First Woodworking Project Questions - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-22-2016, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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First Woodworking Project Questions

I am working on my first legit woodworking project and I've run into some questions. I am making a sofa table out of knotty alder.

1) I dropped my project and a small chunk of wood chipped off the corner. Is there a way to fix that? This morning, I globed some wood filler on and am hoping I can sand it into the right shape, but I have no idea if that will work or how it will look after stain.

3) There are a couple of places where the wood is starting to peel off of the board. If I tear it off, it will be pretty deep at one end and I don't think I will be able to sand it out well. Is there a way to glue it back down? I thought about putting wood glue underneath it, but it fits so perfectly together now, i'm worried if I put glue under it, it won't lay flat anymore.

4) I just can't figure out how to best finish it. I've read that Alder wood will be splotchy if I just stain it. Then I read that wood conditioner will help. Then I read that wood conditioner is that great and that gel stain will work well and is easier. I'm thinking I will just use gel stain and finish with Waterlox. Is that a good idea? Will that produce a professional look while protecting the piece?

5) I love the look of knots in the wood. The small knots I filled with wood filler, but the larger knots, I don't want to fill with wood filler because I think it will hide the beauty of the knot. However, I want a smooth table surface. Is there a clear filler I can use? I've read that some empoxys might work? Or a shellac stick?

Thank you for your help! I'm so excited about this table, but I want to do it right and create a piece that will become an heirloom! (FYI I have it all put together and sanded and it looks beautiful so far :) )
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-22-2016, 02:41 PM
where's my table saw?
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A chipped corner fix

A corner split off this storage box and I simply planed a triangular flat on the edge and glued a matching piece on it. Holding it in place was tricky since it wanted to slip around. I don't recall how I retained it in position, maybe a block or a brad...?

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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)
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-22-2016, 02:58 PM
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I doubt if the wood filler will take any stain you might use. Then your project will look yucky.
Clear epoxy will fill the knots and make repairs pretty easy if you decide to "glue" the broken piece back together.

When we built the cabinets for our kitchen, we used knotty alder. The stain was General Finishes Colonial Maple. Then we applied General Finishes Van Dyke glaze and wiped it off. That accentuates the knots, and any other areas as well as slightly darken the wood.

Two years now and still looking great.
Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-23-2016, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Woodnthings, thank you for your reply! That is a great idea that I definitely never would have thought of!

MT Stringer, thank you so much also! So, you did NOT use any sort of pre-stain, right? Do you recommend a specific clear epoxy brand/product? I should apply the epoxy after strain, but before finish, right?

Last edited by Rach; 08-23-2016 at 10:17 AM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-23-2016, 02:44 PM
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No pre-stain on our cabinets.

Any fast drying 5 minute epoxy marked Clear should do the trick. Stain, then fill the knot hole.
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