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  • who knows the recipe

    Who out there knows the formula or recipe for making your own wood filler using your own sawdust? I am out of wood filler (well almost and have a couple of places that need gaps filled in on a koi/waterscape I am finishing . I know the darn thing fit when I cut it- it even fit when I sandeded it -but now that the gluing time is here I find there are gaps in places that wasn't there before. so I am going to cheat and fill it in with my own sawdust. I am finishing this in oil paint so it will show the texture of the wood but give it color at the same time and normal wood filler won't take paint like this. So my friends that know ...would you share your formula.. PLEASE.
    Thanks loads.

  • #2
    Sharon, It's a simple recipe, this is what works for me.
    First, take a small container and put in some wood glue, it doesn't matter rather it's white or yellow, I guess it depends on what you have on hand. Add some sawdust from the same wood that you've been working on and stir it up thoroughly until you get a thick paste. Pack your custom-made wood filler into the hole and let it dry. A little sanding, and your homemade putty-patch is complete.

    DeWalt 788

    aut viam inveniam aut faciam

    God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....


    • #3
      That's the same recipe I would use too.
      back when I was a kid, I worked at the local bowling alley and every summer we would drill holes in the joints of the alleys and then pump the holes full of woodglue mixed with maple sawdust. It was a very tedious job..12 lanes, probably a hundred thousand would take 6 of us about 2 weeks, and then a professional crew would come in and sand and refinish the's quite an interesting process too..the floor before the alleys has a different finish than the lanes do, and the finish on the lanes is different every 15 feet or have finishes for hardness where the ball lands...for sliding..for friction...for traction and so on down the lane.
      Jeff Powell


      • #4
        Cool- Thanks guys- I have some tightbond I don't care for I will use that- I think the yellow wold over power the colors in ,my piece and I don't want it to show.



        • #5
          Another recipe that I've tried is to mix your sawdust with a little shellac. It can be hard to work because the shellac dries quickly, but it worked well on the one project I tried it. I liked it better than mixing with glue. I used a sawdust/glue patch on a hidden area of a curio cabinet I built and it dried much darker than the wood. It was made with cherry, so over time, the wood will probably darken closer to the patch, so it wasn't a bad thing, necessarily.

          The recipe isn't mine. Here's the shellac recipe/instructions I got from another web site.

          I have done this for a few years and never had a problem with it. The instructions I got are from a professional finisher that told me the following:

          Sand a piece of scrap from the project with 120 or 150 sandpaper. I use my Porter Cable Belt Sander with a bag that traps the dust and put on a 120 grit belt. I'll sand a piece of scrap and capture as much of the fine dust as possible. I then dump that into a paper bowl.

          In a second paper bowl I'll pour in the pre-mixed shellac. (You can mix your own 2# cut.) About less than a 1/8" will do since you can always add more later. You can always fix it if it's too dry, but if it's too wet, you'll have to start over. (Reason will come clear later...)

          With rubber gloves on, take the sawdust in the opposite bowl with your hand and put it in the bowl with the shellac and start mixing it with your hand. If it's too thin, add more sawdust... Too dry, add shellac. You want to have a meatball type of texture on the filler ball when it's ready. Don't try to dump in a pile of sawdust and mix cause it'll dry out too fast. Use pinches of sawdust and keep adding til you get to that meatball texture, or til it hold fairly well a ball shape.

          Now this is where you want to work pretty fast. When the alcohol dries, your "meatball" will start to harden and crumple. Know where you're going to fill and fill it ASAP. Let it be proud of the surface. As an example: If you're filling a void on a tabletop, it's a good idea to let the sawdust mixture be proud of the top. When it dries, you can sand it down and it'll blend in. When you're finished, knock off any clumps that might be on the piece and let it sit overnight. The next day sand it starting at 120 or 150 and work your way up to the finish sanding (220 or 320).

          I have used this technique from fixing small defects in tabletops to fallen knot-holes in #1 common Redwood on an outdoor Garden Bench. It has all worked with ease and the stain ends up blending the piece and one uniform color. I've never tried Hide Glue as a filler, but I've had great success with this technique. The key to this working is fine dust (120 grit or 150 grit... No lower... No higher) and the mixing (pinches at a time). The only drawback to this is you have to work pretty quick cause when the alcohol evaporates, it'll no longer set and you'll have to make up a new patch.
          Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


          • #6
            I save sawdust from some of the more exotic woods and put it in small containers. If I need to make some filler I use varathane or what ever else I am going to use as a finish and mix the dust with that.
            This way there is minimal discolouration from the rest of the project and the final finish doesn't show the flaws as bad.

            If you are doing inlay work you can use a blend of sawdusts from both materials, or even a contrasting material to give your inlay a new "edge"
            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


            • #7
              I've been sweeping my sawdust into the garbage. Must get a container and start collecting.
              Owner of a nice 21" Excalibur
              Owner of a Dewalt 788
              PuffityDragon on AFSP


              • #8
                Another way of doing it..

                Whichever clear coating you use to finish your work be it, Shellac, Lacquer, BLO, Poly, Varnish, etc.

                After, you apply your first coat and it has dried, take a small pencil brush and then drip your clear coat right into the damage it should be slightly above the surfaces level. Keep in mind, that the more your add the more you will have to sand off. Then allow the filling to dry hard, and then sand the filler level, start with a 400 wet/dry paper on the "evaporative coatings" and then go to 500, on the harder "reactive coatings" go up to the 600, wipe the surface, and then continue to apply your clear coats. You may only see the sharp of the damage if its done right you will have a good repair. Do some testing first on samples.

                Remember, practice make perfect, and perfect takes a lot of practice.


                • #9
                  If you decide to fill the gaps between contrasting wood colors, use filler which matches the darker shade. It won't be so noticeable.

                  There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                  (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                  • #10
                    Matching color?


                    That's a matter of opinion, it depends on the color your matching.


                    • #11
                      Using lighter colors to get a better color matched


                      Would it be OK, if I just answer your question.

                      All that one would need is a "resale number," which means you own a business, and may use or you will resell the materials. These numbers also will save you from paying taxes on your purchase.

                      Most companies that sell these products, will sell it to dog if they can show resale numbers. No questions asked, if you can pay for it, you can own it.

                      I am sure there are some scrollers here that have resale numbers have used them to purchase other things that don't pertain to scrolling, and use their resale number to save paying any taxes.

                      Its fairly easy to get these products here if you look, its probally the same in the UK.
                      Last edited by MacS; 12-22-2006, 10:37 AM.


                      • #12
                        Using sawdust with glue is the best trick and a easy way to have some on hand is with a lathe. I am a newbie penturner and while i am in the sanding phase of the penmaking process i put a sheet of paper on the bed of the lathe to catch the sawdust. I then put it in a container and use it when needed. with pen turning you tend to work my many different tiny pieces of wood so before you know it you have quite a variety of sawdust to use when you need it.


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