PLEASE HELP: Problem with wood filler & finish
#7
  
Howdy. I am new to fine woodworking and new to this forum. I'm hopeful someone here can help. I think I may have ruined a very big, expensive project. 

I built a tabletop to use as an office desk. I built it in butcher block style, with staggered strips of wood. I used three woods for variety in color. I used mahogany, walnut, and poplar. The three woods are intermixed throughout the 27" x 84" tabletop. 

My equipment and skills are still works in progress, so my cuts and quality left a few cracks and gaps. I watched an online video that suggested Earl's Timbermate Wood Filler. I used as directed. I now have a prefectly flat tabletop with no gaps or holes or cracks. I also have a tabletop with white bits of wood filler in those gaps, cracks, and holes. 

My intent was to finish the project with clear (untinted) Rubio Monocoat. I don't want to apply a stain because I want the red, dark grey, and white of the woods to show through in their natural colors. I applied some polyurethane to a test piece to see the results - before I put the very expensive Rubio on there. It looks terrible. The white filler is all I see. I used some light-colored stain on a test piece and I can't see the wood filler, but I also lose a lot of the natural color of the wood. 

Any suggestions on how to achieve the result I'm looking for? Thanks in advance for any suggestions. 


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#8
  Re: PLEASE HELP: Problem with wood filler & finish by sadams905 ([color=#333333][size...)
Ok, just being upfront that I'm not a finishing expert, but here might be one thing you could try and see if it works (definitely on a sample board).

Take a sample board, gouge it, and fill with the wood filler.  Then you need to stain the filler.  Try a sharpie.  There are also fancy furniture touchup pens that come in various shades of brown, but from what I recall those are also alcohol based like a sharpie.  I'd probably suggest using a lighter colored piece of wood and a black sharpie for the first sample board.  Once the sharpie is dry try putting on some of the topcoat (I don't have any experience with Rubio Monocoat).  If in the process of rubbing/brushing on the topcoat the sharpie smears everywhere then don't use this technique to dye the wood filler
Rolleyes  However, if that doesn't happen you may be good to go.  If that appear to be the case I'd probably run the test again with a marker closer to what you are looking for (even best if you have a cutoff piece that you can use for the sample board, so you can see how well the color matches).  With that tabletop you might need a few different pens for the different woods. 

Someone who knows more than me might have a better idea.

Mark

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#9
  Re: RE: PLEASE HELP: Problem with wood filler & finish by msweig (Ok, just being upfro...)
(11-10-2021, 05:20 PM)msweig Wrote: Ok, just being upfront that I'm not a finishing expert, but here might be one thing you could try and see if it works (definitely on a sample board).

Take a sample board, gouge it, and fill with the wood filler.  Then you need to stain the filler.  Try a sharpie.  There are also fancy furniture touchup pens that come in various shades of brown, but from what I recall those are also alcohol based like a sharpie.  I'd probably suggest using a lighter colored piece of wood and a black sharpie for the first sample board.  Once the sharpie is dry try putting on some of the topcoat (I don't have any experience with Rubio Monocoat).  If in the process of rubbing/brushing on the topcoat the sharpie smears everywhere then don't use this technique to dye the wood filler
Rolleyes  However, if that doesn't happen you may be good to go.  If that appear to be the case I'd probably run the test again with a marker closer to what you are looking for (even best if you have a cutoff piece that you can use for the sample board, so you can see how well the color matches).  With that tabletop you might need a few different pens for the different woods. 

Someone who knows more than me might have a better idea.

Mark

Thanks Mark. I appreciate the suggestion. I was considering some sort of touchup pen. So many different boards and colors may make it difficult. But I guess better than starting over again. Thanks again for the feedback.
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#10
  Re: RE: PLEASE HELP: Problem with wood filler & finish by sadams905 ([quote="msweig" pid=...)
TimberMate is resoluble in water, so you may be able to remove it by wiping, scrubbing, brushing the wood with warm water.  Try it on a test piece.  If you can't remove it then the only way to get rid of it is to plane, scrap, or sand it down until it's gone.  Good luck. 

John
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#11
  Re: PLEASE HELP: Problem with wood filler & finish by sadams905 ([color=#333333][size...)
I’d cut 7 degree wedges and glue them in the large straight gaps. Id try to get by without doing the small ones.


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#12
  Re: PLEASE HELP: Problem with wood filler & finish by sadams905 ([color=#333333][size...)
If the gaps are substantial, then perhaps a poured epoxy finish would be appropriate. 

Parks sells grain filler designed for floors.  It is available in different tints.  It dries quickly and sands easily.  It is available in the big box stores in the floor finishing area.  Water based, so no objectionable odors or fumes.

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