filling voids in rough wood? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Question filling voids in rough wood?

I just picked up a load of reclaimed wood for a dining table. It's some kind of softwood (fir?) and is very rough with a lot of checks due to exposure to the elements. I plan on giving it a good sanding to get rid of the fuzzy UV damaged fibers, but don't want to take it down to an absolutely flat surface (if I did, how would I justify the $$$ I spent on reclaimed wood! )

Anyways the boards are good and dry after sitting in a heated sunroom, and I'm now ready to begin filling in the worst of the checks to stabilize them, and more importantly, to make it possible to wipe the table clean.

So my question is, how do I fill the checks without ruining the surface of the boards with ugly epoxy splotches? In most cases, I would just pour clear epoxy into the cracks and then plane off a ~1/8th inch layer of wood to yield a fresh clean surface...but that would defeat the purpose of using reclaimed wood in this particular case.

Conceptually, I am thinking of the following sequence...but given my past wood-finishing record, I know it's pretty likely to end in disaster!!!


1) Seal entire surface with SealCoat shellac
2. Dab a few more layers of SealCoat into the smaller cracks.
2) Pour epoxy into the wider cracks - doing my best to keep it from spilling.
3) Shave away any accidental epoxy spillage
4) ROS sand entire surface to take off the shellac and remove any soaked-in epoxy stains

5) Some kind of medium-brown stain and a flexable finish (Waterlox TrueTone colored tung oil looks ideal...but is expensive)

Here's a photo of one of the 10 inch wide boards.

Thanks for any advice!
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Last edited by desertsp; 04-24-2017 at 02:29 PM. Reason: added step 5
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 02:23 PM
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Put a clear matte finish on it and cover with a sheet of glass.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rick. I would do that...but prefer the more rustic "soft" look and feel.


What I am shooting for is something along the lines of this...but with additional protection: https://www.restorationhardware.com/...yId=cat6050005


(sorry for editing the original post...I felt it was important to add the bit about the final finish)
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 03:13 PM
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Fill all of the voids with a tinted epoxy, sand smooth and apply a satin top coat? Otherwise, I don't see how to keep the texture while filling the larger voids. Maybe there is another way, but it seems like you'll either have to go with flat and smooth, or rough and textured with voids. If you just want to fill the smaller checks but leave the overall roughness and the larger voids, maybe something like Timbermate wood filler?
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 03:19 PM
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I agree with Rick's suggestion. It's always a good idea to make some sample boards, you may find the result you are looking for difficult to achieve and at a loss of the natural patina. Please post up your pics, thanks.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I'll have to look into Timbermate filler. Looks a lot better than the grainy Minwax junk I've used.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsp View Post
Hmmm, I'll have to look into Timbermate filler. Looks a lot better than the grainy Minwax junk I've used.
You can get it in a lot of colors, and can probably mix two or more of them to get an exact color match, or at least a color that compliments the color of the wood. Works well in my limited experience. I would always go slightly darker, instead of lighter, if you can't get that exact match.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-24-2017, 10:51 PM
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Rick Mosher's work stands for itself so I accept his opinions strongly the same. Over the years I seen several examples in pics of his work.

This is great advice considering your options and outcomes desired. It's very hard to fill and make look wooden correct. IF you were talking a hole here and there is one thing BUT cracks and wood damage is way above a fillers range for looks. You stated you paid big bucks to have rustic....so let it be rustic and a glass top to observe the beauty AND make it practical to use!!! I have a few rustic tables drawn up that to enjoy the authentic look and textures it will require glass.....it's not a bad thing.

Keep us posted, we enjoy seeing builds and pics!!!

Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
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Reveling God's awesome beauty while creating one of-a-kind flitches and heirlooms.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-25-2017, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. If you guys advise against something it's probably worth listening!

I decided to swap out the roughest boards and use them for some other project. Fortunately I bought extra, something I've learned is never a bad idea!

What remains is smoother, flatter, and only has longitudinal cracks less than 1/8" wide, which I can live with.

I also ordered a few injector syringes from Woodcraft and will try filling some of the larger cracks using the needle (on scraps first, as a test). Is there a certain kind of epoxy to use for this?

Thanks again for the feedback!
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-25-2017, 05:49 PM
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http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/vide...utdoor-finish/

This video s/b helpful. Marc takes weathered table, redoes finish and keeps character. Good luck.

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post #11 of 11 Old 04-27-2017, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTW View Post
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/vide...utdoor-finish/

This video s/b helpful. Marc takes weathered table, redoes finish and keeps character. Good luck.
That's pretty much exactly what I need, thanks!


Didn't realize you could use epoxy as a finish, as opposed to a thick flooded-on coating.


Going to give it a try and will report back...
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