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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking around for a while now soaking up the vast knowledge on the site, but now I'm hoping someone much wiser than me can give me some advice with some strange knots in a book-matched set of English (well, Scottish) elm I'm working with....

I'm relatively new to joinery, having previously only ever made small items as a wood carver, but I've now just begun building a coffee table from two beautiful book-matched waney edge boards. However, you'll see from the attached that there are some light coloured knots (unlike others in the boards) in both boards which feel very unstable to the touch (i.e they move loose within the board) and the wood itself seems to be branch wood - soft and porous.

What do people reckon is the best way to deal with these? Asteheticly I've thought about staining them slightly darker to match others in the boards, or perhaps even taking the drastic step of removing them and filling?

I've attached some pictures of the joined boards, any suggestions or helpful tips would be very welcome!

http://imgur.com/DreM4QE
http://imgur.com/CpAqWVO
http://imgur.com/uWmPQPU
 

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Unless you plan to paint the table, leave them as the features that they are. Trees grow but never perfectly.

Loose knots: I sealed the underside with masking tape. Over weeks, I gradually filled the gaps with plain old carpenter's glue. This was a piece of pine, three knots of 1.5" and bigger. The next step
was to rip that piece in half for the adjacent frame edges of a pair of cupboard (glass) doors.
Worked like an absolute dream. The cut went right down the middles of all three knots and nothing moved at all.
 

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I would ignore the knots for now. After you start finishing the wood and get the stain on if any, make a damn around the knot and flood it with a de-waxed shellac so it soaks through the crevasse to the other side. If it runs through readily you might put tape over the knot on the under side to hold it in. Shellac will bond to the high pitch wood around the knot so it should bond the knot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Many thanks for both your suggestions... I'll leave them as they are and fill the cavity around them with either shellac or resin before sanding.
 

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When I encounter knots in my turnings, I use CA glue to stabilize them. It dries clear, can be sanded or machined. I usually use the thin variety first so it soaks into the knot. Then follow it up with the medium grade, which fills voids very well. You can use the spray accelerator to make the glue dry instantly.
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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Hello. What I've seen done is. People pop out the knot and glue them back with epoxy. And sand out the excess glue.
Or you can disguise the loose know by adding rocks on top of it. (Pop out the knot and get a nice looking rock and trace the outline and on top of the knot and carve in the outline so the rock can pit. Then add some epoxy to stick to the wood.)
 

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What do you guys think about filling the knots with slow setting epoxy? I saw a wood whisperer episode where he used some tinted epoxy and it looked pretty good. The only issue I have found with this method is that I can't find any slow set epoxy that doesn't cost a fortune.
 

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What do you guys think about filling the knots with slow setting epoxy? I saw a wood whisperer episode where he used some tinted epoxy and it looked pretty good. The only issue I have found with this method is that I can't find any slow set epoxy that doesn't cost a fortune.
Follow Mike's advice..ca glue works best
 

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Yep , I too use CA for that .

Broomberg ,
the knots are soft and porous , and loose because they are dead , rotted .
The CA will darken them slightly . If thats' a not a good look , if they need to be darker , CA is good with oily and damp material .
Ink , dye , or the like
 

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I often use black golf club epoxy, but I keep some on hand for its intended purpose anyway.

The Locktite "liquid control" CA gives you a few seconds to work with it before it locks. I end up using it for all sorts of things. Read the directions on the back of the package on how to open the end.
 
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