Favorite recipes for homemade wood-fill

Looking for some input on what recipes have worked best for you.
- Any wood types better than others?
For example, I just sanded some ipe decking and it made a flour-like sawdust. Is that fine sawdust from a "hard" wood like Ipe better or worse than say coarser sawdust from oak or a softwood like pine?
Is the choice of wood really just a matter of color match (since no grain) or are there other factors in choosing the type of sawdust?
- What types of glue? yellow vs. epoxy vs.other?
- How thick and dry do you make it?
- Any tricks to make the home-made stuff look and work more like real wood? (similar to stuff like System3 SculptWood)
Just trying to tease out the best tricks and experience based on the awesome collective knowledge of this group...
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I match dust by species. Whenever I hand-sand, I collect the dust and save it. I have jars of saw dust that match my most commonly used hardwoods. Some species match better than others, unfigured mapled fills nicely. Walnut filler always looks light so I add a little walnut dye. Filling the hole is the easy part. Finishing the filler is more difficult.
I've found the best filler is light on glue and heavy on dust. I use a little water to wet the dust, then add glue. The idea is to make it malleable without relying on tons of glue. The higher the dust content, the better chance you'll have of finishing it reasonably well. To me, filler is generally a last resort or a recourse if I'm up against time. I'd prefer to replace the damaged piece or cut the damaged area and replace it with laminated wood.
Don't even try to fill large screw holes. The life expectancy of that "fix" is measured in minutes. If the hole is a little big, add a tooth pick to give the screw some bite. If it's really big, re-drill it with a slightly larger bit then fill the whole with a dowel, then drill to size once the glued dowel is dry.
Cheers, Jeff
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