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Grain Filling


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hail!

I live in a place where the term "grain fillers" is not heard of apparently. I can get hold of normal thick-paste wood fillers easily though. Can i fill a mahogany guitar with this stuff? it was my first ever guitar to complete and i have to refinish it as i was a complete noob and thought that spraying enough lacquer would fill it up.... which didn't work out as well as i thought.... so now i'm sanding the whole thing again (after wasting so much money on numerous minwax poly cans) and redoing the guitar completely.

any info would be great! heard that u can also mix the thick paste with some water (or alcohol) to make it a bit softer... any truth in that?

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Hi Sami,

I don't know about thinning the wood filler, but if you really can't find grain filler anywhere, and can't order it, you can grain fill with some types of epoxy. They're finishing epoxies, so they pour thinner and sand easier, and some hobby stores carry them. I think the one most discussed has been z-poxy, but I'm sure there are others. Try searching the forum for grain filling and epoxy.

Regards,

Todd

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Z-poxy Finishing Resin is lovely to work with and sand, gives you a nice amber hue if you leave it on the surface (as epoxies go...prefer it to paste or waterbased fillers, personally), and the big boys like System3 and West Systems have suitable epoxies (clearcoat and the like, UV inhibited and designed to look good).

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Even where I live (Canada), I found it hard to find grain filler and sanding sealer until I knew where to look. First I was only looking at places like Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Kent, and other hardware stores. But I ended up finding what I needed at a special paint store like Benjamin Moore. You might have Glidden or Sherwin-Williams where you are, you might wanna give them a try if you havent already. If all else fails you could try someone like a furniture or cabinet maker, or someone who deals with finishing woods.

Good Luck!

:D

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thanks a lot! i never thought epoxys would work!! now assuming that i do find the glorious z-poxy.... what are the steps for use? sand current poly, stain, z-poxy, poly-its-ass again? or does staining come after the zpoxy? dont laugh but i've never actually delt with epoxy so i wouldn't know *blush*

thanks again!

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Depends, but what I do:

- Finish sand (bare wood)

- Stain

- Pore fill (apply full strength mixed epoxy with a squeegee)

- Sand back (220 grit) level

- Fill second time (epoxy, slightly thicknened, about 30% by volume silica thickener)

- Sand back (220 grit) level

- Repeat filling steps again if needed

- To even out any colour differences, if you don't sand off everything and leave a thin coating on the wood, pad on (cotton pad) some epoxy thinned 25-30% with denatured alcohol. Gives you a nice, thin coat.

Then finish as desired. For stains, you have to be a little more careful about sanding through (ie, don't), or just shoot tinted lacquers instead. Most 'stainable' woods (like maple) don't require pore filling.

Z-poxy is carried by many (most?) good hobby stores. And you want the Finishing resin (PT 40) for pore filling, not the regular stuff. It's much thinner, flows quite well, and sands easily. Wear a mask when sanding, gloves (disposable) when mixing and applying.

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Mattia,

Do you just scuff sand the z-poxy before you lacquer, or do you need something in between for adhesion, like shellac?

Thanks,

Todd

I've only completed test panels so far, and done it both ways - scuff then shellac then shoot, or scuff then shoot a hard finish (Rustin's Plastic Coating in this case). Can't really tell the difference between the two in terms of looks or adhesion. Both work fine. I'm going to shoot my first three epoxy grainfilled guitars soon, hopefully a total of 5 before the end of the month.

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hahaha yeah same type of thing happened to me. They thought I was talking about plastic wood.

Yeah, same thing happened to me, too. Unfortunately, it was my first finish, and I didn't know plastic wood wouldn't work. I'm actually in the middle refinishing that guitar right now.

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thanks you guys!!! i shall definitely check for all that stuff above!!!

more humour, the only store i was able to find was indeed ACE hardware!!! and they know nothing about anything! you have to use sign language sometimes so they can understand!!!! and for some reason everything is out of stock!!! (we have about 4-5 branches in one city, Dubai that is)...

i guess if they don't have z-poxy i'll have to check with furniture makers to see what they use... hope it's not some home-made stuff or imported stuff from india (indian population in this place is over 30%) coz i'll have a hardtime finding this stuff by myself..

that's it, i'm never working with mahogany and open-pore woods anymore!

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okay, no epoxy for me!!! couldn't easily find any and the d00dz at ACE haven't even heard of it......

nao, i was thinking i'd try out a titebond layer!!!! *ducks the missiles launched by almost every member of the forum*

anyone not considering this blasphemous? coz i really have no current choices except for that and using hte ordinary Elmer's wood filler (the one that comes in tubes) either thinned or as is..... i only have a couple of hours on weekends to do this stuff and i can't afford skipping work during the week to search around workshops in industrial areas and stuff......

thanks a load!

Sami

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