Woodfiller?


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, chips, etc.
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 using? :)
Just what are the expert techniques for avoiding wood filler?
Anthony
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There are two types of woodworkers. those who use wood filler and those who don't admit it.
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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!
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Stoutman
http://www.garagewoodworks.com
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wood filler some unspoken taboo that no woodworker would ever admit to using? :)
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. Andy
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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.

Yankee
is
is
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That works? I have never heard of it. I usually mix sawdust with shellac or varnish, and that is a pita. Does it darken the saw dust the same as varnish darkens the wood?
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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. robo hippy
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wood putty:cabinet in a can
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wrote:

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. ;-)
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HerHusband wrote:

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 pitch pockets 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.
Barry
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Real wood filler works fine if you chance to have a good match. Sadly that doesn't happen often. I have tried mixing two, but it dries out.
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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.
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On Fri, 3 Feb 2006 15:50:22 -0800, "Frank Drackman"

Woodworking Kharma!
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 perfect? <G>
I've found that the extra legs make great jig parts, stop blocks, etc...
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Frank,

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... :)
Anthony
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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.
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: > 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 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. : : 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 anyway.
Pop
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I only used four, but if I started with four I would have needed six!
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HerHusband wrote:

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 dimples.
Just built 4 3-Drawer cabinet carcases without a single fastner. Doesn't help to hang baseboard though.
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That 2 part Minwax woodfiller is nothing more than Bondo. If color is not a problem, buying it in automotive stores is a lot cheaper.

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