cabinet
hardware store in your area, a real wholesale trade shop,
and they’ll have some supplies like hinges and screws too at
prices you’d be hard pressed to find in hobby oriented
tool stores.

View brianjenkins's profile


4 posts in 1557 days

#10 posted 03-01-2014 08:44 PM

I also keep some dust from the random orbital and some Tightbond I wood glue. Sand it back down and apply the stain. If you didn’t sand down far enough (blotching), add a little spit or water and rub it out and re-apply the stain.

Don’t use a waterproof wood glue, or you’re stuck resanding

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#11 posted 03-02-2014 01:33 AM

I use TimberMate and have no problem with topcoating with poly or Spar Urethane.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2270 days

#12 posted 03-02-2014 02:58 AM

Whether you’re using finishing nails or 15,18, or 21 Ga. air nails, if you run a strip of masking or blue painter’s tape along the edge being nailed or just a small square of the tape on the wood and shoot your nail through the tape. Then come back and fill the nail hole before you remove the tape, you won’t have to deal with sanding out the smudge on the wood surrounding the hole.
I use the sawdust from the wood in the project with just enough TiteBond Original to hold the dust together in the hole, smear a little glue on the tip of your finger, dip that into the saw dust and roll a small ball the size of the nail hole and press it in, pull the tape, let it dry, and finish with the project. Too much glue will coat the dust and then it won’t take stain.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View moke's profile


1175 posts in 2774 days

#13 posted 03-03-2014 06:14 PM

Thank you—- for taking the time to respond.
I have a lot to try…

-- Mike

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics