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Epoxy Grain Fill


verhoevenc
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Just thought I'd let everyone know before anyone else does something like this... when everyone always says things like 2-part epoxy, etc. don't use just ANY two part epoxy! Find something that has a THIN consistency! Cause I used some Devcon 2 part that dries in 5 minutes, and therefore starts out with a thick consistency when mixed.

I'm not saying my way didn't work, but since it was thick it built up real thick too and is taking a BUTTLOAD of sanding to get rid of, which is especially annoying in tight areas like where the neck meets.

I AM getting really nice smooth results with just one application... but just thought I'd warn those who plan to do this that you should get something that's thin and runny and takes longer to cure or else you'll spend HOURS sanding!

Chris

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Yeah, a few guys add a tiny amount of acetone to thin it up a bit. I recently filled my mahogany SG build w/ 2 part epoxy and had no problems, didn't need to thin it out either. But I don't think it was the quick setting variety like you used. I don't like to rush. :D I used something called "Nu-lustre-55" by Circa 1850. Its the stuff you can mix together and literally pour onto a surface and let gravity do the rest.

I used a plastic bondo applying tool to "scree" the epoxy on the flat areas. And I just got down and dirty on the awkward areas by working it in with my fingers. Of course I was wearing latex gloves :D but it seems to be the only way to ensure that the epoxy gets worked into the grain. Its important to remove as much surface coat as possible after this. You left too much behind.

Edited by Southpa
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Yeah it's messy, hard work sanding, but you'll be proud of the finish you'll get when your done with the guitar. When I introduced the black epoxy method in the Strat tutorial, I did warn everyone that it's a long sanding process, and hopefully that everyone would use a slow setting epoxy because it gives you more time to work with it before it dries. Read near the bottom of the page.

Sure it takes a while, even with clear epoxy, but is definitely worth it in my opinion. That is if you want your finish to be flat. The funny thing is that on my last guitar I ditched the black epoxy method and I'm still mad at myself for not doing it that way. I still think that someone could build a guitar with a natural finish and just colored epoxy grainfill like below.. It would look unusual to say the least, but something new...

Strat_finish13.jpg

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I hate to say this, but if you had researched the topic and done some searching, you would have found that fact out beforehand, I and others have posted that very fact AND it's answer several times here at PG in the past. :D

PS, stop thinking that you're supposed to expect perfect results your first time at bat, very few things in life come out perfect on the first try, that's why I always say practice on scrap first, you should never approach a real live instrument with a technique/method you have never ever done before, that makes no sense if you care a lot about the intrument.

And FWIW, I almost always use the 5 minute epoxy, but then again, I know what to expect beforehand, and I know how to thin it and extend the drying time if that's what I want to do.

Search my friend, search. :D

And practice first. B)

PS, that's a helluva forearm ya got there Matt. Box much? :D

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When using 5 minute epoxy, mix up *tiny* amounts and apply then to a small area. If you try to cover the whole thing, you've only got 5 minutes to get everything smooth and even - not gonna happen!

I use Devcon 30 minute, which I find is more or less perfect. It dries clear and hard, and gives you plenty of working time, without staying sticky for days like regular slow setting epoxy. You can sand it the next day, where as regular epoxy is best left for a few days, otherwise it's still 'green' and a very nasty sensitizer if you inhale the green dust.

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Drak and Setch are exactly right, you probably tried to cover too much area with the 5 minute epoxy. I'm sure it works great, but I've never used it before, usually the 90 minute variety is what I use. I'm definitely not saying my way is the only or best way, it's just something that works for me. Also, like they said, practice on scrap first, because planning everything out is good, but putting the plans in action is the true test. All the greatest plans look good on paper, but might not work so well when followed.

PS. lol. No, I'm not a boxer, but I do weight-lift still. Also, my forearms wasn't as big before I started sanding away the epoxy.. haha

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I have 2 misplaced holes to patch, I am using dark wood filler (by elmers glue I think) They are under the pick gaurd so exact color match is no biggie, The guitar is a solid Padauk tele. I had considered using the filler to fill the grain, then after sanding just clearcoat it. I'm using a 2 part clear (the clear and medium speed hardner) Will this work or is that wood filler on the grain a bad Idea?

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That Elmers wood filler is an absolute crap product, stay away from it.

If you want a GORGEOUS Paduak Tele that is EASY to finish, follow GuitarFrenzy's black epoxy-fill method, it not only works on Ash, but on any open-pored wood as well, and it will look BOSS-O-MONDO-YOU-DA-MAN-JJ on Paduak, and SAVE YOU countless coats of finish trying to fill the huge pores that Paduak has.

Trust me here, do the black epoxy fill on that guitar and you'll be in heaven.

The black-filled pores against the beautiful reddish-brown of the Paduak is AWESOME, I have DONE IT BEFORE about 7-8 years ago and know what I am talking about, I am not not just hypothesizing here. :D

Let the black epoxy fill in your holes too, it is a FAR better product for hole-filling than that elmers eau de toilette junk. :D

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If you want a GORGEOUS Paduak Tele that is EASY to finish, follow GuitarFrenzy's black epoxy-fill method, it not only works on Ash, but on any open-pored wood as well, and it will look BOSS-O-MONDO-YOU-DA-MAN-JJ on Paduak, and SAVE YOU countless coats of finish trying to fill the huge pores that Paduak has.

Trust me here, do the black epoxy fill on that guitar and you'll be in heaven.

The black-filled pores against the beautiful reddish-brown of the Paduak is AWESOME, I have DONE IT BEFORE about 7-8 years ago and know what I am talking about, I am not not just hypothesizing here. :D

Let the black epoxy fill in your holes too, it is a FAR better product for hole-filling than that elmers eau de toilette junk.  :D

Yes it does!

Ash! mahogany (before clear) and Walnut

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Actually, I used to make my own from 2-part epoxy from Home Depot and the black tint was usually Tints-All Lamp Black or an artists' black dye that I got from a local artist supply store.

The 2-part epoxy accepts dyes and pigments very readily, and you don't need much at all to get it black.

If I was going to thin it I would add my black pigment to the Acetone first, then mix that into the 2-part.

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Cool

Thanks for the tips!

I'm headed to work now (got to go measure a couple jobs) and I'll pick the supplies up while I'm out and about.

Do you think Black sides will look ok on the tele? I Had tearouts and outs, I used the glue and sanding dust method th fill them, it worked but it isnt pretty, and it came out as dark patches. The neck is painted black I figure painting the "edge" is my only choice.... I could paint the back too but it looks great.

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Sounds good. Kinda fade it in instead of clean lines...

Well I got my epoxy, (devcon 5 min) and acetone to thin it, I couldnt find a dye or pigment though. Thought about trying a couple drops of this black ppg auto paint. Any one tried it?

Thanks

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Yeah it's messy, hard work sanding, but you'll be proud of the finish you'll get when your done with the guitar.  When I introduced the black epoxy method in the Strat tutorial, I did warn everyone that it's a long sanding process, and hopefully that everyone would use a slow setting epoxy because it gives you more time to work with it before it dries.  Read near the bottom of the page.

Sure it takes a while, even with clear epoxy, but is definitely worth it in my opinion.  That is if you want your finish to be flat.  The funny thing is that on my last guitar I ditched the black epoxy method and I'm still mad at myself for not doing it that way.  I still think that someone could build a guitar with a natural finish and just colored epoxy grainfill like below.. It would look unusual to say the least, but something new...

[image]

I'm planning on doing a black epoxy grainfill with a clear finish, but I'll be doing it on some mahogany. How well do you think the grain will show up with mahogany?

Edited by TeiscosRock
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Look up your nearest artist supply store, those places are LOADED to the gills with pigments of all varieties, one should not be too far away from you.

They will have Tints All and Createx (what I normally use) pigments along with many many other pigments that will work just as well. :D

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