Reply by Rich

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Posted on Burn In Choices Oven or Chorded Knife Preferred?

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5897 posts in 1445 days

#1 posted 09-25-2018 04:25 PM

I have a corded knife and a butane one as well. I started with the butane knife, a M900-3210 and later picked up a corded one from Woodcraft on a whim. The pair work well together. The corded knife can sit heated and ready for use without wasting butane, and I like the butane knife because the heat is adjustable and it’s light and easy to maneuver. I generally use the corded knife for filling and the butane for leveling. Also, I recently added a battery powered soldering iron. It’s great because it heats up instantly and is perfect for applying fill to small spots.

The knives that are used with an oven are very versatile. However, you can buy curved blades for the 3210 and extra straight blades to grind into whatever shape you need. I haven’t felt the need for an oven yet in my work.

Keep in mind that there is more to repair work than hard fill alone. I use Mohawk products and have a collection of each of their fill products. The PlaneStick and E-Z Flow are probably the most challenging, but produce the best repairs. You’ll want to do hours of practice on test boards before you try a real repair. The hard fill sticks are a good compromise between a durable repair and ease of application. All you have to do is melt in the fill and scrape it flush with the leveling tool. All of these products are suitable for situations where they will see wear, like on a table top. It’s mostly a matter of selecting the product with a sheen that best fits your needs.

For any repair on a surface that won’t see wear, the softer fills are easy to work with. The Quick Fill sticks are a particular favorite. For those you need a flameless heat source. A heat gun will do, but it tends to be harder to control. I picked up the flameless heat gun (the same model from the Mohawk sites is available on Amazon for a fraction of the price) and it works very well.

I could go on, but that should give you an idea.

Here are a couple of shots of some of what I use. I usually use epoxy putty for patching, but the Timbermate (red lids in the second photo) is excellent for certain situations too. I did a blog post describing some of it a while back.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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