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 Post subject: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Sun 26, 2016 7:27 pm 
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Location: West Hazleton PA.
Hey everyone , I've got a question about grain filler again. Do you strip your cabinet, then stain it (if needed), and do what ever lacquer toners you would need, then wipe on the grain filler, next day sand it with 220 and then clear lacquer over it? or would you put on your clear lacquer then wipe on your grain filler, sand with 220 and clear lacquer again?


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Sun 26, 2016 8:12 pm 
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I grainfill before any lacquering or toning.
The only thing I may apply is sanding sealer if I dont want to darken the wood with the filler.

Then wait a day or so, and if you really need to... sand but I use 400 and up... Do not use steel wool, it will dig out the filler...

Then tone, then clear, then buff the crap out of it with pumice and rottenstone. It will glow as long as you have a flat finish to start with...

Kirk

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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Sun 26, 2016 8:57 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I tried something different on my latest project. I am attempting to grain fill using only shellac. I will not be doing this again. While it does work, it takes many coats. Remember, grain filling is just closing off the pores of the wood so that the final finish is flat. I have used danish oil and sanding dust, pumice and oil, (not motor oil or salad oil, but any wood finishing oil), sheet rock compound, the dry kind, just to name a few for grain filling.

All that said, I'm reverting back to Kirk's method.

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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Mon 27, 2016 7:01 pm 
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Thanks guys. I've got another question about the way you apply the grain filler. Do you apply it with a rag? Do you use a circular or straight back and forth with the grain, or against the grain type motion? I noticed that if I use a circular motion, it's harder to sand perfect. It almost seems like you would wipe with the grain and then go over lightly with 400 grit.


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Mon 27, 2016 10:32 pm 
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I use an old credit card or a bondo spreader. A rag would tend to pull the filler out, you want to force it in and flatten it as much as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Mon 27, 2016 11:25 pm 
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Do you normally have to sand afterwards? and then stain right over the grain filler and lacquer tone and lacquer as normal? Oh, and if the grain is going side to side, do you apply with an old credit card up and down, or go with the grain?


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Mon 27, 2016 11:50 pm 
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I also use a credit card for applying the filler. Put it on liberally and then after it hazes scrape it off. The filler I use doesn't need sanding, but I have used a filler in the past that did. Go against the grain when you scrape it off.
One thing I also do is put some stain down before the filler is applied. I use Minwax Golden Oak stain on almost all of my radios. Warms up the wood nicely. Then I do 2 rounds of grain filler, letting each coat sit for 24 hours before moving on. Then I put on more of the Golden Oak stain, which cleans up the radio nicely. Make sure you take time to go into all the edges and get the extra grain filler out after it dries. Then toning lacquer and clear. If you use tape for the toning lacquer phase the Minwax stain does a great job of getting the sticky stuff off. So put on the stain first, then after the filler, then after the toning lacquer. Wipe it down really well, and let it sit to dry for a couple of days before the clear lacquer is applied.

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Looking for mid to late 1930s Canadian Rogers, Majestic, and DeForest Crosley radios


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 28, 2016 2:24 am 
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Hey, Ychris, get you a board, something like red oak or mahogany. Cut it, sand it, and study the grain structure. You will notice thousands of little pores, straw like structures in the wood.
Now put some thinned out shellac or something similar on that wood. You will notice that the"tight grain" will seal right up, while the pores will stay open, and may even bleed out the other side of the board. The purpose of grain filling is to shortcut this long filling process. It really doesn't matter how you do it. Ten different finishers will give you ten different answers.

It is kind of like trying to teach someone to cook. Ten cooks will do the recipe ten different ways. Believe me, you will figure it out, but you have to keep on getting your hands dirty.
On my current project, I not only made every mistake in the book, but I created a few brand new mistakes that no one has ever made before! :D

Nothing (almost nothing) is irreversible. Rub the filler into the holes, let it dry, and lightly sand it smooth 320 or better. Also, learning to "block" sand is a great asset.

Edit: Oh yes, I forgot to mention that you can use the open grain in the wood to give some very nice effects, such as staining dark and sanding it off to accentuate the pores, kind of a "reverse" effect. But then to preserve that effect,you must fill with clear product. As an experiment, you may try a very dark, or black filler, or a white filler. I once had a large ebony chip come off of a guitar headstock. I superglued it back, made some ebony dust, and filled the repair with ebony dust and superglue. It was undetectable.

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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 28, 2016 3:54 am 
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Apply grain filler with a squeegee or credit card, pushing it hard into the pores of the wood. Then let it dry to a haze and remove the excess. If you can find some old horsehair upholstery stuffing, it's probably the best thing to use. Otherwise coarse burlap is a pretty good choice. Scrub off the dull haze across the grain so you don't pull the filler out of the pores. If you do this when the filler first starts to dry, before it's completely set up, you shouldn't need to do any sanding before your next step... which is ... everybody ... applying a wash coat of shellac.


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 29, 2016 1:09 am 
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Okay, Thanks for the good info everybody! I'll be applying grain filler (from rockler.com) on my already stripped Zenith 8-S-359 console radio cabinet and I'll see what kind of mess or masterpiece I make. Thanks again! A wash coat of shellac? Wait, I thought it was all lacquer?!


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 29, 2016 2:16 am 
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Shellac is a good sealer between layers of stuff that has the same solvent. It sticks to nearly everything and allows you to more easily correct mistakes if you make them. I put a wash coat (1 part shellac from a can with 4 to 5 parts denatured alcohol) over the grain filler before any stain, and then another coat over any stain before any lacquer. This keeps the filler/stain/lacquer from interacting as the solvent for shellac (alcohol) is chemically different from the others. If, for example, you were unhappy with the stain color you used, you could use mineral spirits, naphtha, or even lacquer thinner to wipe it off and not eat into the filler you applied earlier.


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 29, 2016 2:29 am 
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Do you brush on the shellac? And is it easier to spray on the lacquer (spraying from a can, many cans is what I always do) or is it okay/ easier to brush on the clear lacquer too?


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 29, 2016 4:14 am 
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The thinned shellacd is the consistency of water, so it can be easily brushed on and will dry in a matter of minutes. Lacquer is usually sprayed on, although there is lacquer formulated for brushing on. If you choose that route it is important to use a quality brush to get the best results. A really soft brush that carries a good amount of finish, like a badger fitch brush, works the best (brace yourself if you go to buy one as they're really expensive). Properly maintained, they'll last pretty much forever.


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 29, 2016 2:47 pm 
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A lot of good tips here -- but nobody mentions what brand seems to be the favorite and how to or whether to thin it. Please advise

thanks

Griz


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Thu 30, 2016 5:41 pm 
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Well I use a UK brand called Rustins in natural (putty colour) which is White Spirit based (think that's de-natured alcohol to you guys). I thin it with a spirit stain, normally dark say dark oak as I like the grain accentuated.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jun Thu 30, 2016 10:28 pm 
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White Spirit = Mineral Spirits

If you want to color the filler you can add stain to it, which will also thin it a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jul Fri 01, 2016 2:36 am 
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Okay, I used CrystaLac Wood Grain Filler from rockler.com, I applied it with an old credit card, I guess I went with the grain in some spots and if the grain is running north and south, I went east and west. I left it cure for a day, then sanded with 400 grit, because I had some areas that had a little too much filler on it. I think I read on the instructions about wiping it on? but I tried with a credit card. After sanding, it looked like some of the grain filler came out of the grain! This doesn't seem very easy to use! I've tried wiping on the grain filler before and it comes out so so . The credit card has a tendency to leave a little more in spots , especially if there's a dent in the wood, and it seems if you don't sand it off it isn't exactly clear and once you clear lacquer over it, you'll still slightly see the grain filler heavy spot. Oh, I didn't shellac over the grain filler before I lacquered because I didn't have any shellac.


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jul Fri 01, 2016 3:06 am 
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Apply with the grain; remove the excess across the grain or at an angle to the grain to help keep pulling it out. You might try a rubber squeegee to apply it as that tends to remove the excess as you apply it. If you take off the excess with horsehair or burlap before it's completely dry it's a lot easier. You shouldn't have to sand at all with good technique.

Shellac between things isn't required, it just makes it easier to correct mistakes and less prone to having one layer affected by the next.


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jul Fri 01, 2016 8:16 am 
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Location: England
Don't know if you have them over there? But here we can buy for £2 or less a rubber sanding block that you cut the paper to fit. It has a flap top at each end that lifts to grip the paper. I have one where I cut off the top flaps and that makes a good tool. Its larger enough to fit the hand well and the rubber edge pushes the filler in with no damage.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/rubber-sandin ... ools-_-all\tools\sanding\other_221d6c08-90b1-49a3-b399-b45ed15085d5&gclid=CPCO7eDh0c0CFZEK0wodoB0KOg

I work with the grain and only lightly rub off leaving quite a lot of scum on the surface. But I remove this with say 240 grit aluminium oxide paper and then go up to 400 or 600 silicon carbide. To me starting with 400 grit would take ages and silicon carbide clogs a lot more.

It still takes at least 2 or more goes though.

Thanks for the White Spirit correction Alan ...I'll try to remember. De-natured alcohol is Meths (Methylated Spirits)

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Grain filler, I'm confused!
PostPosted: Jul Wed 06, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Location: Cleona, PA
You can buy spray cans of sanding sealer which is easier to use than brushing on thinned shellac. Also dries quickly.

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