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Help in grain filling


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So I'm trying to finish up a body and I'm beginning to use the grain filler. It's not going as well as I hoped. The body is Ash, I sanded everything down to 240 and began to fill. I had been using elmers wood filler and rubbing it across the grain with an old diaper. The stuff is about the consistancy of toothpaste. So far I've used 3/4 of a tube on the front alone and it's still not completely filled. What am I doing wrong? When I'm done should I not be able to feel the grain at all? Also I've ran into a problem sanding that the sapwood??? is a lot harder than the other wood on the guitar and when I sand I seem to get these waves from the diffenerent wood densities. I've used a flat power sander mostly so far, should I use a block of wood or something to get rid of these? :D

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Scott

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something like a stiff rubber base like a sanding block from walmart should solve your sanding problem there, or a wooden sanding block... since most vibrating sanders have a soft rubber base under the sandpaper... it rounds corners and makes pot holes in softer woods when dealing with laminates like this,

filler... i'm no pro here, in fact i don't even know the difference between filler and sanding sealer, but i've gone with sanding sealer, and a brush.... about 8 coats was good, but 10 would be prefered... it's still doing to feel a bit rough until you wetsand then it feels like satin.... but you almost need "to many coats" so you have lots of room to sand it down smooth

just my cerfied uselss bit :D

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Block sanding will help take out the ridges since a power sander will usually eat the softer wood for breakfast if you apply a lot of pressure with a rubber based under the sandpaper.

When it comes to the fill your best bet would be a piece of hard rubber to help spread it out thin.

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On the filler, try using an old credit card or similar object to apply the filler. You want to force the stuff into the pores and I suspect the diaper is soaking up half the filler. I also am unsure as to the filler you are using. The stuff you want is called GRAIN filler and should come from a paint store (two brands I have are Behlen and Woodperfect). Not wood filler, which is basically wood putty and is meant to fill in gaps much bigger than pores. My difficulty in filling wood has been that the stuff is too opaque for most lighter woods and masks the figure. I gave up trying to fill a lacewood top and just live with it being lightly pored. If anyone knows of a truly transparent grain filler that works well, please let me know.

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Yes, Danno is right on the mark with this one. Sharp eye there, mate!

You want grain filler (thick paste), not wood filler (more like putty patch).

Grain filler comes in either water-based or oil based, and can be thinned (if you need to) with either water for water-based, or (I think) paint thinner for oil-based.

It also comes in either natural or Walnut-colored varieties I think.

You might want to find the thinner for that wood putty stuff and clean it out of the pores, it's not what you want in there...

Truly transparent grain filler = Hot Stuff CYA (superglue) it really works, trust me.

It comes in 3 viscosities. Green (gap filling, thick) Yellow (medium) and Red (runny, like water)

I usually use the Yellow, seems to work best for me. Do NOT use any accellerator with it tho, just let it dry normally.

Will give you a completely hard and crystal clear surface. Wear a respirator tho, fumes are killer for a few minutes. I use a playing card to spread it around.

I also know some folks who use clear 2-part epoxy, but I haven't tried it myself yet. Epoxy might work better for Ash with it's large pores...

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no,and you have to re tung oil from time to time i think

Bah, what a pain. I'll just varnish the sucker. B)

I'm looking for a finish that's clear, doesn't totally strangle the tone of the guitar, but requires no maintenance. But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself - I haven't even received the neck yet. :D

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Hey thanks for all the tips guys. Is grain filler necessary if I'm using a sanding sealer? the guitar will be painted a solid color so I could care less about the color of filler, sealer, etc. BTW it is an OLD diaper but don't worry, it was washed before I started out LOL :D

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