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Thread: Grain filling problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Default Grain filling problem

    Iím trying to finish my rosewood tenor with shellac, but first I need to fill the grain. Problem is, I canít remove the sawdust thatís filled the grain after sanding. Itís lighter in color than the rosewood itself and doesnít look good. I plan to use Aqua Coat, but before I apply that, how do I get that sawdust out of the wood grain? Thanks for any suggestions. Iíve never used rosewood before, so this is a new problem for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    What I do: Take a strong shop vac and really suck that stuff out. Carefully so as to not scratch or mar the wood. Then I wipe down with spirits (I use denatured ethanol but many use naphtha if you can get it which I can't because I live in California). This also takes some of that rosewood sap out which can color your filling compound.

  3. #3
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    Cairns, Australia
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    Vacuum or compressed air.

    If you use any type of solvent like alcohol or accetone you have to be extremely careful as Rosewood color will bleed like you will not believe into anything lighter coloured, like purfligs, bindings, spruce. You've been warned.

    I would try your Aqua Coat on a scrap bit with some some of the same saw dust in the pores that you have on the body. It may wet that out and become far darker than when it's dry. This will happen if you use CA as a pore filler, as well as some other fillers.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Rosewood color will bleed like you will not believe into anything lighter coloured, like purfligs, bindings, spruce. You've been warned.
    Yup, yup and yup... I once got some rosewood color on a maple neck. I ended up "staining" the entire neck with rosewood bleed to cover the spot. Actually turned out rather attractive. Making lemonade if you end up with lemons. But DO NOT get any on a spruce top or you will be in deep do do... Another thing I neglected to mention is that using a solvent on wood (even rosewood) may tend to raise the grain if you haven't done a "raise the grain" sanding step. If it does happen, lightly sand again with fine (~320) paper and repeat solvent wash until you get smooth. Usually 2 or 3 times depending on wood.

  5. #5
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    Big Island, Hawaii
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    The sawdust in the pores will likely turn as dark as the surrounding wood once you use any grain filler, sealer or finish.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  6. #6

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    use a brush attachment on your vac

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Grand Junction, Colorado
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    A better solution is to:
    1- Hand sand the back with 220 or 320.
    2- Leave the dust in the pores and,
    3- Flood it all with thin ca glue.

    At this stage, you can either sand the ca flat and pore fill, or sand it back to wood and pore fill.
    Either way, you will need to wipe with naptha to remove all the white ca dust before pore filling and finishing.

    This will do three things-
    1- Deal with (fix) any invisible micro cracks.
    2- Seal the wood.
    3- Partially fill the pores.

    After this you can proceed with whatever pore filler then finish you are using.

    After the back has been ca'ed, do the same with the sides.

    ps- this is a good and safe way to go about all things rosewood if you are selling an instrument professionally- if you are making it for yourself....it might be a bit of overkill.
    Last edited by Beau Hannam Ukuleles; 01-21-2020 at 08:07 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Some great ideas here. Thanks. One question: I’m in California, so naphtha is out. What’s a good alternative?

  9. #9
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    Oct 2019
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    San Diego
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMP View Post
    Some great ideas here. Thanks. One question: I’m in California, so naphtha is out. What’s a good alternative?
    I think we can still get Klean Strip VM&P Naptha from Amazon shipped here. I bought some about 2 months ago and it arrived quickly.
    My ukuleles:
    Locals concert, Fluke concert, Gretsch G9126 guitulele, Kala KA-SSTU soprano, Kala UBass EM-FS
    Build #1 Cheap plywood soprano kit
    Build #2 Stewmac soprano
    Build #3 Stewmac baritone
    Build #4 Stewmac solid koa tenor (in progress)
    Build #5 Stewmac concert (in progress)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMP View Post
    Some great ideas here. Thanks. One question: I’m in California, so naphtha is out. What’s a good alternative?
    Denatured alcohol

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