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Fixing dings in Curly Maple

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The maple top I bought came with a few little "dings" in it. They are very small (~ pin-head size) but will be noticeable. One will be hidden by the bridge but the others will be out there for the world to see. I think my choices are to sand the whole thing down past the ding level or try to fill them with something like wood filler.

I'm planning on staining it so if I do use some sort of filler, what would you suggest?

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Are they dents in the wood or actual small spots of missing wood (holes)?

Dents should steam out.

Holes...well, ya gotta be creative sometimes. I also feel a little weird about the way it will accept stain using filler.

I'd sand it 'till it was right unless they're really deep. It might be the most labor-intensive option, but also maybe the most worthwhile one.

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I've had good success steaming out small dings using a hot clothes iron tip or flat tip soldering iron. Water and wet cloth. When my friend has some holes and wierd divots to fill in Koa, she would put a drop of surfboard resin (polyester) in it. It's clear and looks like the color of the wood. Easily sanded too...make sure it's not finishing resin which has wax. If you're staining it, may need to stain first and drop the resin in...for color similarity. May even look like a bird's eye. :D Good luck.

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