Best filler for gaps in shaker doors? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-17-2020, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Best filler for gaps in shaker doors?

Image attached. I have gaps in some of the shaker doors I built (acrylic inserts). What’s the best filler to try to salvage these doors? I know I messed up the build but I’m hoping I can use wood filler (or something) to fix the gaps so I don’t have to start over.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-17-2020, 02:46 PM
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Gaps? .....

I needed to look at the attachment ....



Looks like Pine? or Maple? Will they be painted, I hope .... because no stain will work on top of any fillers I know of. Stains penetrate wood pores, but not fillers or glues, so they appear vastly different compared to raw wood.

In general, rather than filling minute gaps, I'd just leave them rather than having a discolored finish. Painting them? .... it won't matter. A sandable filler like Durhams water putty is a common one, but takes a while to dry and harden. For quicker repairs, I've used a two part auto filler, not regular Bondo, but the "professional spot putty" for small gaps and scratches, also comes in the one part type, apply, dry and sand.
Two part:
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...3241613&rt=rud

One step:
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...9&gclsrc=aw.ds

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-17-2020 at 03:06 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-17-2020, 02:53 PM
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Any time I’ve tried to fill a gap that narrow, it’s always shown up later on. If you’re painting, I’d try to let the paint fill the gap.

If you’re staining and clearcoating, filler will just make it worse.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-17-2020, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I needed to look at the attachment ....



Looks like Pine? or Maple? Will they be painted, I hope .... because no stain will work on top of any fillers I know of. Stains penetrate wood pores, but not fillers or glues, so they appear vastly different compared to raw wood.

In general, rather than filling minute gaps, I'd just leave them rather than having a discolored finish. Painting them? .... it won't matter. A sandable filler like Durhams water putty is a common one, but takes a while to dry and harden. For quicker repairs, I've used a two part auto filler, not regular Bondo, but the "professional spot putty" for small gaps and scratches, also comes in the one part type, apply, dry and sand.
Two part:
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...3241613&rt=rud

One step:
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...9&gclsrc=aw.ds
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Any time I’ve tried to fill a gap that narrow, it’s always shown up later on. If you’re painting, I’d try to let the paint fill the gap.

If you’re staining and clearcoating, filler will just make it worse.
Thank you both.

It is maple and it is being painted (acrylic).
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-17-2020, 04:34 PM
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That's a fair sized gap and if you're looking for a clear finish then the only filler I know of is wood itself. Take a scrap piece and rip a steep bevel on an edge, maybe 2 degrees, flip the piece and saw it again leaving a thin offcut that's 2 degrees on each side. So you now have a tapered piece. Put some glue on it/in the joint and tap it in. Wait about 15 minutes and break it off somehow, knife, saw whatever. Then sand it smooth while glue is still wet as the sanding dust will mix with the glue. This is essentially a dutchman.

Then it's up to you to decide if its something you can live with it. I do commend you for making your own doors, good for you. I'll offer the advice that a dry fit before glue up might have shown the error and allowed you to fix it. How does the back side of the door look? If the backside is tight and the front has gaps, then it might have to do with your clamps being too low. At any rate you seem to have a good attitude and are willing to redo if you have to, but its worth trying a dutchman. Good luck
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-17-2020, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
That's a fair sized gap and if you're looking for a clear finish then the only filler I know of is wood itself. Take a scrap piece and rip a steep bevel on an edge, maybe 2 degrees, flip the piece and saw it again leaving a thin offcut that's 2 degrees on each side. So you now have a tapered piece. Put some glue on it/in the joint and tap it in. Wait about 15 minutes and break it off somehow, knife, saw whatever. Then sand it smooth while glue is still wet as the sanding dust will mix with the glue. This is essentially a dutchman.

Then it's up to you to decide if its something you can live with it. I do commend you for making your own doors, good for you. I'll offer the advice that a dry fit before glue up might have shown the error and allowed you to fix it. How does the back side of the door look? If the backside is tight and the front has gaps, then it might have to do with your clamps being too low. At any rate you seem to have a good attitude and are willing to redo if you have to, but its worth trying a dutchman. Good luck
Thank you for this very good idea.

A dry fit will definitely be done from now on.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-17-2020, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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More.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-18-2020, 09:17 AM
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My 'go to" on this would be Bondo. Don't put it on too thick. Sand and apply again if necessary. Start at 80 grit and go to 320. I prefer to sand by hand with a hard block.

I use Timbermate for minor gaps.

Robert
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-18-2020, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
That's a fair sized gap and if you're looking for a clear finish then the only filler I know of is wood itself. Take a scrap piece and rip a steep bevel on an edge, maybe 2 degrees, flip the piece and saw it again leaving a thin offcut that's 2 degrees on each side. So you now have a tapered piece. Put some glue on it/in the joint and tap it in. Wait about 15 minutes and break it off somehow, knife, saw whatever. Then sand it smooth while glue is still wet as the sanding dust will mix with the glue. This is essentially a dutchman.
This is ingenious and practical. Thanks for sharing. I hope I can remember this the next time I have the need.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-18-2020, 03:10 PM
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Bondo should work just fine if it is to be painted, providing you know how to mix Bondo. many other filler products will work also. If you have any superglue (CA) handy, use the 'thin' and squirt a small amount of it into the crack. Then force with your finger, some sawdust into the crack. Then another thin squirt of CA glue, enough to saturate the saw dust. Repeat a few times until the crack is filled flush. Sand it with what ever grit paper you were using on the raw wood. The final grit should be determined by the label on the acrylic paint can or the primer can if you are using a primer.
There is a broad range of which grits to use depending on which application. The correct one is the one on the label of the first finishing product to hit the surface, whether it be a primer, poly, lacquer or in your case acrylic.

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post #11 of 12 Old 05-18-2020, 03:18 PM
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Another alternative 'fix' would be to clean-out or scrape out any residual glue in the crack if it has not hardened yet. In your case, it is too late for that. Anyway, if it happens again in the future, and it will, clear out the space in the crack. Cut a real thin slice of scrap wood, one to closely fit slightly snug, but mot tight, into the crack. Apply some glue to the thin slice and slide it into the crack. If it is slightly proud of the surrounding surface, cut it flush with a razor, scraper or something similar.

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post #12 of 12 Old 05-21-2020, 08:28 PM
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Most of my projects for some time have been picture frames for my artist wife. Although I am pretty precise, there always seem to be slight gaps in the miters. I tried several products, then found an Aussie product on Amazon called Timber Mate. It is available in many types of wood, is water based, and stains and finishes like the wood itself.


I wash my hands and work it in mostly with my fingers, or with a chisel. Sands just like the wood itself and has not shrunk or worked loose on any frame since I started using it about 5 years ago.
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