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Crack filling (Read 1,622 times)
 
Bruce Kamp
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Crack filling
Nov 30th, 2017 at 12:47pm
 
I have been turning a fair amount of old, dried white oak. I encounter quite a few cracks/checks. It is historic wood in that it is from a 250 year old tree and the pieces produced are are going to be auctioned off for charity. This just means that i can't just discard it and start over.
I have been using CA on some smaller cracks and dyed epoxy on others. I have even used stone like malachite, coral, etc on some. I have mixed sawdust in with the glue/epoxy.
In most cases I end up with a fill that is in strict contrast to the natural wood surrounding the crack/check. My finish usually involves natural colored danish oil.
I am seeking suggestions for a filler that might blend better with the surrounding wood.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Bruce
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #1 - Nov 30th, 2017 at 1:54pm
 
Bruce,

The best results I have had is with colored two-part epoxy.

For very dark or nearly black knots that my include some inclusions of bark, I use black dyed epoxy with very good results (this is specifically knots in birch wood).  For cracks in the birch itself, I have found that mixing a small amount of gold paint in the epoxy works MUCH better than I thought (light colored wood).

I always color the epoxy AFTER I mix the two parts.

Photo below is of empty knot hole filled with some gold colored epoxy.  The amount of gold is low so that you can see "down into" the epoxy a bit. 

Hope this helps you find what you are seeking in a result  Thumbs Up
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #2 - Nov 30th, 2017 at 1:55pm
 
try coffee grounds in epoxy.

Glenn J.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #3 - Nov 30th, 2017 at 3:03pm
 
Bruce Kamp wrote on Nov 30th, 2017 at 12:47pm:
I am seeking suggestions for a filler that might blend better with the surrounding wood.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


For matching/blending in wood color, it is common to use sanding dust from that area mixed with you choice of adhesive filler.
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David Hill
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #4 - Nov 30th, 2017 at 4:50pm
 
I'm in the opposite camp as far as filling defects.  If it needs to be filled, it's going to be a contrast.  If I'm going to that much trouble, I want to show it off---then there are no questions about there being a concealed crack.
In the past I have used sawdust, etc.,  mixed with epoxy or CA, but grew tired of explaining the "line" or "that" mark.  Now it's just there, easier to answer questions of the process or where I got the mineral from, etc
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Everyday liberating nice things from ordinary chunks of wood---and I like gnarly wood, the outcome is nearly always better than the start.
 
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #5 - Nov 30th, 2017 at 5:06pm
 
I agree with  David. Most times you will not be able to match the wood close enough that no one  will notice. There is always something a bit "off".

If you can't hide it, show it off!!! Smiley Smiley
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Ed Weber
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #6 - Nov 30th, 2017 at 5:24pm
 
Ralph Fahringer wrote on Nov 30th, 2017 at 5:06pm:
If you can't hide it, show it off!!! Smiley Smiley


+1
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #7 - Dec 1st, 2017 at 12:21am
 
I appreciate the advice and suggestions. I generally agree with the idea of not hiding it. I do go through a fair amount of epoxy. I have used coffee grounds, colored stone, and sawdust/chips and they all have a place.
I guess I was trying to see if there was something/someway out there for that time when I would prefer to have the area blend in. I am sure I will not be able to conceal it but it would be nice sometimes to not have it so obvious.
As you can imagine the tough ones are the light areas. I don't think I have any trouble with the darker areas since most everything I use now turns dark. It's more about the light areas. Is there any technique, process, material that might help in giving me a light fill?
CA is light but it is also transparent. It also seems that when I try to mix in sawdust I get a dark line.
Thanks for info.

Bruce
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #8 - Dec 1st, 2017 at 9:07am
 
There are light colored dry pigments, although mine are at work and I can't remember the exact names.  There is at least one light yellow, one tan, and even a white.  Can't remember where I purchased my collection but my first guess would be an art supplies store.  Using blond dewaxed shellac, I made up a checkboard like chart, with each of the pigments listed down the left side and across the top.  The first column was the pigment by itself, and then each of the other row-column intersections was a combination of the left side and top pigment colors.  The result allows me to see the individual colors by themselves and mixed with each of the other pigments I have.

To make dark tinted epoxy fills less noticeable, I've begun mixing two or three different colors individually into small blogs of mixed epoxy, and then very lightly swirling together two at a time and placing in the defect, so as not to have a uniformly tinted epoxy fill.  This has to my mind made less obvious fills of small knotholes in black cherry, using perhaps burnt umber and raw umber.
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #9 - Dec 1st, 2017 at 12:33pm
 
I still have some crushed Corian which I use to fill cracks, I pack it in tight with over fill and use the super glue.
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #10 - Dec 1st, 2017 at 12:48pm
 
Matching wood color is an entire avenue of it's own.
Mostly this is in the furniture repair realm. There is no end to the number of stains, dyes, pigments, powders creams, waxes and filler sticks available. If this is something you plan on doing a lot of, I would look into a furniture repair type of kit, where you can mix, match and blend until you have the correct color.
As we jokingly said earlier, if you can't hide it enhance it, it's a true statement.
good luck
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #11 - Dec 2nd, 2017 at 5:38pm
 
All good
Advice
Thank you all
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #12 - Dec 6th, 2017 at 1:32pm
 
Just discovered some interesting products on Jimmy Klewes product page. He has synthetic sand and creams. Although it highlights rather than hides it is interesting.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #13 - Dec 6th, 2017 at 4:48pm
 
Bruce Kamp wrote on Dec 6th, 2017 at 1:32pm:
ust discovered some interesting products on Jimmy Klewes product page.


That's Jimmy Clewes,  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #14 - Dec 7th, 2017 at 10:01pm
 
Jmmy sells his sand for about $10/oz. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought 1.5 pounds of color synthetic sand for $2.50. It is very fine. I have tested it and it seems to have color all the way through. Going to experiment some more and will report back.
Not sure I will get what I am after as far as a match goes but may get some interesting effects.
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #15 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 11:31am
 
Had some success. Here is a pic of a rough piece of the white oak I am working with. I used brown sand and epoxy to fill a crack. This shows two different mixes. One on left is just brown sand the other is a mix of light brown and brown sand and epoxy.
I also applied a coat of natural colored Danish oil.
Of course, not an eaxact match because of the grain, etc. Hoever, I do think it does a decent job of blending.
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #16 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 11:32am
 
This is what I used.
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #17 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 1:09pm
 
Wouldn't sawdust be easier on your tools?  I'm very new at this whole woodworking thing but this seems odd.
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #18 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 7:16pm
 
Sand?
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #19 - Dec 10th, 2017 at 8:38pm
 
It is synthetic sand. Not as hard on the tools.
Sawdust does not give the same effect. Al least the times I have tried it.
For the initial smoothing I will sand it, not turn it. I will rough turn, fill void, sand then fine turn.
I have also been trying some of the colors for special effects. I will show some pics when get a more finished piece.
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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #20 - Dec 24th, 2017 at 2:25pm
 
I made these segmented maple bowls for my grandsons. One is a baseball player the other a swimmer. I first Dremeled out the image and then filled it with black synthetic sand. Added thin CA. Then sanded it smooth. Finish is poly. It looks like magic marker but it is actually inlay. I have tested other colors with both CA and epoxy and they seem to hold their color.
I have also used the sand on other projects where I have had to turn the sand. I am not sure what it is made of but it actually turns something like resin. I will try to post a picture of the sample board I created.
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #21 - Dec 25th, 2017 at 7:59pm
 
Oooooh—— be careful with that!! Shocked
If it’s silica sand, throw it out or use it in a terrarium.  Silica (quartz) is REALLY hard, getting close to some metals.  At that it’ll at dull or destroy the edge on your tools.  Your first clue wiil be sparks—- then it’s too late.  Sad
I’lll say that came from the “been there, done that” file.
Sometimes you can find other sands — say calcium based & those are ok—> softer. Another that comes to mind is dyed Howlite.
Hope I saved your tools!  Undecided
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #22 - Dec 25th, 2017 at 8:09pm
 
Is silica dust harmful to the lungs?
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #23 - Dec 27th, 2017 at 5:58am
 
The safe answer is YES, you should consider any dust harmful. Silica dust certainly is.

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Bruce Kamp
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #24 - Dec 31st, 2017 at 3:45pm
 
I really do not think it is silica sand. I do not see sparks. Plus, when I do grind it it sort of peels off like resin.
So far this has worked. I usually do not apply it until I am close to a finished profile. I use 40 grit sanding disks to level it off and then either finish with a fine cut or continue sanding through the grits. When I do have to do any cutting I try to use and old scraper. I do have to sharpen it more often than normal of course.
I just thought that this gives me another form of enhancement.
Thanks for all the advice and comments.
Bruce
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #25 - Jan 16th, 2018 at 12:00pm
 
Which glue sands easier,  CA or  epoxy?       CA seems to take awhile to sand down.  Haven't tried  epoxy.    I also stopped by  a locksmith shop and got a good sized bag of key shavings.  Anyone tried those?
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #26 - Jan 25th, 2018 at 6:18pm
 
Rick Caron wrote on Jan 16th, 2018 at 12:00pm:
Which glue sands easier,  CA or  epoxy?       CA seems to take awhile to sand down.  Haven't tried  epoxy.    I also stopped by  a locksmith shop and got a good sized bag of key shavings.  Anyone tried those?


I use a lot of both.  The epoxy sands easier in my opinion.  As for which I use--when? depends on the size of the defect I'm filling.  Small cracks/defects usually CA with the inlay material.
Haven't tried key shavings, but I suspect that the hardness of the metal may make sanding more difficult.
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #27 - Jan 29th, 2018 at 10:33am
 
Bruce Kamp wrote on Dec 7th, 2017 at 10:01pm:
Jmmy sells his sand for about $10/oz. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought 1.5 pounds of color synthetic sand for $2.50. It is very fine. I have tested it and it seems to have color all the way through. Going to experiment some more and will report back.
Not sure I will get what I am after as far as a match goes but may get some interesting effects.


Did the same and it worked well. Also if you need a finer sand, more like a powder, you can put it in a coffee grinder.
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Re: Crack filling
Reply #28 - Feb 7th, 2018 at 8:52pm
 
personally I have small test tube containers filled with different wood sawdust or sanding dust that I collect, the lighter wood up here is Ash, I have, Cherry, Maple, Black Walnut as well, try to get a lighter colour than the bowl wood is because it always darkens up then mix it in with the epoxy and if necessary add in some lighter wood dye.
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