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Old 09-13-2017, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
Woodster Will's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Dorset, UK
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Default Grain filling Wenge?

I've been given several pieces of this so I've got to make a pen with it sometime. I've seen a few items made with Wenge and the open pores don't look too good so what's the best way of filling them up before a final finish. I don't like using Superglue as a finish but I suppose mixed with Wenge dust is the easiest solution. Any other ideas though?
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When oil based finishes like varnish, polyurethane, Danish oil finishes, and others are applied over the wood, the finish sometimes takes a very long time to dry. All of these type of oil based finishes dry by absorbing oxygen. The natural oils and resins contained in exotic woods will slow down the drying time by retarding the absorption of oxygen into the finish. Sometimes, if you happen to get stuck with a very oil piece of wood, the finish may stay tacky for weeks.

Finishes like nitrocellulose lacquer, pre-cast lacquer, and water base finishes adhere and dry better on oily woods like Wenge. I would still wipe down with acetone.

JMHO, not a big fan of wood dust as a filler but many people swear by using that technique. I would not even consider commercial oil or water base wood filler on something like a pen but maybe liming wax to fill pores and add dramatic affest. Of course have to do a little more sanding after wax dries before using finish.

Other than that would just finish and let pores show.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One method that comes to mind would be to turn it to the diameter you want, cast it into your choice of resin, then turn it back down. Would be perfectly smooth. I've used grain filler in the past for building wenge drums but this might actually be easier in the long run.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My favorite way to fill open grain is to catch sanding dust on 320 grit sandpaper. Add CA to the slowly spinning blank (on top) with the dust collected on the paper underneath. The CA will mix with the dust making a slurry. Cover the blank with the slurry and hit it with a little accelerator. I then use a skew to remover the layer of slurry leaving the open grain filled. You can sand the cured slurry to smooth the blank again. Just the way I do it. Not everyone likes to fill with dust.
Do a good turn daily!
Don Ward aka its_virgil
Wichita Falls, Texas (pen stuff I've written)
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thin CA, Medium CA, skew, more CA, sand, repeat CA/sand until pores are filled, micromesh or buff.

I like when the pores are filled with CA, I think it gives depth to the appearance. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dehn0045 View Post
Thin CA, Medium CA, skew, more CA, sand, repeat CA/sand until pores are filled, micromesh or buff.

I like when the pores are filled with CA, I think it gives depth to the appearance. Just my 2 cents.

Ditto on this method.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wet sand using 180 paper and thin CA. With the blank spinning at a low speed bring the paper up to the work and drizzle CA at the junction where they meet. When you get a slurry move the paper back and forth to fill the pours. You may have to add more CA but go slowly. Wipe with a paper towel before the mix hardens to force the slurry into the pours. I just resand back to finished diameter. Wear at least one rubber glove.
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