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Grain filling

Discussion in 'The Charles Neil Finishing Forum' started by JLTibbetts, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. JLTibbetts

    JLTibbetts Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    I'm working on a pair of speaker cabinets that will have walnut burl on the front baffles. My first time working with burl. The final finish will be a wipe on poly semi gloss.
    How should I fill the grain in the burl? Or should I?
    I have some 3 lb cut shellac that would build pretty quickly.

    spkrcab.jpg

    spkrbaf.jpg
     
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  2. Tony

    Tony Hardwood Enthusiast Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    That's a gorgeous chunk of wood! I'd not fill it personally. Tony
     
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  3. JLTibbetts

    JLTibbetts Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Veneer over mdf. I really like it Tony, so I don't wanna mess it up .
     
  4. Sprung

    Sprung Amateur Sawdust Maker Full Member

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    If it was me, I'd use that heavy cut of shellac, sand back every coat or two until it's all smooth and the grain is filled. (Please note: that is just what I'd do - I don't have any experience filling grain, but will probably be doing so on some upcoming projects.)
     
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  5. JLTibbetts

    JLTibbetts Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    The more input the better :)
     
  6. Tony

    Tony Hardwood Enthusiast Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    I didn't realize it was veneer. Maybe @phinds can chime in.
     
  7. phinds

    phinds Moderator Global Moderator Founding Member Full Member Forum Moderator

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    Since you can't see the ends you can't tell from that 2nd pic. If the ends show face grain then you know it's veneer, although with a burl it could be hard to tell even then. You'd have to examine it closely to see if the grain lines merge from face to side.

    As for how to fill the grain, I have no idea.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  8. NeilYeag

    NeilYeag Member Full Member

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    Agree with Matt, shellac is really a pretty fool proof way to do this. I would start with a really light cut first few coats and then move to a heavier cut as you build some coverage. Super light sanding after it is built up, and you should end up with a really nice finish. Nice wood by the way!
     
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  9. ripjack13

    ripjack13 ɹǝʇɹɐqpooʍ Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

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    Wood putty?
    :sofa:

    :sarcastic:
     
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  10. phinds

    phinds Moderator Global Moderator Founding Member Full Member Forum Moderator

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    I don't know that it's best to start with shellac since I've never thought of it as a grain filler, but then I use a 1lb cut. If you are going to use shellac, I agree w/ Neil that you should start w/ a thin cut, not a 3lb cut, and put several layers of that on first, then a heavier cut. I started out using a 3lb cut but found that it didn't go on evenly all the time so now I always do a 1lb cut even though it means quite a few more layers. But it dries really quickly.
     
  11. JLTibbetts

    JLTibbetts Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Thanks Paul, and all that chimed in.
    I have some scraps to experiment on
     
  12. phinds

    phinds Moderator Global Moderator Founding Member Full Member Forum Moderator

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    Always the best idea
     
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