Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Sweetgum checking like crazy, butterflies?

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1368 posts in 1769 days

#1 posted 02-16-2016 02:23 AM


A method I employ to cosmetically address checking and other surface defects is to mix my own wood filler. It is not a structure repair, since the glue used in the process does not penetrate deep enough into the defect to be structural. When the unstained wood is varnished with clear polyurethane (the varnish I normally use), the filled areas are a different color than the surrounding wood, generally darker (with standard PVA woodworker’s glue). Since I use sanding dust from the wood in which I am repairing, the finished repair compliments the color of the project. I have used two variations.

The method begins by applying a small amount of wood glue to the defect. Press the glue into the defect as deep as possible and limit glue on the surrounding surface. Put a bit of wood dust over the glue and press and rub the wood dust into the glue in the defect. Lightly sand to expose the defect after the glue is dry. Then repeat the process. I have found that at least two applications are required (sometimes more).

A variation of this method is to mix wood glue with wood dust to form a paste a little thicker than the consistency of toothpaste. The paste sets up within a few minutes, so mixing small batches and working quickly are good ideas. Press wood glue as deeply as possible into the defect. Then press and rub the wood paste into the defect. Two or more applications are usually required. The repair must cure before a subsequent application. This variation is probably best when the defect is large.

Once the defect is filled, sand it flush.

If interested in this method, I recommend first using it on scrap to ensure you like the look once finished is applied.

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