clear nail hole filler? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-27-2010, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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clear nail hole filler?

I am making a table top using reclaimed pine floorboards with a fair amount of nail holes. Are there any fillers that dry clear that might work to fill the nail holes and that are likely to 'move' with the wood as it expands and contracts and not fall out/crack etc? I'd like the finish to be tung oil/carnauba wax and just have the holes filled with whatever might work. I suppose my alternative would be to drill out the nail holes and bung them and try and make that a design element, but I'd rather have the old nail holes as the element.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-27-2010, 02:02 PM
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I'm not trying to be flippant, but...

"Reclaimed" anything is bound to be distressed and add charm to the final piece. If it were me, I would use a stain that accentuates the defects in the reclaimed and go from there.

But then, that's just me.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-27-2010, 02:50 PM
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Unadilla,
Welcome to the forum. You might try some CA glue either medium or thick consistency. I use it quite abit to fill cracks in woodturning blanks. It will bridge a gap, fill a hole, and harden up and stay that way. It should hold up well after that. I would use the tip of a nail to apply a drop at a time into each hole if you don't want it to get all over the surface.
Mike Hawkins
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-27-2010, 03:30 PM
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I have no idea how big of nail holes we're talking about although I'm sure its not rail road spikes.

Rich I think you have the wrong idea. As I understand the post he wants it to look like the holes are there but not be. I think the finish getting down in the holes will inhance the distress look myself but if not Mike has the best idea as to a clear filler for the holes.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-27-2010, 07:23 PM
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embedding resin sets clear and sands clear

Old wood workers never die thay just get dry rot
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-28-2010, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.
Yes, I do want to preserve the 'character' of the naily old wood, but for a table top I don't want crumbs, etc. to be able to fall into the nail holes (which BTW are not railroad spikes, but the nails were square-cut and of good size, so the holes aren't tiny). Basically I want the appearance to be a natural, oiled/waxed surface where the nail holes look to be filled with 'glass.' I talked to another woodworker who had used a bar-top epoxy on a table top but found that as the wood moved the epoxy cracked away. He speculated that the wood he'd used wasn't adequately seasoned, and that because my wood is very old and I plan to only fill the nail holes I probably wouldn't have a problem. I'm guessing the mentioned 'embedding resin' is similar to the bar-top epoxy and the only thing is to try a test.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-28-2010, 10:16 PM
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Personally, I think it would look better if the holes were filled with a darker color rather than clear. Our eye-brain connection usually eqates a hole with being dark and is less confusing and therefore more eye pleasing. Anway, I usually fill with CA glue and sawdust. Even of the sawdust is from a lighter wood, it always turns out dark when mixed with CA glue. Just put some CA glue in the hole, put sawdust on top and then more 'thin' CA glue. It will soak through. Build up a few quick layers until it is flush. Filling many holes is still a relatively quick process.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-28-2010, 10:42 PM
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Now I have a better understanding of you hole problem. Short of a bar top product or one of those liquid Lucite products, I don't know of a clear and hard product to meet your requirements.

A couple of suggestions have been made. The dark wood flour and CA seems to be the best. I've made wood flour of a specific species by cleaning out the dust bag on my ROS. And then sand a lot with 120 grit on the type of wood I needed. I saved the wood flour by storing it in one of those ketchup take out things with a lid.

Another few of things comes to mind or rather what's left of it. There is some stuff intended to repair rotted wood. IIRC, you just sort of pour it into the rotted area (window sill) with a masking tape dam. The stuff is supposed to be hard and permanent. I don't know all, because I've never used it.

There is a product line called System 3 (Or was that name just another IBM debacle?) that is epoxy related for wood.

I've also seen some stuff in a marine supply store. I can't remember brand names but it was used to fill holes and cracks in boat decks.

If there is a trophy place near by that makes the clear plastic mementos with a do dad inside. (You've seen them with a fly in an ice cube or scorpion sealed inside.) Go there with a couple of clean (new) paint cans. Ask to buy a few ounces explaining what your problem is. They will probably just give you the stuff. (Two cans. You may need a catalyst too.)

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-29-2010, 01:52 AM
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Not System 3 but West System.

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-30-2010, 09:38 PM
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I two would vote for West. The only problem I see is West can be fairly shiny. Maybe make up some saw dust paste and west and sand it. Differently try be for doing it on the top
David
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-30-2010, 09:48 PM
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Epoxy will work but doesn't sand so great. I would use Kwik Poly, this stuff is fabulous for filling cracks or splits, you can add almost anything as a filler, it dries super fast and sands great.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-15-2010, 03:05 PM
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its called burn in. comes in may colors i would use a transparet amber. you dont need to buy a burn in knife ( although there only around 40.00 for a cheap one ) you can use a lighter and melt a drop or two in the holes let dry scrape off exce4ss with a razer and sand. i think that will give you wnat you want
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