best glue to mix with sawdust to make filler??

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kooshball

David
Corporate Member
I am going to need to fill some knot holes and thin gaps in my dovetails soon but I need the glue that I mix with the sawdust to be able to take finish.

What have you found to be the best glue for this application?

THX
 

jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
In my experience, no glue is going to actually take the finish, but hide glue may be your best bet. Whatever the binder, I would try and make the patch the color of the finished piece. It would take trial and error on some scrap but that would be my method.

Also, if your dovetail gaps are not paper thin, I would cut wedges to fit the gaps, with the grain running in the proper direction they almost disappear. I have even enlarged gaps so that I could then fill them with a wedge and they look better than not trying that "scary" enlargement.

Good luck!
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
You may also consider shellac.

Tage Frid's book features a section on filling loose and missing knot holes.

He makes a shellac burn in stick.

He also does a filler of shellac (or the oil finish you plan to use) and sawdust.

If you do wish to use glue, I also suggest hide glue in your favorite flavor.

Oh, be sure the hide glue is fresh. If its not, it never dries and remains sort of gummy. Yes, the voice of experience strikes again!

Jim
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Finishes will adhere to about any wood glue, including epoxy, providing the gloss is removed with sanding, etc. Most glues will not absorb stain after they are cured, so best to tint the glue before applying it.

The one major exception to this is silicone based glues and caulks. You can't tint them and not much will adhere to them.

Go
 

richlife

New User
Rich
You may find this strange, but a slow setting (that means slower than a few seconds!) cyanoacrylate glue (crazy glue) mixed with the sawdust works well. It won't look the same as the wood surface, but it's makes a very compatible color mix. It would probably look more similar to the endgrain. It must be sanded after setup.

Work fast!

Rich
 

jcz

Johnny
Corporate Member
I second CA glue. It works very good and when combined with shaving or sanding dust from the same wood it blends in well.
 

kooshball

David
Corporate Member
Thanks folks. I have some slow CA glue and just ordered a small bottle of liquid hide glue from mcfeely's ($1 shipping really helps) so I will experiment with both and see what works best.
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
CA is the answer for me - I use it on just about all wood imperfections. Thin wicks in to places other glues won't get to and quickly stabilizes whatever is imperfect . I'll then go an mix up a little dust (to much makes a dark patch) with medium to get the background color. Then, it's a drop or two of thick CA to level the area with the surrounding surface. Since I don't stain wood, I don't have problems associated with wood stain. After sanding, I've had zero problems with finish adhering to a CA based patch as a matter of fact, the patches look so good only I know where they are.

I've even taken a skim coat of thin slow dry CA to use are a grain filler. Once dry, I sanded it off and the grain was perfectly filled.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I don't use glue. I just use finish (for narrow cracks). I have to sand after the first coat because the grain raises so I don't expect perfection anyway. I smear some sawdust into the finish in the cracks. If I need to, I dab on a little more finish to saturate the dust. It is darker than the piece but matches about as well as anything else I've tried. And it avoids an additional step. For bigger gaps or to stabilize a knot, I use quick setting epoxy. If I need to, I mix sawdust in the epoxy. I think it looks better on a knot to just leave the epoxy clear so the knot shows still.

Jim

Jim
 

Bugle

Preston
Corporate Member
I have used MinWax stainable (not) wood filler with some success. I tint it with stain, fill the gap, let it dry and sand it smooth. The only down side is that whatever stain you used on the wood will not match when mixed with the filler...you just have to experiment with different stains. I removed the carpet from our stairs recently and used this method to fill nail/staple holes and it came out pretty well.
 

pviser

New User
paul
I like J.E. Moser's epoxy paste. It's available through Woodworkers' Supply. No shrinkage. Takes stain. I use a small scale to get the 50/50 mix dead on.
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
If you have the pin proud of the tail you can burnish the pin with a Ballpeen hammer and widen it out to occupy the gaps. Then plane/chisel it flush with the tail.
 

Matt Furjanic

Matt
Senior User
I'm surprised no one recommended sanding dust, and not sawdust. Sawdust is too coarse and will leave tiny gaps, whereas sanding dust is very fine and will act better as a filler. For small gaps and holes, wood glue works okay, but for large holes, loose knots and big gaps, I would recommend epoxy. Matt...
 

KenOfCary

Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
You definitely want to use sanding dust, not sawdust. My favorite way to collect it is using the little bag on the palm sander. I've had good luck mixing that with CA and Epoxy. Mainly used slow drying epoxy for larger gaps.

- Ken.
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
Best way is to grab a little dust and throw it at the imperfection, add a couple drop of medium CA, grab the sander and bring to level. No sense in making a big production out if it, a couple of seconds is fine...
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
You definitely want to use sanding dust, not sawdust. My favorite way to collect it is using the little bag on the palm sander.
I do the same thing. In fact, I have a little cup of "flour" (sanding dust) standing by for this kind of application. As for glue, I like CA glue is best for small gaps. Epoxy is my glue of choice for knotholes. I recently had to fill some bug holes in some oak, for that I mixed the sanding dust with regular Titebond II, and smeared it in. It comes out slightly darker than the wood, which is good.
 

kooshball

David
Corporate Member
The great suggestions just keep coming...thx to all. Seems like this subject could fill a book!
 
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