Filling and finishing an open grain

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by .223rem, Mar 9, 2019.

    Hello again,
    I've been doing a bunch or turning while waiting for my knots and learning lots while I'm at it, but I have another question.

    Right now I'm working with oak, which I'm pretty sure is making for a very steep learning curve. Anyways, the grain of the oak has layers with a very porous grain. This makes for rough edges (which I'm getting good at sanding out) but also voids.
    I tried filling them with a thick CA gel but it took a very long time to dry and I ruined a piece by sanding it to soon.

    My next try is going to be using a clear grain filler. Aqua coat I can get locally for a good price.

    My question is: will I have trouble using ca glue over top of a grain filler? Has anyone tried this before? I bought a thin glue and accelerator for my next try.

    Thanks again, I'll post in my other thread soon when I have a brush to show!
  1. It might be better to just get some better wood to work with.

  2. White oak is very good for durability in an outdoor environment. It was commonly used for door sills in the past.
    I would think it would make a nice brush handle. Red oak - not so much.
    Quarter sawn white oak would look awesome!
  3. Cherry, black walnut and maple are nice to turn, should be readily available for little money and with a CA finish pretty much anything should last a long time. I tried turning some oak early on and just didn't like it, but if you like oak then I hope you find a finishing method that works well.
    BTW I hope my earlier post didn't come across the wrong way.
  4. @GAW9576 No worries :) It's not bad advise lol. Right now Oak is all I have and I'm having a hard time finding other wood locally and it's hard to find round stock online. Hopefully I'll have something softer this week. I also want to find a good finish for the oak because I've made some non shaving related projects that I'd like to finish.
  5. I just watched several videos about Aqua coat and they were using it to prep for several different types of finish. I don't have any personal experience with it but I would guess it should work fine with CA as long as you sand lightly before the CA, you could test it on some scrap to be sure though.
    Almost all of my turning starts as square stock. What area do you live in. I may be able to send you a few chunks of wood. If you need I could turn them round first.
  6. Thanks for the offer! I'm in Ontario, Canada so I don't what postage would be.
  7. I'll check into it. And PM you if It's not ridiculous.
  8. Clear shellac is probably your best bet aside from staying away from open grain woods and is safe under almost finish. Myland’s sanding sealer is by far the best sealer I’ve used and dries in minutes, but it will still take several coats and even with the high solid content may not fill in the larger pores. You also might want to try flexible CA. It’s a medium viscosity and will flow into the pores better. Thick CA is intended for filling gaps, as such it doesn’t flow into pores like you might expect. Oak is a nice wood, but truthfully it’s not the best for turning.
  9. Start with square stock and you'll have a lot wider selection of material to start with. All my turnings started out square.
  10. I have a stock maker friend that "whiskers" a freshly sanded piece by lightly steaming the surface, then letting it dry. The grain stands up after and feels rough to the touch. He then wet-sands with tung oil /tru-oil/linseed or whatever finish you use, and produces a "mud" comprised of wood dust from sanding mixed with the oil. He leaves this mud on the piece until it is completely dry. (This is where his process differs. I used to wipe off the mud then let it dry). After drying completely (it looks awful) the dried mud is sanded off using your favourite grit to the finish you want. It can be repeated until you can't feel the pores. I've only tried it on walnut. Surprisingly, the grain "pops" by using this method.
    I haven't done any stock work in a while. My friend is a journeyman cabinet maker. He does my stock work, I do his metal work. I'm getting the better end of the deal. :)
  11. Graydog

    Graydog Contributor

    When I use oak for a Brush I know going in that it has open grain
    and I apply 12 to 15 thin coats of CA and sand in between . I like Oak But I prefer Maple and Black Walnut a new Boar.jpg A Oak.jpg3.jpg A Oak2.jpg
  12. Oil-based grain filler is a commercial product. Is that available to you? Seems to me that would work better for something that might get wet than a water-based filler like Aqua Coat.
  13. Thanks for that @Graydog seems like lots of coats will work. I did a glue test piece and it soaked in very uneven. I'll try it again with lots of very small amounts.
  14. I remember my Dad refinishing a oak desk back in the 70s. He collected saw dust from the sanding process & mixed it with white glue to make a paste. He used that mix to fill in any dings and scratches & a shallow knot hole. He smooshed it in & let it dry & sanded and carried on refinishing. Would that work for what you are doing?
  15. AquaCoat is available from Lee Valley but only instore, they don't ship it.

    Aqua Coat Wood Grain Filler - Lee Valley Tools
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  16. That's a really good point. I do however have some non-shaving related wood projects that I was thinking about sealing with CA.

    I was reading about that, it's in the maybe pile of ideas.

    Thanks, thats actually part of the reason I was considering it. I can get to a Lee Valley if need be.
  17. Unfortunately shipping would be more than the wood I could send you is worth.

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