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Thread: Filling in walnut voids and knots

  1. #1
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    Filling in walnut voids and knots

    Hope someone can give me a new idea on how to fill in the voids and knots of walnut.
    I have some beautiful wolverine walnut that I didnt want to use yet, so only made a small top of it, and I have alot of thick walnut that I bought from my wood guy, even though I knew it was destined for flooring.
    Seems the thick chunks have alot of voids and knots, and as much as I tried to trim around and all, I made 4 tapered legs(28inches), and there are alot of voids with knots Id love to make dissapear, or less noticable.(Im thinking about just spinning most of it eventually)
    I purchased some epoxy today, was going to play with coffee grinds and epoxy tomorrow, maybe some epoxy and black paint, unless someone knows something that will be easy to obtain and work great.
    Thankyou in advance for any replies.

  2. #2
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    Larry Potterfield of Midway Arms gave a demo on doing this with a rifle stock on one of his commercials recently. He filled the hole 99% with a barrel embedding mix like epoxy then topped it with sanding dust from the wood he was working with.
    You might want to experiment on scrap using epoxy and sanding dust.
    I haven't looked, but I'll betcha Potterfield has a tips section at the store web site with this demo.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  3. #3
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    I have had good results using coffee grounds (espresso) and CA glue.

  4. #4
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    Alan, I've used epoxy with instant coffee crystals, epoxy with sawdust, epoxy with black India ink, and epoxy with crushed charcoal. None of them match the surrounding wood -- they look like a patch. My preference is the charcoal, since I've gotten the most consistent results with it. If the voids are small enough, I fill them dry with charcoal then soak the spot with CA glue. If they're bigger, I mix the epoxy and charcoal together before working it into the void.

    By the way, the epoxy and India ink was the worst combo I've tried. The ink somehow prevented the epoxy from hardening all the way. I suspect you might run into the same problem with paint.
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  5. #5
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    I've used black powered dye with epoxy and had good results. Like Vaughn says, it still shows but the epoxy does harden. Looks a lot like ebony.

    Mike
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Alan, I've used epoxy with instant coffee crystals, epoxy with sawdust, epoxy with black India ink, and epoxy with crushed charcoal. None of them match the surrounding wood -- they look like a patch. My preference is the charcoal, since I've gotten the most consistent results with it. ...
    I've tried all those, but settled on epoxy, with Van Dyke crystals. I think the VD crystals are nothing more than crushed walnut hulls, but they do impart the right warm brown coloration to the epoxy.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Prosser View Post
    I have had good results using coffee grounds (espresso) and CA glue.
    Coffee grounds, used ones dried and ground up a little finer if you can. Put them in the void with the tip of a jacknife and a little thin CA will draw them into the void.
    Mack C. in Brooklin ON
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  8. #8
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    the coffee and epoxy worked well to fill in the holes, but the color was too light. Almost all the voids are in the real black knotty parts.
    Ill try to buy some powdered dye tomorrow.Years ago I used to sell a fabric dye called Tintex, so IM wondering if any of the arts and craft style stores would have powdered dye around here.

    My wife suggested theres absolutely no reason to fill anything since the top is void of any voids(haha), and theres no reason to hide the woods character.

    Its a very small little telephone/hall style table.

    I have famowood, wood putty, crayons, but nothing looks natural.
    Last edited by allen levine; 10-20-2009 at 01:51 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    ... My wife suggested theres absolutely no reason to fill anything since the top is void of any voids(haha), and theres no reason to hide the woods character...
    Hard to argue with that. That would be my choice if it was just in the legs. You mentioned that with all the different filling materials you have, nothing looks natural. That's because it's the voids that look natural.

    The powdered dye should work, but if you're after black, I'd still say try the charcoal.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  10. #10
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    I went with the charcoal, the knots were black, it filled in black, I left it alone after one fill, needs maybe a bit more, Im ready to almost junk a project where the wood selected is just inferior. Bad choice of lumber. Thanks for the help, Im going to put some rub on poly on it, if its not liked, it get cut apart for scrap or pens.

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