thirsty end grain

flagstaff tim

New member
Messages
6
Hey all:

Been in the process of grain filling my Korina bass body.  Using black water based filler and its starting to come around nicely on the body but the end grain has been epic.  I've been filling and sanding my briefs off on the end grain and don't know when to stop.  I guess I'm not sure what to look for or when to be happy cause it always looks like it needs more.  Is there a particular look or feel I should be going for?  Is it normal for the end grain to take twice the treatments of the body?

Plus any advice on uploading pics?  Can't post even one cause I guess they're too large...hints?  thx
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
yes, some endgrain can be a real pita.  You might experiment with CA to go over the filler... that will make it smooth and tough too

you need to go to a host like photobucket.com, get a free account, and then have your message point to them... or just copy/paste the code they have under each picture to your message here...and they'll appear like magic!
 

flagstaff tim

New member
Messages
6
CA?  I suppose 100% smooth is the judgment call.  It feels smooth now but when I look closely much of the grain hasn't been filled.  Thanks for the photobucket angle, I'll try it.
 
W

Watershed

Guest
I'm in a similar boat with a Black Korina Soloist that I'm finishing (one day) in a transparent amber finish.
There really seems to be no end to it.
I even had the entire thing coated in grain filler figuring that when I sanded it back, it would be smooth.
Wrong, the filler seems to have come out of the pores as I was sanding.

I'm also using black waterbase stain.  The Stew Mac stuff.

At this point, I have enough filler in there for cosmetic purposes, it's even, it's black, it looks good etc., but it’s not dead smooth.
I call it "pretty much filled".  My approach now has been to spray the body with Shellac and sand back to wood, figuring the Shellac would; 1. Help keep what filler is in the pores, in the pores, 2.  Fill the pores the remaining amount, allowing the surface to be smooth and prepped for the first coat of Nitro.

It worked on a Mahogany neck, although it is important to sand the shellac back to the wood, leaving shellac only in the pores.

Anyone know if I'm setting myelf up for disaster?
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
Watershed said:
I'm in a similar boat with a Black Korina Soloist that I'm finishing (one day) in a transparent amber finish.
There really seems to be no end to it.
I even had the entire thing coated in grain filler figuring that when I sanded it back, it would be smooth.
Wrong, the filler seems to have come out of the pores as I was sanding.

I'm also using black waterbase stain.  The Stew Mac stuff.

At this point, I have enough filler in there for cosmetic purposes, it's even, it's black, it looks good etc., but it’s not dead smooth.
I call it "pretty much filled".  My approach now has been to spray the body with Shellac and sand back to wood, figuring the Shellac would; 1. Help keep what filler is in the pores, in the pores, 2.  Fill the pores the remaining amount, allowing the surface to be smooth and prepped for the first coat of Nitro.

It worked on a Mahogany neck, although it is important to sand the shellac back to the wood, leaving shellac only in the pores.

Anyone know if I'm setting myelf up for disaster?

How are you sanding it back? You CANNOT use a palm or any other form of power sander, guaranteed to pull more filler out than it leaves in, especially in finer grained woods like mahogany/korina. You HAVE to use a block and sand by hand; #220 followed by #320/400. Pain in the ass. Hard work. Part of the problem with using the black filler is getting the coloration off the non-pore part of the wood. This is easiest accomplished by doing the first couple of fills with black (or other colored filler) then the final fill(s) with clear.
 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,453
jackthehack said:
Watershed said:
I'm in a similar boat with a Black Korina Soloist that I'm finishing (one day) in a transparent amber finish.
There really seems to be no end to it.
I even had the entire thing coated in grain filler figuring that when I sanded it back, it would be smooth.
Wrong, the filler seems to have come out of the pores as I was sanding.

I'm also using black waterbase stain.  The Stew Mac stuff.

At this point, I have enough filler in there for cosmetic purposes, it's even, it's black, it looks good etc., but it’s not dead smooth.
I call it "pretty much filled".  My approach now has been to spray the body with Shellac and sand back to wood, figuring the Shellac would; 1. Help keep what filler is in the pores, in the pores, 2.  Fill the pores the remaining amount, allowing the surface to be smooth and prepped for the first coat of Nitro.

It worked on a Mahogany neck, although it is important to sand the shellac back to the wood, leaving shellac only in the pores.

Anyone know if I'm setting myelf up for disaster?

How are you sanding it back? You CANNOT use a palm or any other form of power sander, guaranteed to pull more filler out than it leaves in, especially in finer grained woods like mahogany/korina. You HAVE to use a black and sand by hand; #220 followed by #320/400. Pain in the ass. Hard work. Part of the problem with using the black filler is getting the coloration off the non-pore part of the wood. This is easiest accomplished by doing the first couple of fills with black (or other colored filler) then the final fill(s) with clear.
You ain't bull shittin', black grain filler is a bitch..especially as you say about getting the black coloration off of mahogany... :doh:
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
I have some of the product Tonar uses, the Jasco oil based filler. It needs to dry about a week for each fill, and can be as much as a pain in the ass as other products. Bottom line is that filling grain is an elbow grease intensive pain in the ass, regardless of product used.

When you get to these points, those $170-220 finish jobs from Warmoth start looking like better deals, don't they?
 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,453
jackthehack said:
I have some of the product Tonar uses, the Jasco oil based filler. It needs to dry about a week for each fill, and can be as much as a pain in the ass as other products. Bottom line is that filling grain is an elbow grease intensive pain in the ass, regardless of product used.

When you get to these points, those $170-220 finish jobs from Warmoth start looking like better deals, don't they?
So true.....but it's worth it in the end to have the satisfaction of doing it yourself. At least that's the way I feel..... :dontknow:
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
The problem with brushing lacquer, or any lacquer for that matter, as a grain filler.... is three fold.

1.  The coating put on is rather thick - so it takes forever and a day, then till the end of time to dry, and SHRINK in.

2.  The part of the lacquer down into the canyons of the grain is even thicker, so once sanded back it either shrinks more,
or.....

3.  It EXPANDS as you put more lacquer over it, tending to drive lacquer from the area.  Now the whole mess shrinks again, and you have a natural low spot, where you once had level.

You can get away with that when the grain is shallow - shallower than the coat of lacquer - as in maple.

You cant get away with that with deep grained woods like korina, mahogany, and certainly not ash.

Actually... if you put enough lacquer on an uneven surface, and let it dry next to forever (think in terms of a birthday or two passing) then you can level it and polish it and expect some degree of flatness.    Lacquer GROWS when you put more on it.  And, it grows in proportion to its thickness, as the solvents diffuse out into the air, and also DOWN into the existing lacquer, swelling it.

This effect is seen when you do a drop fill.  You can fill the dent or chip, and level it.  But the part around the chip swelled, and if not all dry... and shrunken... will leave a "crater" ring after you level it, as it continues to shrink.

This is also why a spatter of lacquer is no big deal.  If you get a spatter when spraying... just leave it, because chances are it will shrink into almost nothing when it REALLY dries down.  How bout them apples!

 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Watershed said:
jpowers123456 said:
How is the brushing lacquer working out ?
Lets say you have the brushing lacquer applied and reasonably even.  You sand it and it's nice and level, very smooth.  As soon as you shoot a spray coat of clear on it, the underlying lacquer does melt and the grain can come back.  As the finish gets thicker, this happens less.  My theory is that there is enough brushing lacquer on there to where the topcoat of clear isn't quite melting everything.

Swelling is proportional to the thickness of the pre-existing base of lacquer for the most part - since solvents will gas into the finish already applied and swell it.  I'm gonna make up numbers here... for illustration.  Say the canyons of the grain are .006 deep.  Now lets say they're filled with lacquer that has shrunken in and been sanded back.  Say this was three coats of .002 each (I'm making this all up....don't Palinize me on the numbers, its just an illustration).  Ok, so now you put another .002 coat on.  The proportion of canyon to topcoat is huge.  Hence a problem.  As you apply more, your proportion may be even, then at some point the .006 canyons are going to be way less than the total finish thickness, say when the thickness is .030 or so.  See whats happening there?  Not only does the solvent have to penetrate more (and it will..., just takes longer and is of a lesser extent), but the swelling vs finish is also reduced to some degree and "spread out" horizontally to some extent too.  This is not really the desirable way to apply a finish, but it can be done.... expect drying times that will see grey beards form... on your yet unborn male children.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
never tried it

I can say though, with lacquer, as long as you account for the swelling, and shrinking... the melting in part is actually a desirable feature, especially if you need to make a repair down the road.
 
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