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Finishing Mahogany


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hi they reccommened using an epoxy grain filler. is the grain filler necessary? the epoxy which is toxic kinda negates why i bought the ktm9, atleast the health benefits. is the grain filler absolutely essentially or can i just apply the finish to the bare wood (mahogany)? on another note grain filler isnt required for maple correct?

thank, Adam

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Mahogany needs a grain filler is you want a smooth finish. Epoxy is the recommended filler, specifically the system 3 stuff, but you could probably use something else if you really wanted to. Epoxy isn't particularly toxic, but you should still wear gloves and work in a well ventilated area to avoid developing a reaction to it.

Maple needs no grainfiller.

The answers to all these questions could have been found by searching the web or the forum.

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it's not good to breathe the epoxy fumes at all. definitely have goo dventilation.

2 reasons for the epoxy, 1 you get a glass smooth fill over the grain and grooves that is clear and 2. you get a very hard surface which in turn makes the KTM9 more durable as you don't have the soft wood underneath allowing the finish to give way.

The word i've heard is the KTM9 stays soft, even though they say otherwise. I have emailed Mike Doolin and he doesn't use it anymore. Switch to 2-part poly. When he did use it he laid the epoxy on thick underneath. Said it was a beautiful finish but not durable enough given the amount of money he was charging for his guitars.

I have heard folks with better luck and durability out of the plain old stewmac water based stuff. And with that you can get a water based grain filler too.

If you don't use grain filler you'll feel the grain through the finish and it'll keep you from having a dead flat mirror finish. Also, as the lacquer shrinks over time, it will draw into the pores of the wood and get bumpier as the years go by. Got to fill the grain with something.

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Neither Epoxy or KTM are particularly healthy; just that neither has the nasty, nasty solvent Nitro uses.

Waterbased finish straight onto wood will give you a 'dead' looking surface. You need something to 'wet' the wood, pop the grain, whether that's Epoxy, shellac, whatever, but pop the grain, then go over it with waterbased finish.

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Yes, aerosol spray lacquer requires a filler, even more than KTM, since it has a lower solids content and shrinks more. This has been covered a million times, at least 3 times in threads you created, and in the sticky thread by LGM about finishin with spray cans.

As for masks, I use a 3M 6002D mask, with Paint Spray and Varnish filter pack. It should be a tight fit on the face, and you should not be able to smell *anything* with it on - otherwise it's leaking, and you're breathing solvents anyway.

Oh, and Mledbetter - "it's not good to breathe the epoxy fumes at all. definitely have goo dventilation." Love the typo - I might have to get me some goo ventilation :D When ever I use epoxy it creeps up my arms on it's own, I always seem to find it in the most unlikely places, on my forehead... behind my ears etc...

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