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Zebra wood concerns - jihhwood - 05-13-2019

I was given a 5" x 28" x 3/4" piece of zebra wood.  It has lovely features, including a large knot with several voids, as well as some unrelated voids. (None of these voids are "through-voids -- you can't see through them.)  I'd like to resaw the piece, then bookmatch and frame it.  I am a little wary about the voids, however.  So I'm thinking of filling them.  Rockler sells an epoxy product that may do the job. I've also learned that dye can be used to tint the epoxy filler.  I would appreciate any suggestions and recommendations and any sources of detailed guidance.  Thanks very much.

RE: Zebra wood concerns - WxMan - 05-13-2019

I've used epoxy with color tinting to fill voids on several projects.  

I used clear epoxy I bought at the big box store.  Just make sure it's clear, not amber.

It can be colored with almost anything, including ground walnut hulls, ground coffee, acrylic paint, dyes, ink, .........

Of all of the stuff, I've used acrylic paints the most.  I mix for the desired color.  You'll need to experiment with this method since it's easy to "overdo".  Too much paint will weaken the epoxy and make it a gooey mess.  Add a little at a time until you get the color mix you want.  

The pic is a turquoise color I mixed up for a rocker build six years ago.  Apologies for picture size; I haven't had that issue before and don't know how to fix.

RE: Zebra wood concerns - justdraftn - 05-13-2019

I like working w/flawed, rough wood.  I fix things w/epoxy.
The knot fell out of this kitty box when I was building it.

The wood it Chinese elm.
I saved the knot. 
After all the cuts were made, I mixed sanding dust w/the epoxy.

It came out pretty nice.

Certainly not worth trashing an amazing piece of wood because of that.
To me, it makes the character of the box.

RE: Zebra wood concerns - BrokenOlMarine - 05-14-2019

You can use CA glues available in various thicknesses from Lee Valley or Lowes/Home Depot with an Accelerator Spray.  The glue can be layered over sawdusts or used coffee grounds to fill voids.  I choose the medium that will best meet the needs of the project.  In an extreme case, I had a piece that I loved the figure but had a hole all the way thru.  I used the thickest CA glue and coffee grounds and used them to mimic a knot.
First I bookmarked the panel, being careful as I cut thru the void, then taped off both voids.
After they were taped off, I added a thin layer of coffee grounds, then coated it with the CA glue and allowed this to dry overnight.
I repeated this process until the void was SLIGHTLY proud... sanding the CA glue is NOT an easy task and care must be taken to get it sanded to 400 to 600 to remove any scratches.  The CA will NOT take a finish.
The finished project, with the door on the end where it hides cleaning rods... the rods are hung on spent cases indicating the caliber they are rigged for.

RE: Zebra wood concerns - BrokenOlMarine - 05-14-2019

The only other advice I would offer is take special care in using any power tools.  Raised  The open grain can be a challenge.
I made a nice pencil case for one of my daughters, and on a last pass on the jointer ...
The blades grabbed the lid, shot it across the shop like a stinger missle, where it exploded into shrapnel against the wall.   Rolleyes
The pencil box was then a key tray for a friend.  Big Grin

RE: Zebra wood concerns - jihhwood - 05-14-2019

Excellent suggestions, clearly stated, well illustrated, and genuinely helpful.  Thankls to each of you!!

RE: Zebra wood concerns - janus frey - 05-14-2019

(05-14-2019, 06:47 PM)jihhwood Wrote: Excellent suggestions, clearly stated, well illustrated, and genuinely helpful.  Thankls to each of you!!

Yes they were. Good advice.

One little additional tip:

If you want a black epoxy fill that doesn't bleed, adding dyes and stains and powders....not so good. It can bleed.

We've been rolling with plain old graphite lube powder added to the epoxy for decades. It can't bleed. It's a relatively inert metal. Yes