deep grain fill with super glue - results

-CB-

Senior member
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5,427
That ash body I've been prepping... had some real grand canyon grain in it.  Those dark wide streaks of grain in the swamp ash can be a real mother to fill.

Black fill coats (2), brown fill coats (2), sanding sealer coats (2) and the deep grain was still there.  So I broke out the super glue.  Just as an experiment - rubbed it into the deeper grain sections in a few places.  Been dry now two days, but.. I just got to do some preliminary sanding on it... sanding block of course... and the results are: Pretty damn good.

I use the fingernail test.  Does my fingernail feel the grain when dragged across it at 90 degrees.  It used to.  In the super glue filled areas, its dead flat smooth.  I think I can selectively fill those hard to fill areas with a brush and some CA glue.  Let it dry and recoat if needed, then just level it out as if it were lacquer or other hard finish.  So far - only positive, and no negative, except for a little extra dust (I can deal with it).

More as it comes.....
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
CB - sometime CA will leave a slight stain to the surrounding wood it soaks in to. no biggie for tinted finishes, but it really stands out when you do clear (and know what to look for) ... that isn't a watermark on the wood grain :(

this will be noticable on the more open woods like Alder, Walnut, and certain species of Ash (I have not seen this happen on hard Northern Ash, but it is visible on 'Swamp' Ash)

all the best,

R
 

-CB-

Senior member
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5,427
I read - reading is dangerous - but did a little research, it seems the furniture guys have been using it for a while....

My concern is not the color but how things go when the final finish ages.  That is... when a finish ages after some time, even the Warmoth finishes... they shrink into the grain.  My mahogany body Warmoth tele's from the late 90's have had the finishes shrink right in, and the grain can be seen.  Lacquer is even worse for this, and I'm wondering if the threated spots will be noticable as flat and smooth amid the grainy shrunken in finish.  So... I'm really sanding it back quite a bit, with the idea being that I want the wood filled, but not smothered in CA.

So far, so good.
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
it might be worth your time to check out some of the bowl turners sites - they use a ton of CA on thier projects. I'm sure they'd have noted anything of interest if something funny was happening

all the best,

R
 

JR

Senior member
Messages
354
super glue is a fantastic filler, you can use it to disguise chip outs and deep dents. they end up looking like little knots in the wood. just go all out CB i think it will work great. 
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
An update:

The super glue concept didn't die.  I went and go a big bottle of water thin stuff.  And I went to town filling in the deepest grain.  This is some tough stuff to sand... jeeze.  I also - somehow, put a dingus in the back of the body.  Two actually.  DOH!  Right on the radiused edge.  Superglue drops to the rescue.  I let it all set up for two days. 

Sanding..... I got out the 3m block and 320 paper.  Forget that.  It might work for a small spot of super glue on a small grain fix.  This is ash, and had a lot of deep grain, even after three fillings with water based filler.  I tried 220 paper on the 3m block.  Forget that too.  So, I stuck some 220 on the Dewalt 1/4-sheet finishing sander.  That did a good job of leveling out the glued areas and the edge fixes.  After that a quick 320 pass on the body in the direction of the grain - this time back on the 3m block (by hand that is.. on a rubber block).

Looks REALLY good.  I gave it the fingernail test.  To me, what I do is run my fingernail 90 degrees to the grain.  If my nail drags on the grain, it still needs filling.  This had areas, most of the body actually... that felt like you were dragging your nail across smooth formica.  Just a hard and smooth surface. 

I'm still WAY IMPRESSED with the super glue as a means to get the tough stuff filled in.  This would probably be not the best for dye finishes, unless you laid down some lacquer first, at least 3 coats, and filled on top of that - then sanded it all back after everything shrunk in.  Dye finish - proceed at your own risk... I just dont know it would work or how spot matching would do if you sanded thru the dye while trying to level the superglue.

On solid colors, or on clear, or on grain filled clear, or on transparent finishes (like this white blonde will be), this is a no brainer easy way to level woods like ash.  Glue is cheap, available, fast drying, and levels into a very durable and clear substance.

Without thinking, I set two coats of Deft on top of the filled wood... then said.. oh... pictures... crap.  Oh well.  The Deft I used is surprising me, as its ambered in the can, something Deft does not do!~  It has added a nice golden finish to the wood, and awww man I have half a mind to leave it and not go white blonde.    Its so tempting.
 

tfarny

Senior member
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4,481
yadda yadda yadd, CB, you know the drill - we'll believe it when we see pictures! Interesting experiment.
 

-CB-

Senior member
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5,427
I'll see what I can snap on Sunday... its lumpy now again... the deft is brush on (thick!) when used as sealer
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Here ya go Bucko's....
IMG_1321.gif

Above:not quite leveled yet, but you can see.. the brushed on sealer ia being leveled, but
the grain is nearly totally filled. 

IMG_1311.gif

IMG_1315.gif

IMG_1320.gif

Three shots above: more level on the brushed on sealer.  The superglue almost totally filled the grain.
I blame myself for missed places, not the glues fault.  You can see scratches from "fingernail
test" of the grain fill.

IMG_1317.gif

IMG_1319.gif

Overall shots of top/back.

This body had/has deep grain in those dark areas... real Grand Canyon stuff.  The superglue made
absolutely short work of it.  The body is gonna sit for a few weeks, so I can let the sealer shrink
if its gonna.  Quick level with the block and 400 paper... then shoot the white blonde and clear.
 

DiMitriR33

Senior member
Messages
604
i did the grain fill on my koa/korina tele with 5min 2 part epoxy, i also concidered super glue, maybe next time. the laquer still managed to shrink in on the koa, or maybe i sanded too much filler out. i just tore it apart again, the korina is to grey, i'm gonna tobaco burst the back and maybe amber up the top after i re-fill the grain.

i can't wait to see your tele done. i love white blond. i am gonna build a white blond strat next.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
I really like how the brown and black grain fill came out.  It is a very cool look.  I suppose that after the paint it will have light and dark grain showing through the paint.  But after seeing that grain fill, I might have to reconsider the bass project I had in mind.  I just can't stop saying, "Wow, I like that."
Patrick

 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Interesting stuff, CB! I'm still not really sure of the advantages of CA over grain fill, though, especially if you're not demanding a formica-smooth finish.

The disadvantage is that you could end up walking around the rest of your life with a telecaster stuck to your fingers.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
It is not quite nakey, just enough covered to, well...  I agree, best cover it enough to let the imagination really wander.  Tfarny, there are worse fates than being stuck with a Tele for the rest of your life.
Patrick

 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,451
-CB- said:
That ash body I've been prepping... had some real grand canyon grain in it.  Those dark wide streaks of grain in the swamp ash can be a real mother to fill.

Black fill coats (2), brown fill coats (2), sanding sealer coats (2) and the deep grain was still there.  So I broke out the super glue.  Just as an experiment - rubbed it into the deeper grain sections in a few places.  Been dry now two days, but.. I just got to do some preliminary sanding on it... sanding block of course... and the results are: Pretty damn good.

I use the fingernail test.  Does my fingernail feel the grain when dragged across it at 90 degrees.  It used to.  In the super glue filled areas, its dead flat smooth.  I think I can selectively fill those hard to fill areas with a brush and some CA glue.  Let it dry and recoat if needed, then just level it out as if it were lacquer or other hard finish.  So far - only positive, and no negative, except for a little extra dust (I can deal with it).

More as it comes.....
What brand of super glue did you use -CB-?
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
think its LocTite

it was a sort of trapezoid shaped bottle, about a half ounce of the stuff at Home Depot - it was the biggest bottle they got.  I only used.. not even 1/3 of it to do the whole guitar - although there are a few tiny touch up places I need to go back on (where I missed).
 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,451
-CB- said:
think its LocTite

it was a sort of trapezoid shaped bottle, about a half ounce of the stuff at Home Depot - it was the biggest bottle they got.  I only used.. not even 1/3 of it to do the whole guitar - although there are a few tiny touch up places I need to go back on (where I missed).
Cool.... :icon_thumright:, I'm gonna need some for my spalt tele....
 
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