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Thread: Mahogany Grain Filler?

  1. #11
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    May 2011
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    Fast hardener provides plenty of time.

    Apply two coats with a foam brush. No need to sand in between per Mfr. specs up to 72 hrs.
    Sand and apply again if the pores aren't well filled.
    Don't sand too far. You'll know if you've gone too far if pores are opening up.
    Better to leave an epoxy film here and there than to open a lot of pores.
    It's very hard to sand a whole workpiece to perfection, i.e., epoxy only in the pores, all pores fully filled and no epoxy film anywhere.
    Thus, a pretty well sanded surface often looks blotchy.
    To avoid a blotchy appearance, the final coat of epoxy can be a thin wash coat that doesn't build much thickness.
    SilverTip is pretty thin and can be thinned further with a bit of alcohol. As a guess, up to 10%. This helps it act as a thin wash coat.
    Sand lightly.
    One or two wash coats with shellac.
    Proceed with finish.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltytri View Post
    Fast hardener provides plenty of time.

    Apply two coats with a foam brush. No need to sand in between per Mfr. specs up to 72 hrs.
    Sand and apply again if the pores aren't well filled.
    Don't sand too far. You'll know if you've gone too far if pores are opening up.
    Better to leave an epoxy film here and there than to open a lot of pores.
    It's very hard to sand a whole workpiece to perfection, i.e., epoxy only in the pores, all pores fully filled and no epoxy film anywhere.
    Thus, a pretty well sanded surface often looks blotchy.
    To avoid a blotchy appearance, the final coat of epoxy can be a thin wash coat that doesn't build much thickness.
    SilverTip is pretty thin and can be thinned further with a bit of alcohol. As a guess, up to 10%. This helps it act as a thin wash coat.
    Sand lightly.
    One or two wash coats with shellac.
    Proceed with finish.
    Thank you for all your input

  3. #13
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    May 2011
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    So. Oregon
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    My pleasure. The more nice ukes out there the better.

    One thing you might know, but better safe than sorry: Not rubbing alcohol. Denatured works as a thinner but it's not good for you. I keep a jug of Everclear in the shop. It doesn't do any harm if you get some on your hands and it sometimes amuses visitors.

  4. #14

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    Yes I just picked up some Everclear, It definitely adds to my street cred

  5. #15
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    Canberra, Australia
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    Be sure to read your individual product's instructions and specifications. I have used the 2:1 botecote that Allen uses for boat building and it is very forgiving of chucking on second coat without sanding while 5:1 mixes tend to be prone to amine blush which has to be sanded off or nothing will stick to it. Also be aware that Epoxy and PVA do not stick to each other.
    My friends call me Titch. I have been known to clown.
    Ian Titulaer is my normie name.

    https://sites.google.com/site/titchtheclown/

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Grand Junction, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltytri View Post
    My pleasure. The more nice ukes out there the better.

    One thing you might know, but better safe than sorry: Not rubbing alcohol. Denatured works as a thinner but it's not good for you. I keep a jug of Everclear in the shop. It doesn't do any harm if you get some on your hands and it sometimes amuses visitors.
    hahaha- I have everclear AND small 5cc syringes (for injecting glue into tight places) the syringes aren't a good look !!

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltytri View Post

    I've settled on System Three Silver Tip. This excellent vid by the estimable Jay Lichty covers pore filing with Silver Tip.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXr9...are_video_user
    I picked up some Silver Tip. I applied the first two coats (on bare wood) with a squeegee and for some reason, it left an Orange peel look after it dried. Next, I tried a foam brush and it left tones of air bubbles. In Jay Lichty's video, he heats his drying room up to 75 or 80. I thought this was to help in speeding up the drying time. but now I am wondering if the heat helps the epoxy flow out better. Do you let it dry in a warm room?

    Thanks

  8. #18
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    So. Oregon
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    Perhaps what you're seeing is due to the unusually porous nature of mahogany. It's got more air in it than most other woods that are used for instruments and some mahogany is more porous than others. You may be seeing "off-gassing" through the epoxy before it hardens. With your wood, a good tactic might be more and thinner coats.

    It never flows like paint so it's never smooth. Ideally, each coat should be thin because: 1) It isn't cheap, and 2) the goal is to fill the pores and sand off the excess. Even with a squeegee, it is possible to leave too much on if the squeegee is used to push around too thick a coating. I'd try to work toward more and thinner coats. One of the advantages of SilverTip is that it can be recoated in a few hours without extensive sanding. So, put on a first coat squeegeed back to the wood. After a few hours, get the nubs off with sandpaper or, better yet, a card scraper. At this point, you'll probably see that the pores are not filled to surface level but that's OK. At least, the wood will be sealed. Apply another thin coat of epoxy. As Robbie O'Brien often says, "Rinse and repeat."

    I haven't had much of a problem with orange peel or bubbles. I don't heat the workpiece up after application. An unscientific guess would be that abruptly changing the temperature could pull some air out of the wood.

    A foam brush does work with some woods but may not be the best approach for your wood. There's no magic bullet for filling pores. It's all a PITA until you find products and methods that work for you and even then it isn't the best part of building. I've tried a number of materials and methods and now tend to use SilverTip on more porous woods, CA on less porous woods and various methods suited to particular situations.

    Here's another version of the use of SilverTip:

    http://www.acousticguitarconstructio...hp?f=22&t=3062

    I don't have any bodies in the fill stage now but here are two necks that are under way. The first is Spanish cedar, which has pores that are fewer and deeper than most mahogany. On necks, I apply the epoxy with a gloved finger with the goal of keeping it thin but the general approach is the same as with bodies. You should be able to see that the pores aren't yet filled to the level of the wood and will probably take at least a couple more coats to get it smooth. After these two coats, I'll level sand between further coats, probably with 220 to start.



    This one is Honduran mahogany with two coats applied the same way as on the Spanish cedar.

    Last edited by saltytri; 01-07-2019 at 08:13 AM.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-atl View Post
    I picked up some Silver Tip. I applied the first two coats (on bare wood) with a squeegee and for some reason, it left an Orange peel look after it dried. Next, I tried a foam brush and it left tones of air bubbles. In Jay Lichty's video, he heats his drying room up to 75 or 80. I thought this was to help in speeding up the drying time. but now I am wondering if the heat helps the epoxy flow out better. Do you let it dry in a warm room?

    Thanks
    Can't speak to Silver Tip specifically, but most epoxies thin out with higher temperatures. They also cure faster.

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