View Full Version : Egg whites!

Pete Howlett
06-14-2010, 11:46 AM
I've just subscribed to the ANZLF and there is a great thread there on using egg white and sanding dust as a grain filler. After a disasterous week with epoxy I'm going for it. If it is good enough for ARMcF. then it is good enough for me.

06-14-2010, 12:16 PM
Sounds good. Let us know how it turns out. You can make some good hollandaise with the yokes, but sheesh the colesterol!

Michael N.
06-14-2010, 12:23 PM
I've tried the egg white fill on a few occasions. I didn't like the colour match on Walnut but it was fine on Rosewood. As usual test on off cuts first. As with most fillers you will get shrink back so 2 or 3 'coats' is usually required.

06-14-2010, 11:41 PM
I replied to Peter on this, but thought I'd chime in here as well.

I have done a few instruments with the egg white / sanding dust slurry method and it does work a treat. Depending on the size of the pores needing filling, it will take from one to several applications, but it does go quite fast, especially if you get the hair drier out to help speed things up a bit. Though I think you are best to give each application some time to dry on its own.

It's about as non toxic as your are likely to find for a pore filler, and pretty darn cheap to do as well. What it doesn't do though is to make the grain / figure in some woods really "Pop" like epoxy will do. For instance, on Australian Blackwood (cousin to Koa) it leaves the wood looking smooth, but a bit lifeless, whereas with the epoxy (I use WEST Systems) it gives the wood a depth and vibrancy that I'm looking for.

On Indian Rosewood and mahogany I couldn't see any difference between the egg whites and epoxy, so depending on what you are wanting to do this might just be what you are looking for.

06-15-2010, 01:25 AM
On one of the Martin Factory Tour video's on Utube..You can see a guy with a brush painting some brown filling compound onto necks before spraying..the commentary says he waits till it drys to a matt finnish before buffing...Anyone else seen this?

Michael N.
06-15-2010, 01:41 AM
My chosen filler at the moment is the Tru oil sand. That certainly pops the grain. Tends to fill quicker than using something like Danish oil but still requires two applications.
The egg white is usually whisked until the soft peak stage is reached and then left for a few hours. Scoop off the froth and use the liquid that remains. It's a little less 'stringy' that way but some people use egg white straight from the shell, so to speak.

06-15-2010, 02:27 AM
Mrs Timbuck says.... She uses the Tru-oil method as well..And Men don't have the patience of women and want to look for the easiest way to do things etc; etc; Nag nag:(..and She says "just tell e'm to get on with it and stop moaning"...an I'm not going to argue with her.:agree:

06-15-2010, 03:06 AM
Has anyone else used shellac and pumice? Works a charm for us on most woods, although I must say I don't like it on walnut. Tru oil sounds like a good alternative.

Begging your pardon, Mr and Mrs Timbuck, do you put any sealer on under the Tru oil? And will shellac go on top of the Tru oil?

Michael N.
06-15-2010, 03:54 AM
I'm neither Mr nor Mrs Timbuck but i don't put any sealer under the Tru oil. Shellac will stick to dried Tru oil but it's wise to keep the Tru oil to an extremely thin layer or have it just sitting in the pores.
Shellac and Pumice works, countless thousands of Guitar makers use it. It's just that I'm hopeless at the process.

Ken W
06-15-2010, 04:05 AM
Can you give us a little more information on the Tru oil sand technique? I've used true oil and like it, but are you saying to add sanding dust to it? I'm confused.

Michael N.
06-15-2010, 04:36 AM
No. You put a good few drops on the wood and sand over it, small(ish) sections at a time. Any inlays need to be well sealed first. Don't sand over the inlays, just close to them and push the slurry into the pores.
I'm pretty sure there are some instructions on the Birchwood Casey website - somewhere.

Ken W
06-15-2010, 05:56 AM
Got it - thanks. I'm guessing you're sanding with 400-600 wet/dry? 1000?

Michael N.
06-15-2010, 06:09 AM
Less than that. Try 240 - 320 range. You will probably have to put some Tru oil onto the abrasive as well, the method seems to be thirsty for the oil.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-15-2010, 06:37 AM
Any organic filler will shrink back. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Pete Howlett
06-15-2010, 08:25 AM
At Martin they apply the filler with a brush and wait for it to bloom/flash off then buff with a lambs wool mop in a machine to get the excess off. A bit of saccking would traditionally be used for this last process.

I'm really struggling at the moment - I just cannot decide which method I dislike most. It is the least appealing aspect of the job for me!

11-26-2010, 11:25 AM
Anybody do the true oil sand method for filling lacewood pores? The pores are HUGE so I am a little intimidated by it.