body filler and restoration .

I happen to have an old country loncase clock circa 1750. The mechanism is a brass face 30 hour movement . The case has been stripped to bare wood with the exception of the inside of the door which looked to be painted black. I surmise the case may have been black laquer, or more likely veneered
Here is the rub, the case has many worm holes and worm tracts on the surface. So most likley it was veneered with a veneer the worms did not like so they bored up to the veneer but not through it [plobably a mahogany veneer] I have seen this before. There worms are gone but the tracts remain . I have to have a reason ably flat surface if I laquer the case And I wonder if anyone has had experience with fillers that would fill these tracts . Bondo comes to mind but I have had no experience using it with wood. Any suggestions appreciated.....mjh
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Mike Hide asks:

Some eyars ago, Woodsmith had an article on smoothing wood to be painted using Bondo. I never built particular project, but you might drop a note on the August Home site if no one else here has any experience. It does seem to me that there would be different expansion/contraction rates, but Bondo holds pretty well on thin sheet metal, so maybe that's not a major problem.
Are you going to paint or veneer the case after filling?
Charlie Self "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin - it's the triumphant twang of a bedspring." S. J. Perelman
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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I am thinking of doing it in "red" laquer with gold chinoiserie decorations. Seems bondo might work, so long as it sticks to the wood .....mjh
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This is a great opportunity to diddle about a bit with a really adaptable "goober" mix made from common shop trash. Do this.... Go to the kitchen & surreptitiously lay the grab on SWMBO's blender. Take it to the sh..uh, laboratory. Find the most recent partial bucket of premix drywall compound, open it & splop a few oz. ( two 1 1/2" putty knife's worth) into the blender. Whiz it out smooth. Keep it small, you're only finding out about desired consistency here & getting a "feel" for general alchemy.
Keep a few oz. of water around for thinning. Find the most recent partial bucket of premix vinyl wallpaper paste AND/OR some dry granulated wall size. These two act similarly, but slightly differently in their ability to stiffen and toughen the resultant goober. The paste will most affect the adhesion; the size will seem to increase the hardness and brittleness of the dried putty that eventually results... YMMV, you'll figure it out. Start out with very little (1/2 tsp) added to the mud. Then, water-thin to the consistency you want to apply. Hype up the additive ratios on subsequent experiments on scrap to see what they bring and what they taketh away. Other additives you will delight in diddl... uh, researching, are artist's acrylics to color the brew for when you may be coating with something other than opaque primers and paints. A virtual lifetime of crackpottery awaits you.
The point is, you'll have the means at hand to adjust the adhesion, hardness and viscosity characteristics of a gypsum putty that "breaks" to a very smooth tooth when sanded. The range of control will be such that you can make a very soft filler (like drywall mud) with improved adhesion, or crank up the stiffness to something that will remind you of body putty when you go to sand. You can control subsequent applications for thinner coats, touch-ups, shrinkage refills, etc. Usually, the more water, the greater % of shrinkage.
It's "open" time is much more forgiving than Bondo & such, and in the early stages, is water-removable, reversible, texturable, etc. The reversibility is improved if applied over a wash coat of shellac or appropriate sealer. One can easily whip up a creamy consistency that will "credit card" apply very smoothly and will sand to vapor thinness, thus taking the transmitted grain out of, let's say, a to-be-painted plywood panel. Once overcoated with a primer, it's quite bullet proof. Wouldn't use it in outdoor furniture.... but I've never known it to fail in any interior application with proper finish. And I've never purchased a commercial filler with as much versatility of use; being dirt cheap & easy means you get to play it to great familiarity.
Go... go get it. She won't mind; she never uses it anyway. You'll clean it up real good anyway; she won't know.

mechanism
problem.
triumphant
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I'm only a hobbyist, but have worked with several antique pieces. I haven't seen any advice on damaging the value of this 250+ year old piece by applying automotive bonding materials. Wouldn't that damage the value of the piece somewhat?
Also, is the veneer coming off, or does he just want to fill in the sagging spots from the worm holes underneath?
In most cases I use a product from a comapany called "PL", named "Fix, Professional Woodfiller" because it is made from wood products and is easy to sand when dry. As a hobbyist, though, and with a piece like that, I would be temepted to seek a pro who could inject filler beneath the veneer to fill the gaps.
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all the veneer is long gone.I am left with bare wood with worm tracts on the surface. the worms have also long gone and the wood itself is in reasonably good shape...mjh

haven't
sagging
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Bondo is an awesome filler for an opaque finish. Probably the only down side is the Bondo will leave a better surface than the surrounding wood.
Also, the open time is minutes so depending on you application you'll want to meter out only what you can work in the next three or four minutes.
UA100
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I'm not experienced at all with any of this, but I will say that a very skilled furniture restorer that I know who is trusted with very old and valuable pieces uses Bondo regularly. I've seen him build up major components (such as the missing leg on a centuries old table) with the stuff. He has become skilled at simulating would textures and such, but it's definitely an art.
I've used Bondo on cars and boats and yes, it hardens very fast, but then of course can be worked by sanding, chiseling etc., possibly even machining.
Tom M.
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FWW several years ago had an article showing in detail how a couple, if memory serves, of guys used Bondo in preparation for an opaque finishing job. Still have some residue in the garage based on that article.
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The timber framer guy next door used 'lacquer sticks' to fill in gaps and holes in the timbers a few days ago. He heats up a putty knife and then touches the stick to it,the melting drops fall into the holes and when full he stops. A few seconds later a quick sanding and 'wow' is it great looking ! To me , this is the choice. Please leave the bondo for plastic repairs, metal for metal, and wood for wood. OK, I'm becoming a purist in my old age, but I feel it wood be better done with the 'sticks'.
Jay
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Totally agree, JB.
Mike, DAGS for "shellac stick". They're very much like old-fashioned sealing wax. I use a small soldering iron to melt them into the hole. They come in a range of colours to match various woods. You can also chip different colours into a teaspoon and melt them together to match any colour you want. They sand easily and can be finished over with lacquer or shellac straight away.
You really don't want to use a modern product on an antique - do it the way the old boys would have done it.
Cheers
Frank

full
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wrote:

I have used Bondo on wood when building large scale r/c model airplanes. It works very well for wood that's going to be covered with an opaque finish! The airplanes went from cool basement to direct, August sun with no problems where the Bondo and wood bonded.
Get comfy on some scrap, it works a little differently than other fillers. Bondo dries VERY hard, sands nicely, and can allow you too get a piano-like lacquer finish. You're going to apply it in very thin coats and try to remove almost all of it with a flexible scraper. Don't fill the holes in one shot, as the Bondo is harder than the wood, and it'll be hard to sand level.
Barry
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Mike, I don't know what your ultimate goal is but I strongly urge you to avoid using anyting 21st century on a 250 year old antique. And the best possible path of all would be to consult with a qualified antique restoration expert. I say that only because you state that the case has unfortunately been stripped. If I were you I would take a step back and rethink the project ...
Mike Hide wrote:

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Mike Hide wrote:
<snip>

I prefer to use "Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty".
http://www.waterputty.com/view.htm
I buy it at my local Home Depot.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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brought forth from the murky depths:

That's good stuff. I just used it to fill my kitchen cabinet doors to put different hardware on and it didn't shrink at all like spackle and wood putty do. $2.69 at ACE; ought to last me about 20 years.
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Impeach 'em ALL!
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        :)>
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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says...

Mike, I recommend the products available here:
http://www.rotdoctor.com /
I've used them on several projects, and they perform admirably. West System Epoxy products would probably also work well if the holes are small. The Rot Doctor epoxy formulation is more flexible than the West System and so works better for larger repairs.
Kim
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I believe it is Minwax that puts out a wood filler that is nothing but colored Bondo. I have used this and the regular automotive stuff with complete success.

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