Weatherproof nail hole filler?

Hi. I've just finished putting 3 coats of spar varnish on my cedar mailbox. (It's only taken me about five months to get this far, so I'm really cooking with gas now!) I planned not to worry about a few holes here and there, since I made it out of wood reclaimed from the windows I replaced last fall. But after seeing how nice the varnish makes the wood look, the nail holes seem a little out of place. Can you suggest the best way for me to fill them? It's going to be exposed to at least +/- 30 degC temperatures plus every kind of precipitation. The wood is only 3/8" thick so it wouldn't be very easy to make plugs.
I'm mostly worried that water will get in them, rust the nails and stain the wood from the inside. (I didn't happen to have stainless steel nails at the time.) Should I be concerned, or will slopping a little more spar varnish over them do the trick?
- Owen -
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Bondo, the auto botty repair material makes a great hole filler in wood and the tan color helps it match wood projects. It's also quite weather proof and easy to obtain and use. You should have used stainless nails, as any moisture in the wood at all will cause steel nails to rust and it will leave stains down the outside of the wood. The bondo should help minimize water ingress and prolong it's life though. You will need to varnish over it, and then apply several more coats every year or so to keep it weatherized as spar varnish doesn't last forever either. How well sealed are the joints between the boards?
--
Charley

"Owen Lawrence" < snipped-for-privacy@iosphere.net> wrote in message
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Owen Lawrence wrote:
> I'm mostly worried that water will get in them, rust the nails and stain > the wood from the inside. (I didn't happen to have stainless steel nails at > the time.) Should I be concerned, or will slopping a little more spar > varnish over them do the trick?
I'll put my money on the nails rusting whether the heads are plugged or not.
Spot putty would seal, but it is red and look like ugly on an ape on cedar.
My choice would be epoxy thickened with micro-balloons.
Nail will probably still rust, it will just take longer.
It is white so you will have to play with tints to get a color you like.
Lew
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O

Agreement on the epoxy only because it will flow and bind with the wood better than Bondo and has a bit more flex for expansion/contraction. The nails will still rust because that's what iron nails do reguardless where they are.
Pete
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I never expected this mailbox to last forever, so if it starts looking bad I'll build another. I'm replacing a store-bought one that didn't last forever either. Epoxy it is. Thanks.
- Owen -
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The ultimate involves plugging the holes with the same cedar. Get yrself a plug cutter, cut a few plugs out of some left over cedar pieces, drill the holes, tap the plugs in, saw flush and finish. (Use a dab of that varnish - as a glue - in the hole before the plug goes in. ) Nice project, and really, really nice results.
AS
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I have a plug cutter and have done this on other projects. I didn't bother with this one because a) the wood is too thin and b) I never cared enough about it until the last minute. I don't plan to stay in this house for many more years; the ultimate mailbox will get built once I know where I'm going to end up. I'm hoping it's a place with acres of hardwood forest.
Well I'm off to visit a friend whose building his log house in just such a forest. I'm very excited because he tells me trees are mine for the asking, and there are burls everywhere. We're mapping the place today for a Managed Forest grant. Woohoo!
- Owen -
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You mean the kind of logs that have two equal parallel vertical sides, and heights, and a locking joint between them (and a gasket), and at the corners, possibly with rods running top to bottom?

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or the traditional round logs, or are they growing post beams up there?

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I saw these guys at the boat show I think. http://www.truenorthloghomes.com/newfiles/searchmodels.asp?modelname=The+Louisburg+II&model=Go you're gonna have to click to enlarge to see the logs profile.
Then there is traditional. Timbersmith is one in Canada, just outside Toronto, I'll see if I can find a wwwsite. nope.
But here is a picture of a mix, with round logs, but they are very similar in size. http://theloghomeconnection.com/stockplan_A.php?Pinetop
A third category is post and beam, with white plaster in between. If spending the money, you have to decide. The engineered beam with its gaskets, rods and perfect seal is beautiful in and out, and gives the impression of quality and safety for a lifetime, and perfect building techniques. Theres a bunch of these to research, with different techniques. Post and beam isn't a full log home. Trandidtional has all kind of options, pro workman who do each log, some giant, there are size and artistic options. Dollar for dollar I don't know what I'd do. I don't know which I'd attempt if I had to opportunity, either.

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I don't know who had rods, but the logs were drilled vertically in the center and rods threaded top and bottom, or something, and were inserted, and I think bolted with a spring, to align and compress walls and especially breaks for doors, windows. The thing would be getting the equipment for sawing the logs straight and equal, like creating the lego pieces.
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