Wood Filler Recommendations

I've just recently started using Mohawk refinishing products, in an attempt to produce better results on my antique radio restorations. Having used little more than basic stains and varnishes for years, it's taking more than a bit of effort to figure out how to use the vast array of Mohawk products. My questions today regards wood fillers. I've been told that filling the grain of the wood (walnut, in this case) will result in a smoother finish. So I ordered a can of Mohawk wood filler (natural, not colored) and decided I didn't need any filler thinner. I applied the filler to one cabinet but it doesn't seem to be drying very quickly.... was I supposed to thin the filler first? I'm also wondering if I can color the filler using a concentrated staining dye (Transtint), or if a pigment powder will be needed instead. Thanks for any advice.
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I am only answering since no one else did! Fillers give a much smoother finish. Personally I don't like the results; looks more like formica than wood. Others will insist I am an idiot, but that is my preference. The can will tell you how long it takes to dry. I think the one I have used says 4 hours. If it is too long, you might have it on too thick. It should be very thin; put on as little as you can without pulling it out of the pores. I "think" some might require thinning, but it should tell you that on the can also. It can be tinted, but how to do it depends on the solvent. Your best bet is to check with Mohawk.
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Hi, Chris. I usually write explanations that are too long, so I will try to be brief.
Filling any porous wood's pore will make it smoother. This can be done with a large amount of finish that is smoothed off, or by pore filling.
Too many variables to know about the speed of your filler. I haven't filled that much, but I always thin and aggresively spread a coat so thin it just looks cloudy so I don't have much to sand.
Your choice of colorant should be used on the wood, not on the pore filler. I know some do, but the good pore fillers are a crystalline struture that don't take the colors in too well. If you must, find a coloring product that is solvent compatible with your filler. You didn't say if you had water based filler or solvent, so you can figure it from there.
Robert
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Chris F. wrote:

I use Crystallac filler on my Chinaberry bowls because they are so porous. I use a clear finish over it. It is water based and can be dyed. I believe the filler is powdered glass and it does dry crystal clear, but the overall effect is a little lightening of the wood after it is sanded down. Gives a glass smooth finish.
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Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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On May 17, 10:45 am, Gerald Ross

You sir, are a racehorse. I have tried turning Chinaberry a couple of times (I was seduced by the sap/interior conrasts and pretty brown color when green) and have had nothing but grief. Every time.
Cracking, splitting, tearout... you name it. So are you turning it green, or cured? Do you put the Crystallac pore filler on the piece when it is green or cured?

crystal clear, but the overall effect is >a little lightening of the wood after it is sanded down.

I have never gotten the same answer twice about the exact composition of pore filler. I have heard everything from ground glass to ground quartz, and everything in between. Even ground silica; not sand, but a manufactured product. All I know for sure through folk lore is that you must wear a good dust mask when sanding this stuff.
A couple more questions your way. Are you using the Crystallac lacquer as your finish? If so, are you putting it on when the piece is still green? Is this a CAB or generic water borne product?
Inquiring minds, you know.
Robert
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glass is silica is quartz. you've been getting the same answer from different people.
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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wrote:

You know, when you put it like that, it makes sense.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I rough turn it when green, finish turn and sand, sand, sand when dry. I have seldom had a crack or splitting. I put the crystallac on at about the 220 grit stage, wiped on with a gloved finger. When dry I start over with 220, then to higher grits.

dry crystal clear, but the overall effect is >a little lightening of the wood after it is sanded down.

No, I usually use Crystal coat or whatever the name is, which is shellac and wax mixed. That is the last step before buffing with Carnauba wax. Chinaberry bowls sell well for me because they are so pretty and because most people are surprised that chinaberry is good for anything at all. I heard about a local fellow years back who made a chinaberry fiddle and people still remember how well it looked and sounded.
Crystallac acts to me like a clear latex paint with suspended particles. Or maybe a water-based polyurethane, both of which I have used in the past. It does dry fast and tends to clog the sandpaper when you start to sand it down.

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Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Thanks for the detailed answers, Gerald. If the key is turning and finishing green in one step, that is certainly something I didn't do. I turned them to a pretty close finish sized, nice uniform thickness everythere, and I swear I could almost hear it tearing itself apart.
Next time one goes down around here (they all go to the brush landfill, as they don't even burn them in these parts) I might just snare a piece and test it out.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Sorry if I misled you. No, I rough turn green,bag and dry. Then finish turn dry. Just like any other wood.
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Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Thanks for clarifying.
Robert
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