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 Post subject: Filler Difficulties
PostPosted: Sep Wed 03, 2003 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1456
Hi,<BR> After reading recent posts on filler I have to say my experiences have been frustrating.<BR> Seems after stripping mahagony cabinets and steel wooling it down to bare wood the grain is so shallow the filler tends to disappear when you wipe it down. I've noticed lots of furniture like oak have NO filler in them today, is this only oak or a common thing today?<BR> Ken <P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Filler Difficulties
PostPosted: Sep Wed 03, 2003 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3898
Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Hi Ken,<BR>I don't know your exact problem, so will give a couple of general suggestions, which may or may not apply in your particular case:<P>1) The paste filler must be properly thinned with mineral spirits or turpentine. Usually about 50/50. If you err, better to err on the side of getting it too thin rather than too thick. The thinned filler should be left on the surface until it partially drys to a "haze"--soft enough to wipe off but not so hard that it cannot be removed.<BR>2) You don't want to "over wipe" and remove too much of the filler. And don't use any solvent or thinner on the rag when wiping. Most instructions will mention using burlap or some other coarse cloth to wipe, but I don't do this. I have found that burlap is TOO coarse and will remove too much of the filler from the grain. I just use a cotton rag and plenty of elbow grease. On flat surfaces I sometimes use a plastic scraper to level the filler, followed by a very light wiping with a cloth.<BR>3) It is also possible that the problem is with the particular product you are using. You might try another brand and see if you notice any difference.<BR>4) Finally, it should be noted that although the filler on your mahogany has tended to "disappear", I suspect some still remains in the grain. If you have some scrap material, try applying some paste filler to one area and wiping it thoroughly so that nothing appears to remain in the grain. Then leave another area plain, without filler. Apply a couple of coats of clear finish to both areas, and I bet you will notice a distinct difference between the filled and unfilled areas.<P>I work in the building trades, and do a lot of residential restoration work. For most of the 20th century (until the mid-1960's) the standard finish on interior woodwork and hardwood floors was a coat of paste filler (which also served to fill nail holes and other defects), followed by a sealer coat of either clear or "orange" shellac, and a couple of finish coats of oil-based varnish. In the last 30+ years, the use of paste filler has almost totally disappeared in the building trades. Using it involves a lot of labor, and people simply don't want to pay for this anymore. To most customers, the difference in appearance of filled vs. unfilled hardwood is not that great, and does not justify the extra cost involved. We are living in an age where compromises in quality have become accepted in almost every industry and consumer product. Maybe the same thing applies in regard to furniture? <P>------------------<BR>Poston


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 Post subject: Filler Difficulties
PostPosted: Sep Wed 03, 2003 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Poston,<BR> Thank you for the time. I also think burlap is to coarse.I haven't been thinning, use it right out of can. Was buying at Rocklers wood store. Ihave a Zenith 10S531 I just touched up with new veneer,will try some of your suggestions. <BR> I think in the past it was getting to dry/thick and very hard to rub off without using a thinner or #00 steel wool.<BR> Ken<P><BR>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Filler Difficulties
PostPosted: Sep Sat 06, 2003 4:48 pm 
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Location: Vermont, USA
<BLOCKQUOTE><font>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alan Voorhees:<BR><B>If you're filling a flat surface, try using a squeege to apply the filler, drawingt it diagonally across the wood. <BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>THAT's the way- I've found this works by far the best too. The burlap CAN be used afterward, but I wait awhile after squeege-ing for it to set up and wipe oh so gently.<P>Visible grain is a modern look. I think it's because real wood is a point of pride now, since so much of our world is plastic. In the old days, everbody went for a totally fill the grain and apply DARK finish lacquer routine. To get a truly realistic old radio finish, THE critical thing to rememeber is NO, you *don't* want to "bring out the pretty grain" by leaving it lighter or more pore-y than it was from the factory.<P>John H.<P>PS- Steel wool digs into hollows if you try to level the dried filled surface with it. Sandpaper no finer than 320 grit on a block flattens and levels the wood instead (just beware of corners). Steel wool is *not* better all the time as some folks will tell you. In cases like this wool will yank out the filler by reaching into the pores.<P><BR>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Filler Difficulties
PostPosted: Sep Sun 07, 2003 7:56 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 43
Location: San Antonio
I've used grain filler once, and the job did come out nice. I didn't have much luck though with mixing stain with the grain filler. Is there a trick to that, or should one buy pre-tinted grain filler? And if it's the latter, where do you find it?<P>Jim<BR><P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Filler Difficulties
PostPosted: Sep Sun 07, 2003 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 6175
Location: Vieques, PR, USA
I'm just finishing up my first can of paste grain filler (Day's natural). Shortly after I got it I tried adding stain for tinting. It didn't do anything except color the thinner so that now my filler acts somewhat like a stain but the filled grain still turns out light colored. No biggie, I can live with that.<BR>On various projects where I needed to stain afterwards, sometimes the filler took color - sometimes not.<BR>I have to attribute this to the type of stain. Some are dye-based and the others are pigment based...and of course all the permutations in-between. The dye will color the filler's pigment but the colored pigment from stain will not really do anything to speak of.<BR>My next quart will be tinted filler but I'll be more cognizant in the future about which of my 5-zillion cans of stain are the ones that do the trick. One I can vouch for that I just used successfully is a Cabot Oil-Based Wood Stain.<BR>My favorite tool for the first phase of filler removal is an old credit card across the grain. I do the rest of the rubbing off with good quality paper towels.<P>-Bill<P>------------------<BR>


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