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Thread: A few small gaps to fill

  1. #1
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    A few small gaps to fill

    I place this before the learned and experienced minds of the family. I need your guidance.

    I'm working on the chancel furniture and part of it requires a plywood platform edged in oak 2.5" wide. Although I really took my time with these miters, I still have a few gaps that I have to fill. I've not had much success with some of the commercial fillers, so I was wondering what you used. I've tried the plastic wood, don't like it. The Elmer's is a bit better, but still not great. I have some Timbermate, works OK. Any suggestions? Any brands that work well? Mix your own?

    Here's the joints. The gaps are small (and I have a little tear out in the plywood to deal with too. The magnification makes them look larger than life. Remember that the width of the border is 2.5"
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  2. #2
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    ????

    clamp harder and use a new blade next time famowood has worked for me in the past.
    Last edited by larry merlau; 11-16-2008 at 09:45 PM.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  3. #3
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    One option I've used is to mix some sanding dust with whatever wood glue you're using and apply that as a filler.

    Another thing I've done (and you have to be real careful) is to apply a tiny line of glue to the gap and then use your ROS to sand over the areas.

    I'd rather use one of the procedures I described than any commercial filler.

    I've also used Famowood, when available. In some cases, I've reduced it with water and applied it to a gap with a syringe.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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  4. #4
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    Rennie, I have never really been very pleased with my results from fillers, so I can't be much help there. Since you have already glued it up, this won't help, but what I have done to alleviate the need for fillers (because of my poor results with them), I dry fit all the edging pieces by starting with the middle piece and working the joints outward from that piece, by using a long sanding block attached to my TS fence and then with the aid of the mitre guage to help hold the piece steady slide the piece back & forth on the TS table with the ends of the joint against the sanding block until I get a perfect fit, then move to the next joint and cut it just slightly long and repeat the sanding/fitting process, etc until I have worked all the way around, and when I'm, satisfied with the joints, I glue it up, (starting with the middle piece and usually gluing only one or maybe two joints at a time). It really doesn't take much longer to do it this way and has really improved the results for me.
    Last edited by Norman Hitt; 11-16-2008 at 09:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    saw dust(from sanding) mixed with clear shellac seems to work good for me. I need be after that you can use a pencil to fake the grain.

  6. #6
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    I've never had luck getting anything to look right except more of the same wood. That's a bit trickier for you since you've got some grain lines that may be tough to match up unless you've got the offcuts from mitering those pieces but taking a thick handplane shaving or two and tucking them into the cracks usually results in a darn near invisible filler.
    Last edited by Doug Shepard; 11-16-2008 at 11:06 PM. Reason: sp
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    saw dust(from sanding) mixed with clear shellac seems to work good for me. I need be after that you can use a pencil to fake the grain.
    That't what I use, too. It works well if you're using a clear finish. I've never really had good results with anything if I was staining after filling.

    As for using the glue/sawdust, I've NEVER had good results with that. It shows regardless of whatever finish you use - except maybe paint!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
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    So many differing opinions!

    OK - one by one

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    One option I've used is to mix some sanding dust with whatever wood glue you're using and apply that as a filler.
    I've heard of this and the proponents of the system swear by it. Others, see below, don't speak too highly of the process at all! It's worth giving it a try just to see what happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Hitt View Post
    I dry fit all the edging pieces by starting with the middle piece and working the joints outward from that piece, by using a long sanding block attached to my TS fence and then with the aid of the mitre guage to help hold the piece steady slide the piece back & forth on the TS table with the ends of the joint against the sanding block until I get a perfect fit, then move to the next joint and cut it just slightly long and repeat the sanding/fitting process, etc until I have worked all the way around, and when I'm, satisfied with the joints, I glue it up, (starting with the middle piece and usually gluing only one or maybe two joints at a time). It really doesn't take much longer to do it this way and has really improved the results for me.
    This is pretty much what I did, except for the sand paper part. The hurdle, as I see it, is that each piece has to match three edges, not the usual two as in most miters. I have been able to get two to close up, but the third always seems to be just a hair off. The up side? I have several more to build so I'll get more practice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    saw dust(from sanding) mixed with clear shellac seems to work good for me. I need be after that you can use a pencil to fake the grain.
    I'm going to try this right after my glue test. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shepard View Post
    I've never had luck getting anything to look right except more of the same wood. That's a bit trickier for you since you've got some grain lines that may be tough to match up unless you've got the offcuts from mitering those pieces but taking a thick handplane shaving or two and tucking them into the cracks usually results in a darn near invisible filler.
    The gaps are sooooo small They look bigger in the pictures) that wedging anything in there might be very, very difficult. But, that's technique I'm going to file away for future reference,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    That't what I use, too. It works well if you're using a clear finish. I've never really had good results with anything if I was staining after filling.

    As for using the glue/sawdust, I've NEVER had good results with that. It shows regardless of whatever finish you use - except maybe paint!
    Another vote for the shellac! Thanks Jim. Like I told Doug, that's the next try on my agenda!

    How great to have all this experience at my finger tips!
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  9. #9
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    If you intend to use a BOL treatment then apply your BOL and then sand with 220 while it's still wet. That will create a slurry and fills in the imperfections nicely. Wipe it down carefully after the BOL has had a while to soak in being careful to not pull all the dust slurry out. Works well for all those little imperfections that always seem to show up.

    Mike

  10. #10
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    Test 1 - glue and sawdust

    OK - Here's a pointer should you ever get a dummy like me asking this question again. Don't use a metal putty knife to put a glue and white oak paste into the fine gaps of a miter. I should have known better - tannins and all that. Please note the dark line where the two pieces meet. Yes it filled nicely, but the mixture turned black as I was working it in.
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    So, back to the mixing, this time with a plastic knife at the ready. After mixing this batch up it occurred to me that I don't remember anyone hinting at the viscosity of the mix. Well, I can tell you it can't be a dry mix! I tried another area and I could hardly force it into the cracks. In fact, most never made it and it's obvious in the "after" shots.
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    Don't know if I'll get more time this evening to try again, but I'm on it tomorrow for sure.
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