For another look at this knotty problem... ouch... I do something
I fill mesquite regularly as it is quite accepted to do it down here in
South Texas, even on fine furniture. Not the finest, but fine.
I do a lot of turning, and the most intersting wood to me is the most
messed up, butt nasty ugly stuff I can find. I comes with large wind
shake rings, borer holes of about 1/4" diameter, and all manner of
I use epoxy, but in a different way. I mix up the epoxy, make my dam
(tape, etc.) so it doesn't flow out, and mix up epoxy with copier
toner. This makes the epoxy perfectly jet black. For a more natural
feel and look (instead of black plastic) I mix in a medium grind
coffee. The coffee actually seems to hold the finish on better than
the plain epoxy and doesn't have that plastic look to it. Coffee is
also harmless to planer blades, jointers, and turning tools.
Some of the guys also put in colored stones, Inlace (available at
WoodCraft), key filings for a soft brass glow, and all manner of other
Everyone in my turning club has their own method of doing this, but
this is not much of a deviation of the norm we all have been doing for
a long time. Oddly, the black epoxy looks better on large pieces with
no coffee grinds, if is half and half on the smaller ones, and almost
anything turned that is a medium brown to cherry looks better with the
grinds. Whiter woods look better with only the epoxy/toner combo.
It should be noted that unlike Lew's instruction above, this is not for
a boat, or any other kind of structure or work surface. It is simply a
quick way to make imperfections more palatable, or in the case of
woodturning, a feature.