Hmmm, I don't think this water-based filler will do what I want (help request)

uOpt

Active member
Messages
71
Can somebody help me pick a filler?

I am doing a Black Korina Tele. The plan is to have filler, die and tru-oil. Possibly nitro on top of the tru oil if I don't like it enough, but that question comes later.

I bought this for filler:
http://www.woodcraft.com/product.aspx?ProductID=818892&FamilyID=4493

I picked the "neutral" color (brown and mahogany are the other choices).

I applied it to a test piece of wood and I seriously doubt this will do what I want. The substance is not clear. It's an off-white solid color. With normal scraping it left the wood grain covered up pretty good and sanding it down doesn't seem to be very effective. I can post a photo if you want.

So what went wrong here?
  • Do I need to scrape harder, possibly with a razor blade?
  • Do I need a transparent filler?
  • The brown version of the above product, is that more transparent?
  • Different product?

What do you guys use for filler below clear finishes?

%%

P.S.: it has been recommended to me that the die is best applied by mixing it into the Tru Oil before wiping it on. Is that something you agree on? What happens if the layer thickness of the Tru Oil varies?

P.S. 2: I have a longer version of this thread over at SD forums:
http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?t=154558
It has more info about the project and photos of the body. But I'll be happy to repeat things here.

Thanks so much.
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
I dont like it either.. their mahogany is even worse, it's really pepto pink!
Last time I used the clear filler (which is really clear) from StewMac. Much nicer, but really hard to sand off. took me hours per coat
I believe there is a much more easier to use brand that you can almost wipe off and then sand afterwards. maybe someone here know which brand it is.
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
The stew-mac filler is what I've used. It seems like it worked well, but I scraped most of it off after each coat. It takes a bit longer, but there's much less sanding.
The Clear is pretty clear.
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
I haven't used that brand of filler, but from your description of the coloration sounds like it's meant to be used under a solid finish.

For a clear/transparent filler, get the clear Colortone filler from StewMac:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Fillers_and_putties/ColorTone_Waterbase_Grain_Filler.html

the little squeegee tool dealie is handy, but you can use an old credit card or equivalent plastic card to scrape, when using the Colortone let it set 10-15 minutes then scrape off excess. You should be waiting at least 24 hours or longer depending on conditions before you try to sand it back, it will dry as hard or harder than the wood.

Check all the DIY threads on dying; but be advised that Black Korina's greenish natural state will make many colors go "off" ambers/browns can tend to go reddish/orangish. The brown version of the Colortonbe filler will go orangish on Korina and should be avoided.

Check this thread and finish on my last Korina axe, an L5S. I actually didn't fill it, but applied more than 40 coats of Tru-oil, that took more than a month...  Finishing thread: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=1946.0  Gallery post: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=2669.0
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
uOpt said:
Can somebody help me pick a filler?

I am doing a Black Korina Tele. The plan is to have filler, die and tru-oil. Possibly nitro on top of the tru oil

I picked the "neutral" color (brown and mahogany are the other choices).

What do you guys use for filler below clear finishes?

Let me be blunt - you need more than a filler choice.  You need to think out what the END result will be, and choose the steps to get you there.  It seems to me that you've chosen steps,  and dont have a clear vision for what you want.   In saying that, please allow me to (in friendly manner) shoot some holes in your process.

First - there are some "clear" fillers out there, but they're not all that clear.  Most are made to be "hidden" in the existing neutral toned grain of woods like ash or poplar or other LIGHT woods.  Your "neutral" color seems to be that.  

For clear finishes you either must carefully dye the filler, or... just use a contrasting filler, for effect.  The choice is yours.

You then state you want to dye over the filler.  Thought should be given to the dye itself, and how it will react with the filler and top coat.  Dye is not universal - let me restate - Dye is NOT universal.  You must choose a dye that is compatible with what you want to accomplish, and compatible with the other materials used.   When you add dye to a clear finish, then the result is not a dyed wood, but a tinted finish.

Dyed wood will show a bit of vibrancy, since the dye will be unevenly absorbed, and the various tight and loose grains and structures will show contrast from one to the other.  This is seen dramatically with maple that is figured.

True Oil.... I really dislike True Oil for guitars.  It is NOT an oil finish.  Let me restate that - TRUE OIL is NOT an OIL FINISH.  The "oil" in its name comes from the fact that it does contain some oil type ingredients, and other chemicals to make its application by hand something that can be done (self leveling to a point, slow drying... more evaporative).  MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT - TRUE OIL IS A VARNISH, and a SOFT VARNISH at that.  It is a form of polyurethane varnish, not an oil finish.  It dries/cures via petrochemical reactions rather than natural oxidation aging of the oils when applied to the wood.

MAKE NO MISTAKE about it too - that NITRO WILL SCREW UP TRUE OIL.   As a varnish, the acetone in nitrocellulose lacquer will eat and soften and craze the finish overall.  Forget nitro over True Oil.

Not knowing your final vision of what the wood is to look like...  I think I'd do Korina with something like a black or dark brown filler, then if dye was to be applied, dye over that in medium warm brown (not cool) tones.  Over the top - nitro, even matte or semi gloss nitro is the way to go.  Optionally, you can give the dyed wood a seal coat in clear shellac (two coats actually, no sanding).  That will help with the nitro ... prevent some of the sink in, and subsequent shrinkage.  You dont need to have the wood perfect for a matte finish or even semi gloss... but you DO for a full gloss finish.  If you can feel the grain with your fingernail, then its not filled enough for a gloss finish.

And yes, by all means show pictures!

And realize my criticism is aimed to prevent disaster, not meant to thwart you personally.  Its always a learning process, so please do, share some images.   Even of the korina body you have.

 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
That guy on the Stew Mac forum was right about getting your finishing answers here. There's some top-notch folks here when it comes to finishing.
 

uOpt

Active member
Messages
71
jackthehack said:
I haven't used that brand of filler, but from your description of the coloration sounds like it's meant to be used under a solid finish.

For a clear/transparent filler, get the clear Colortone filler from StewMac:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Fillers_and_putties/ColorTone_Waterbase_Grain_Filler.html

Thanks. So filler goes on similar to the one I have but is transparent?

[...]
Check all the DIY threads on dying; but be advised that Black Korina's greenish natural state will make many colors go "off" ambers/browns can tend to go reddish/orangish. The brown version of the Colortonbe filler will go orangish on Korina and should be avoided.

Check this thread and finish on my last Korina axe, an L5S. I actually didn't fill it, but applied more than 40 coats of Tru-oil, that took more than a month...  Finishing thread: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=1946.0  Gallery post: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=2669.0

Looks great. Very encouranging :)

I actually want to drive the guitar into an orangeish direction, in fact I bought orange die. I photoshopped a orange hue on top of the unfinished state photo and I like it. Plus I will of course do whatever I want to do in the pickup or electronics cavity first to make sure I get what I want. "Orangeish" doesn't mean life vest orange.

 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
I failed art what does green + orange make? If you have orange dye, test it on a small place on the back and have a stack of sandpaper ready, it may well turn out hideous.

My adventures in dying a quilt maple/black korina body are here, at one point I had a "SalmonCaster:http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=975.0

I forgot to add, and will echo CB, nitro lacquer on top of Tru-oil or Tung oil = gooey mess
 

uOpt

Active member
Messages
71
=CB= said:
uOpt said:
Can somebody help me pick a filler?

I am doing a Black Korina Tele. The plan is to have filler, die and tru-oil. Possibly nitro on top of the tru oil

I picked the "neutral" color (brown and mahogany are the other choices).

What do you guys use for filler below clear finishes?

Let me be blunt - you need more than a filler choice.  You need to think out what the END result will be, and choose the steps to get you there.  It seems to me that you've chosen steps,  and dont have a clear vision for what you want.   In saying that, please allow me to (in friendly manner) shoot some holes in your process.

That's why I'm here.

First - there are some "clear" fillers out there, but they're not all that clear.  Most are made to be "hidden" in the existing neutral toned grain of woods like ash or poplar or other LIGHT woods.  Your "neutral" color seems to be that.  

For clear finishes you either must carefully dye the filler, or... just use a contrasting filler, for effect.  The choice is yours.

You then state you want to dye over the filler.  Thought should be given to the dye itself, and how it will react with the filler and top coat.  Dye is not universal - let me restate - Dye is NOT universal.  You must choose a dye that is compatible with what you want to accomplish, and compatible with the other materials used.   When you add dye to a clear finish, then the result is not a dyed wood, but a tinted finish.

The idea of putting the due into the filler wasn't mine and I'm here to double-check.  As you can see in the thread I linked to, there was some discussion about where and when to apply the dye.

Dyed wood will show a bit of vibrancy, since the dye will be unevenly absorbed, and the various tight and loose grains and structures will show contrast from one to the other.  This is seen dramatically with maple that is figured.

That's what I want, of course. I want to enhance the gain. I just want to avoid e.g. having the left side come up less colored than the right side.

True Oil.... I really dislike True Oil for guitars.  It is NOT an oil finish.  Let me restate that - TRUE OIL is NOT an OIL FINISH.  The "oil" in its name comes from the fact that it does contain some oil type ingredients, and other chemicals to make its application by hand something that can be done (self leveling to a point, slow drying... more evaporative).  MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT - TRUE OIL IS A VARNISH, and a SOFT VARNISH at that.  It is a form of polyurethane varnish, not an oil finish.  It dries/cures via petrochemical reactions rather than natural oxidation aging of the oils when applied to the wood.

I know that one.  That's the plan.

I finished a neck in nitro this year and one major reason I picked Tru Oil for this project is that I want to have used the different finish options at least once each.

MAKE NO MISTAKE about it too - that NITRO WILL SCREW UP TRUE OIL.   As a varnish, the acetone in nitrocellulose lacquer will eat and soften and craze the finish overall.  Forget nitro over True Oil.

OK, it's good to have a definite answer on this question.

Not knowing your final vision of what the wood is to look like...  I think I'd do Korina with something like a black or dark brown filler, then if dye was to be applied, dye over that in medium warm brown (not cool) tones.  Over the top - nitro, even matte or semi gloss nitro is the way to go.  Optionally, you can give the dyed wood a seal coat in clear shellac (two coats actually, no sanding).  That will help with the nitro ... prevent some of the sink in, and subsequent shrinkage.  You dont need to have the wood perfect for a matte finish or even semi gloss... but you DO for a full gloss finish.  If you can feel the grain with your fingernail, then its not filled enough for a gloss finish.

And yes, by all means show pictures!

And realize my criticism is aimed to prevent disaster, not meant to thwart you personally.  Its always a learning process, so please do, share some images.   Even of the korina body you have.

I really appreciate all these points. Over at SD forums we were a little fuzzy about some of the details.

I am testing all the stuff I'm going to put on before committing, that's how I noticed the filler is unsuitble. I will try the whole stack of what I'm trying to do in the electronics and pickup cavities first, but of course that is very limited space.


Unfortunately a family member just nuked my camera, but here are the last ones I have:

img_6566_medhand.jpg



Here is the photoshop mock:

Original:
warmoth-korina.jpg


Grain enhance:
warmoth-korina_edit.jpg


Orange stain:
warmoth-korina_edit_stained.jpg

 

uOpt

Active member
Messages
71
Hmm, looking at the photos I see that my photo (first) is noticeably more greenish than Warmoths (the photoshop mocks).

I think I should give consideration to an entirely new plan.

So I think the options are:

1) send Korina back, get Alder, spray nitro without filling.

2) just tru oil the sucker without filling.  The grain isn't very pronounced.  Try dye in cavities first, use only when when it's looking good.

3) spray shellack and nitro using the partial fill from the shellack.


Let me re-state one point: I'm doing this to build experience with more finishing options.  This isn't "the" guitar of my life.  I already did nitro and I wanted to see what tru oil does.

Also, I would prefer my next project in spring to be nitro simply for temperature reasons here in MA.  I don't have an air conditioned room for this, some seasonal help is welcome.  So I picked tru oil as the winter project.
 

uOpt

Active member
Messages
71
Sorry for replying to my own post again, but I think here's the key.

A fellow forum member used the black Stewmac filler on Black Korina:

http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=5271.0

That's what I want.

(yes I know I can still screw it up after filling :))
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
I used the Stew Mac clear grain fill on the back of my tele and followed it with Reranch amber alcohol based dye.  The dye went on way to bright, and the body turned nuclear carrot in hue.  I found that it got much better by washing to dye off with alcohol on paper towels back to a much more natural amber tone.  The filler made areas (ie - the grain that was filled) that were a bit darker in the final product, even though it is called clear.  I am happy with the overall effect that I got, just have to work on the execution...
Patrick

02-Small-Back_of_Tele.jpg


 

Keyser Soze

Senior member
Messages
206
Hi all!

A couple thought on what's been discussed.

A big +1 to the notion of having a defined goal, then figuring out how to achieve it.  Even if you are just experimenting, there is no reason to learn hard lessons already available.

More specifically.  Yeah, your choices seem to be either adding a dye to the grain filler you have, or finding an alternate product.  On Korina I'd go super dark or super clear.

If you do go the 'straight tru-oil' route, and are willing to spend time adding coats and sanding/steel wooling, the product does build and will eventually fill the grain to surface level.  Be warned though, it does continue to shrink with age, so a year or two down the road your smooth as glass finish may show a little bit of grain texture.  Not a disaster, it just means you need to lay on a few more coats.  As mentioned it really is just a colored oil based varnish.  There are many other products that are actually superior - Arm-R-Seal being one.

I'm not big on using dye in a surface finish (aka toning) unless you are using quality spray gear and appropriate materials.  The only way  would recommend doing that with wipe on or brush on finish is dying the very first coat and the very first coat only.  Otherwise you are just asking for uneven coloration.  I've done just that with shellac and trans-tints for use on furniture and over paints for glazing effects, but it can be tricky.

You can use tru-oil, or 'true' oils, under lacquer - you just need to use some sort of sealer between the two incompatible products.  There are many specialty products designed to shield various incompatibilities, but the all purpose one is shellac.  You can dilute it very thin and wipe on a couple coats then use your lacquer.  I've done this on a couple guitars, and many many pieces of furniture,  penetrating oil really shows the depth of a figured grain.

If you like the coloration of true oil you might also like linseed oil, which brings a similar yellow/amber.  You could apply a couple coats of that then an oil based urethane as a final finish.
 

uOpt

Active member
Messages
71
Thanks, everybody.

I was on a different project and haven't committed this one yet.

It is clear that I'll get a brown filler. Given the results in the other thread I linked to that seems certain to do what I want.

Whatever method of applying the die I'll try in the electronics and pickup cavities first. And I have a piece of wood for testing that I'll die first to see how evenly I can apply it.

For now I think the most promising method of die application is thin it out a lot, then apply it directly (not in the tru oil) with an applicator pad. The intend is to do 5 or so passes with very thin die until I get the desired color. And that should even out application difficulties.
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
Be advised that if you're going to use a colored filler of any sort, you're better off going black. Due to the natural greenish hue of Black Korina, many brown dyes/stains can tend to go orangish, often unpleasantly so.
 

uOpt

Active member
Messages
71
jackthehack said:
Be advised that if you're going to use a colored filler of any sort, you're better off going black. Due to the natural greenish hue of Black Korina, many brown dyes/stains can tend to go orangish, often unpleasantly so.

OK.

I was interested in this stuff:
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4493

As mentioned in my first post, I have the "neutral" (which is actually off-white) variant and although I couldn't use the color I like the consistency and how it works. But it isn't available in black.

Do I figure correctly that you think this will do better?
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Fillers_and_putties/ColorTone_Waterbase_Grain_Filler.html

(to clarify, I don't plan to put die into the filler)

Thanks
 

blimpo

Senior member
Messages
169
I used dye in my filler for my first two coats on a korina body,

Lots'o sanding, but it came out looking as good or better than I expected.
I used advice I got here.

I'm now adding TruOil in thin coats over it and steel wooling and sanding with
1200 wet/dry between coats.
I've got two coats on it and it looks great.

Not perfect, but I really like how it is turning out and that's what matters.

I'll try and get some pics posted..
 

Timberm8

New member
Messages
2
Timbermate offers a water based filler that is not latex or acrylic based.  It can be used as a putty/filler/grain filler. Dan Erlewine has used and likes it.  Fill out the free sample request to try it.  www.Timbermate.com
 

Timberm8

New member
Messages
2
Sorry for the "blatant" Advertisement.  This product is unusual and I thought I might have something to contribute.  I did not try to hide my identity and made my email available to the public.  Most water based fillers are acrylic or latex based.  Therefore they cannot be stained, or tinted and "blind" the grain. As a purely water-based product, it can be thinned and used as a grain filler, or primer under any finish.  It can also be tinted with anything to get custom colors.  If it dries out, it can be reconstituted.

 
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