Grain filling question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by archey, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. archey

    archey Senior Member

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    Probably a dumb question, but here I go. After filling the grain and wiping the excess off do I have to sand it? The filler has colored the mahogany a nice shade that I'd like to keep.
     
  2. Draxond

    Draxond Member

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    You should sand at least a little, purely to get a nice level surface for your finish. You don’t need to take it all off, but you’ll definitely want to smooth it out.
     
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  3. AlexGT

    AlexGT Member

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    If you have used an oil based filler with aniline dye you schould not sand it.
     
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  4. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Hey Kenny, on my builds I sanded up to 220 before I grain filled. I applied my home-made filler and wiped off the excess with a squeegee and some cheese cloth. I went back and re-wiped/buffed lightly a couple of times over the next 20 minutes or so, to be sure that all the surfaces were nice and smooth. After that, I just hung them for a couple days to be sure everything was completely dry before I shot a light seal coat. It worked really well.

    Gary
     
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  5. archey

    archey Senior Member

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    Thanks guys! The tricky part will be sanding the sharper edges and not making the color uneven looking.
     
  6. archey

    archey Senior Member

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  7. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Member

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    Very creative and nice work!
    Thanx 4 Sharin'
    Gene
     
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  8. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Looks like the guy on the cover of "In the court of the crimson king" :)

    Nice job :)
     
  9. Draxond

    Draxond Member

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    As I mentioned, light sanding is the trick. Avoid any form of heavy pressure. A trick I’ve read before (probably here somewhere) is to use a coarse, rough fabric instead of sand paper. Burlap would be ideal. This will level the surface of wipe marks and bumps, but won’t take much filler off the level portions. Should help with those corners.

    And that carving is awesome. Better than I ever could’ve attempted.
     
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  10. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    I'm with Sling Blader. I do the sanding before the filling. I do use oil based filler, which stains, and I absolutely do not stain afterwards. As Sling Blader described, it works really well to wipe. There's no sanding-through, and you get a nice even color and surface. Then you seal and finish, and sand as appropriate to that part of the process. And, OP, it's not a "dumb question." Grain filling is an area where we have many, many different products and techniques being used. People are rarely super-confident or feel like they've mastered it. I sure haven't. I've just found the method that feel best and works best for me. I've read about other, very different approaches that some use beautifully.
     
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  11. archey

    archey Senior Member

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    Got a pretty even looking color, except it chipped a bit off because I left the covers in and it dried. When I took them out a bit of the filler flaked off. Shouldn't be a big deal to put a touch more on that spot I don't think. Now I just need to stain the top and shoot some lacquer on it.

    https://imgur.com/EpqU6kZ
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 6:58 PM
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