OK, I'm a woodworking novice, and I faithfully watch Norm on the New Yankee
Workshop each week... So that's a good indicator of my skill level... :)
The one thing I never hear Norm, or anyone in this newsgroup, talk about is
wood filler? I use this stuff by the bucket :) to fill nail holes, cracks,
Are all of you such expert craftsman that you don't need wood filler? Or is
wood filler some unspoken taboo that no woodworker would ever admit to
Just what are the expert techniques for avoiding wood filler?
The only time I have used any wood filler I made it my self with a little
fine saw dust (from the wood I am currently using) and a little wood glue.
Fill nail holes? You are watching way to much Nahmie! :) Try watching
some David Marks and put down the nail shooter!
wood filler some unspoken taboo that no woodworker would ever admit to
Probably some of both here. As your "skills" improve, you'll learn how
to avoid wood filler by using strips of veneer, chips, shavings, etc.,
or the sawdust+glue method mentioned above. As your skills improve
more, you might be able to avoid chips, cracks, and gaps altogether,
but I wouldn't know - I'm not there yet.
Regarding nails or Norm's "brads until the glue dries", I think that
just depends on your priorities - do you want to get something done
quickly and efficiently, at the expense of "authenticity", or do you
want to build something "authentic" because you enjoy the woodworking
process? My projects have definitely fallen into both categories,
though I tend to lean more towards drywall screws than nails for quick
projects, because I don't have an air compressor. On the other hand,
I'm (very slowly) working on a mission style white oak bed that's being
completed mostly with hand planes, scrapers, glue, and M+T joinery -
the only screws are the ones holding on the bed rail fasteners. But
then the drill press and router are being employed part-time for that
project as well.
Anyway, I didn't mean to re-direct the topic of this thread. Have fun
with woodworking, strive to make functional or beautiful stuff, and if
that includes nails and wood filler, so be it, and don't let anyone
here tell you otherwise.
Don't be discouraged grasshopper. I like to make woodfiller out of sawdust
and CA glue. Pack the sawdust into the void, then saturate with thin CA
glue. Repeat as necessary. Nail holes? - I thought we were talking
woodworking. If we're talking trim carpentry, try using glue and a 23 Gauge
pin nailer, even if you want to fill, you can't find most of the holes.
I started using CA glue and baking soda on model planes about 30 years
ago. I still use it today on my turnings and furniture. The thin glue
is excellent for deep penetration. Sometimes I will hit a crack or hole
with the thin stuff, and then follow with the thicker stuff, which is
wicked down into the void by the thinner material. You can also mix
the 2 together to get a mix that isn't too thick or too thin. Allow
time for the glue to sink in and set up.You should use dust of a
similar or darker color (try on a hidden part first). One saying with
defects in the wood is: you have 3 choices, 1: leave it, 2 try to hide
it, 3: highlite it. If you are using an oil finish, it can leave a
shiny spot because of how it fills, and it is harder than the wood.
With spray finishes, it doesn't show. It works well for small repairs.
For bigger holes, use the wood epoxies. Any place that has turning
supplies has a variety of inlace (I don't know if that is a brand name
or not) materials, which can be metal flake, stone, or other highlite
materials, and epoxy.
My current project is making 300 feet of layered moldings. An
occasional dry knot falls out leaving a hole or slot. Since I'm
painting the molding, I'm using a little sawdust mixed with glue,
applying with a clean putty knife, then sanding smooth when dry. Not
too often I'll use wood filler--most of my joints are perfect. ;-)
I'm not an expert.
However, I'll use fillers in certain situations, like:
1.) Under paint, like MDF edges, etc... I typically use drywall
compound or Bondo depending on the situation
2.) Black epoxy (don't try wood tones <G>) to solidify loose knots or
3.) Over nail holes in trim carpentry and built-ins (usually crayons)
4.) Grain fillers during certain finishing processes
5.) Wood dust mixed with glue to tighten up dovetails
If I need real "wood filler", like Elmers, Plastic Wood, etc... I need
to cut a new part. They NEVER look right to me.
I totally agree. When I first started I used filler then realized that the
pieces that I made were going to be here for a long time, and looked
horrible with filler. Now I pause at every phase of the project and
evaluate if all pieces are of high enough quality to go to the next step.
If the answer is no, I fix it. I usually make up extra numbers of each
piece in case something goes wrong, and to setup machines. For example on
my last table I made six legs.
On Fri, 3 Feb 2006 15:50:22 -0800, "Frank Drackman"
Have you ever noticed that when you make four legs for a four legged
table, one always gets botched, but when you make six they're all
I've found that the extra legs make great jig parts, stop blocks,
You're obviously making higher quality projects than I am... :)
I use woodfiller (Elmers woodfiller, or a color matched PL filler usually)
primarily to fill holes from my brad nailer, to "perfect" a miter that
didn't turn out as nice as I had hoped, or in small cracks such as a face
frame joined to a cabinet. In most cases, once the project is sanded,
stained, and finished, I would have a hard time finding the areas I filled.
I'm talking 1/32" or smaller cracks, not 1/4" gaps... :)
I use to try to get a project done by a certain time, usually Sunday night.
I would rush to complete it and would put up with mistakes ,but as soon as
it was done I would be unhappy with the results. I would tell myself that I
would quickly make another to replace the original but always seemed to have
a long list of projects to complete and the "replacement" projects always
fell to the bottom of the priorty list.
I still am using side tables that I made more than ten years ago and I hate
to look at them. Now I don't rush and pay atention to all of the details at
every step and am much happier with the results.
: > HerHusband wrote:
: >> If I need real "wood filler", like Elmers, Plastic Wood,
etc... I need
: > to cut a new part. They NEVER look right to me.
: I totally agree. When I first started I used filler then
realized that the
: pieces that I made were going to be here for a long time, and
: horrible with filler. Now I pause at every phase of the
: evaluate if all pieces are of high enough quality to go to the
: If the answer is no, I fix it. I usually make up extra numbers
: piece in case something goes wrong, and to setup machines. For
: my last table I made six legs.
And how many did you end up using on that table? I do that sort
of thing too, and you know, I NEVER end up with any left over!
It's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy! OH well, it's fun
I would love to not use the nail gun on the cabinets I've been
building, but we're expecting our 3rd and SWMBO is all that patient
right now. I've experimented with the Elmer's wood filler, drywall
compound, vinyl spackle, the touch up crayons, and after they dry, each
still leaves a dimple. I tried using multiple coats and keeping it
flush to the surface, pouring it on and sanding down and still get
those dimples. Now I'm using the MinWax Wood Filler that you have to
mix up like epoxy and so far that seems to work the best. Its more of
a PIA to use, longer setup, longer to sand/plane, but so far no
Just built 4 3-Drawer cabinet carcases without a single fastner.
Doesn't help to hang baseboard though.
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