Curly Red Oak filling

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Forum topic by ahock posted 1873 days ago 858 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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102 posts in 1958 days

1873 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: curly red oak filler planer

Hey Guys, I’m making a 16×20 picture frame out of curly red oak and padauk. I ran the oak through a thickness planer today to bring it down to about 1/16 over my final thickness, and lo and behold…GAH! on the final pass some grain pocks out (for lack of knowing the real term). So now on the front of my frame I have 5 pocks that are about the diameter of a pencil eraser, and just over 1/16” deep. So, now that I am past being able to plane them down anymore what is best to fill these with? Mix glue and sawdust? Is there a filler out there that would be close to an invisible patch? Other ideas? It’s going to be finished with a coat of dewaxed shellac, and then 3-4 coats of GF Arm-R-Seal.

Oh, and I was hoping to have this ready for finishing by the end of the night. :)

-- Andy, PA ~Finding satisfaction in creation

6 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2379 days

#1 posted 1872 days ago

There’s nothing that’s going to be invisible. Famowood makes a red oak filler. It matches red oak ply pretty good and may come close to the flake in your lumber. You may have to try a stain or dye on it. Good luck.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 1921 days

#2 posted 1872 days ago

No filler is really going to be acceptable, especially if it’s on the face. Figured wood of any kind is almost always a problem with a planer, even with sharp knives. I try to compensate for that ahead of time by leaving it thick, and sanding down the rest. In fact, in my door shop, certain woods we don’t even try to plane because of that issue. We use a wide belt sander, (which most people don’t have access to) Hand planes and scrapers are also a good choice.
Can you sacrifice a little thickness and sand or hand plane at this point? I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but patches usually look like——-patches.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View patron's profile


13020 posts in 1975 days

#3 posted 1872 days ago

if they are all close to the same place in width of the board ,
could you inlay a strip of padouk and call it a design line ?
i always plane the back ,
when i find a good face ,
just because of this problem .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ahock's profile


102 posts in 1958 days

#4 posted 1872 days ago

Thanks guys for the ideas, I picked up some famowood today and will try it on a piece of scrap to see how it looks. Kent, the only sander I have that could take off 1/16 on everything with less than a weeks work is my belt sander and I am not good at keeping an even thickness with it. I’ve been scraping but am about as thin as I feel I can spare now. I had thought about the inlay strip Patron, but I would have 3, 3/8” wide strips on one 2 1/4” wide piece; a little more than I wanted. I’ll see here in the shop tonight what I can figure out, I really want to at least start finishing tonight!

-- Andy, PA ~Finding satisfaction in creation

View BobLemon's profile


8 posts in 1873 days

#5 posted 1871 days ago

ahock, it can be patched. If you have a carver’s gouge, scoop out a little depression, then overlay/inlay the hole with the chip carved out of a matching piece of scrap. Use hide glue plus clamp the inlay by laying a piece of thick rubber over the patch, then clamp. When dry sand or scrape flat. The excess glue can then be washed away carefully.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2115 days

#6 posted 1871 days ago

Another tip you could try is to fill the divits with a good wood filler. Let it dry and sand it flush with the wood. Then take a sharp utility knife and put some very fine cuts across the filler and a bit beyond into the wood piece in each direction (top to bottom) and in the same direction as the wood grain and try to simulate the wood grain pattern. Then take a little darker stain mix it with the filler, and fill the knife cuts. Once set up, sand lightly and stain the entire piece with your chosen stain. I have used this on a couple of projects over the years and it is very difficult to see the fill. This will test your artistry :-)

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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