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Dying CA or epoxy

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Hi folks,

    One of my current projects has a walnut burl top, which has the small pinholes in it. Larry mentioned that some builders use black CA or epoxy to fill these holes. Is this off-the-shelf or do you add dye to them? If you add dye, could someone please break it down for me? In other words, what brand/type/grade of CA or epoxy would you use, and what type of dye would you use?

    Once done, I will most likely be finishing with some sort of urethane...thanks!

  2. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    Mix some fine sawdust that you sand from the Walnut with some medium viscosity CA and you'll be in good shape. Epoxy will work well also. The filler should be a perfect match.
  3. I use transtint dyes which are compatible with the system3 epoxy product I use. It works great, can be as opaque or transparent as you want and will not jeopardize epoxy's strength.
  4. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Nice, guys: thanks!
  5. You won't be able to mix walnut dust with CA. Walnut dust and CA will crystalize in a matter of about 2 minutes if you try to mix them together in a vessel for application to the pinhole. What you can do is to put the dust in the hole and then fill the hole with the CA. then push some more dust on top. It will make a hard brown or black lump. Sand it down and it's filled hard and dark. Warning though, the resulting filler will be much darker than the original wood.

    You can mix powders like wood flour with epoxy or fiberglass resin easily and it won't "congeal" like with the CA. You don't even have to use much to get a decent looking filler. If you don't use anything, the color of the bottom of the hole will show through and it can camouflage the hole also.
  6. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    Hambone....Why do you tell me that it can't be done? I've used CA and walnut dust for 10 years. I mix a small amount of dust on a small sheet of glass with medium viscosity CA using a 1/2in chisel. Then I quickly apply the goop to the target area. You do have enough time.
  7. Because when I mix Walnut dust and CA it crystalizes (for lack of a better term), then hardens in about the time I mentioned. Use a little less CA and it hardens quicker. Use a little more and it doesn't have the consistency to fill a hole or ding. And I've been doing it for about the same amount of time you have. I've had much better success doing it the way I've described.

    That's why I said that. :D
  8. I don't mean to take sides or anything, and I haven't been doing this nearly as long as you guys. But I've tried the Tdog way and it didn't work for me for the same reasons hambone described. That's why I'm using the hambone way and it works perfectly for me. When shaping a neck with a spokeshave on figured woods, it can sometimes take a pretty big bite off that will be hard to level while sanding. I fix this by sanding around the 'hole' and letting the dust accumulate in it. Then put a drop or two of CA and sand a bit more. It virtually disappears when the finish is applied. This has worked for me on many different wood species.
  9. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    Make the repair anyway you like.....just don't categorically eliminate one method or say that my method doesn't work(it does)because it doesn't work for you. Remember, you are only filling a bug hole! Hell, even laquer burn-in sticks will do the job.
  10. T-Dog, you are right and I shouldn't have quoted you when I made my response. I often do include quotes because I want to make sure the reader understands what I'm responding to. I'll fix that. I don't take issue with your experiences. Your's are just as valid as mine - as you've stated. The "you" I was referring to in my post was actually the original poster and not yourself. Your advice about not categorically eliminating one method and choosing another is right but only if one has done both and found one or the other to be insufficient. Neither of us can actually prove what we say is true to the questioner so it's really up to him to make the decision anyway.
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Doesnt CA react with moisture to harden?

    Maybe Tdog lives in an area with very low humidity relative to you guys.