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How to fill tearout/chip out

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 05-19-2015 04:37 PM 1118 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


05-19-2015 04:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish fill tear out

As I was sanding down my latest project, a few inclusions in the wood appeared. I’m left with one small spot that looks like some grain tore out, and a little divot elsewhere. Both are shallow, probably 1/16” or less. I am wondering the best way to address these. I don’t want to fill it with putty because the wood is to remain natural. I want to finish with Danish Oil and cover with Arm-R-Seal.

The thoughts that came to my mind were:

1. Hit it with danish oil, fill the divots with 5min clear epoxy, sand flat, reapply danish oil to affected area if necessary, then proceed to arm-r-seal
2. Attempt to fill the pockets with Arm-R-Seal. Not sure how feasible this is.

Thoughts or advice?

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.


25 replies so far

View moke's profile

moke

861 posts in 2241 days


#1 posted 05-19-2015 04:41 PM

I have had some good success taking a wet cloth, putting a hot iron over it BRIEFLY, then resanding. It raises the grain slightly. I have never done it on plywood….not brave enough to do that.
I got that idea here somewhere…one of the benefits of relying on others expertise!
Mike

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1145 days


#2 posted 05-19-2015 04:45 PM

Is it tear out or compressed grain? A wet paper towel and iron can sometimes get compressed spots out but I don’t believe that will work on torn grain.

I would think that if you finish over it even leveled with something like epoxy the finish will amplify the spots like a magnifying glass. You might be better off trying to either find some color matched filler or making your own.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2278 days


#3 posted 05-19-2015 04:47 PM

For tearout 1/16” deep or less, I would just sand it out. On flat surfaces make a shallow dish 6-8” across. The angle is so subtle, it likely won’t be noticed on a matte or satin finish.
If the chipout creates a gap in a jointline, I might use sawdust and glue to fill minor imperfections.
Any attempts to fill surface flaws on natural colored or stain grade projects will likely look worse than the defect itself.

Ultimately I strive to eliminate chipout at the source with things like sacrificial blocks where blades/bits exit a workpiece. For surface tearout, a spiral cutterhead on the planer has made a world of difference for me.

Good luck with the repair.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#4 posted 05-19-2015 04:58 PM

Thanks. One spot could probably be sanded. The other is a little less regular, and looks a lot more like some tear out I may have missed after planing or jointing. It is right on the joint between boards in the middle of the table top. This is the one I’m most worried about. I’ll see if I can get a decent picture of it when I get home.

There is a third spot on the edge of the top that Is also chip out, probably from when I scraped the end grain smooter. That I think I can hide OK by sanding.

I just hear about a lot of people filling knots or other imperfections with epoxy to stabilize and level them. Perhaps I’m trying to apply that to the wrong situation here.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#5 posted 05-20-2015 12:33 AM

Depending on the color of your wood, you could use epoxy (it will look pretty dark colored) or use Timbermate grain filler. It is color matched to many different species. It is my favorite grain/pore filler as it is water soluble, dries very fast, and easy to use. The Timbermate will accept stain, the epoxy will need to have color mixed into it if you decide to tint the epoxy.

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

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1354 days


#6 posted 05-20-2015 12:38 AM

CA glue and some of the saw dust usually works good.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#7 posted 05-20-2015 01:05 AM

The CA glue/sawdust always turns out black for me.

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

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1041 days


#8 posted 05-20-2015 04:28 AM

Tear out I usually just sand it where it would only be slightly noticeable by touch or maybe if you’re at that perfect angle looking at it. I’d say no one else would notice but you, of course I’m no expert haha

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#9 posted 05-20-2015 12:16 PM

There’s tear out and there’s tear out. Sounds like you don’t have a bad one. Ultimately it depends on how bad it looks and how big an area it covers. As far as I know, the hot iron technique will not work because the fibers are torn out, not compressed from a dent.

Depending on how bad it looks, I usually toss the part and make another one unless there is some way to either reorient or use the other side. IMO anything you do like sawdust/ca glue, etc. is going to show when you finish it.

If anyone has ever successfully fixed tear out please post some pics and your technique.

Other than that, I would try you’re own suggestion and see what levelling looks like.
My guess is you will still notice it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

111 posts in 1199 days


#10 posted 05-20-2015 02:24 PM

Just spitballin’ ideas here:

1. If it’s big enough, cut/shape a small splinter of the same type of wood and glue it in place
2. Camouflage it with some kind of decorative inlay
3. Distress the wood so it all looks like that

If you try to fill it with epoxy, CA and sawdust, etc., make sure you try it out on some scrap with your full finishing regimen and see how it turns out.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#11 posted 05-20-2015 02:32 PM

Some good ideas guys. Sorry I didn’t get pics. I’m on rotation at work and have very limited home time. Will get some up ASAP.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

18 posts in 567 days


#12 posted 05-20-2015 04:04 PM



As I was sanding down my latest project, a few inclusions in the wood appeared. I m left with one small spot that looks like some grain tore out, and a little divot elsewhere. Both are shallow, probably 1/16” or less. I am wondering the best way to address these. I don t want to fill it with putty because the wood is to remain natural. I want to finish with Danish Oil and cover with Arm-R-Seal.

The thoughts that came to my mind were:

1. Hit it with danish oil, fill the divots with 5min clear epoxy, sand flat, reapply danish oil to affected area if necessary, then proceed to arm-r-seal
2. Attempt to fill the pockets with Arm-R-Seal. Not sure how feasible this is.

Thoughts or advice?

-Brian

- bbasiaga


View bilyo's profile

bilyo

18 posts in 567 days


#13 posted 05-20-2015 04:19 PM

Brian,
I have gotten the best results by filling chip/tear outs with clear epoxy. Just let it cure and sand to the same grit as the rest of the area. When the finish is applied, it will virtually disappear. If the tear out is in an area of darker grain, you can add a very small amount of sanding dust, but this is not usually needed as the natural color will show through the clear epoxy.

I usually use oil base finishes and I have had no problems with this. I’m not sure how it will do with water finishes. I understand that there is a water based clear grain filler on the market now. I wonder how that might work in place of the epoxy?

For dents, I just add a drop or two of water to the dent and let it set. You may need to add some more water later to keep it wet. When you think the dented material has swollen back to shape, let it dry and sand smooth. If the dent has badly damaged fibers, you may need to finish up with epoxy as above.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#14 posted 05-20-2015 04:56 PM

Any particular brand of clear epoxy?

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4531 posts in 1977 days


#15 posted 05-20-2015 09:07 PM

My suggestion would be to fill in the void with titebond let it sit for a couple mins then sand over it allowing the sawdust from the wood to fall in covering it up, you’ll never know anything was there and it’ll finish just fine.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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