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Wood grain filler not what I thought.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Quatzu, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Quatzu


    Jul 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    We'll I've made quite a mess. I'm using Old Masters Wood Grain Filler on a freshly-sanded jazz body I've stripped of poly, and I think I misunderstood the part about "wiping off the excess." I slathered it on and wiped off big drips and thick parts, but figured the rest would dry hard and easily sandable. I left the body rather coated in the stuff, figuring it would also function as a chip and ding and scrape filler. After five days of drying, I started sanding tonight.

    What I have is a gunked-up sander doing nothing but spreading around rolled-up silly putty.

    I think I was supposed to REALLY wipe off the excess when it was wet to point of not leaving much of a visible layer. My questions are this: is it ever really going to dry to a hard sandable substance? Should I wait it out and sand or shoul I scrape it off? It's just all still peanut buttery after five days of "drying." Does it ever dry hard? Thanks in advance.
  2. Ragoo


    Oct 14, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    You were supposed to wait until it dried to a matte color (it takes about 15-30 minutes), then used a coarse rag or something to remove everything that wasn't actually inside the grain. I'd try using a razorblade to CAREFULLY scrape the excess off. I'm finishing a Jazz bass body as well and the oil-based filler I used was somewhat difficult to get off even after just an hour of drying. I can only imagine what 5 days would do.
  3. Quatzu


    Jul 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Ugh. I knew it. I guess "excess" means different things to different people. Guess I need to start scraping. Thank you for your response.
  4. Ragoo


    Oct 14, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    No problem. Good luck!
  5. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    a tough one - there are many factors involved and at this point it would probably be good just to remove as much of what you applied as you can w/o removing body wood. Whatever's left should harden but there shouldn't be much left after scraping it off. Depending on the specific product, the humidity, the coldness in the air, etc will all have affect on filler. But yes, it shouldn't have been 'caked' on.
    I'm to the point of skipping grain filler and instead doing multiple coats of (thinner based) sanding sealer. You can get quick drying versions (2-4 hrs) and do at least few coats w/sanding between a day. It will level out eventually with the sealer filling the grain. Use a wood block w/your sandpaper to keep the top/back flat. The sides are harder w/tighter grain and should require less filling. This method is also good if you want to do a translucent finish on top as the sealer is clear. Good luck.
  6. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    You might try using a card scraper to remove the excess. You should be able to scrape right down to bare wood and sand the rest. Hope you get it sorted out.
  7. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke

    Jul 27, 2013
    I use bondo applicators. Flexible, with a sharp edge. Plastic, and CHEAP!
  8. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2002
    wichita, ks
    You could also try a rag with naptha solvent--you might take some out of the pores, too, but it should be easier/safer for the wood than scraping
  9. Quatzu


    Jul 15, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Thanks everyone. I ended up scraping off all the excess, waiting a few more days, and sanding off the rest. It turned out great. Now I know.