What type filler?

Sid Barras

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Greetings gentlemen,
I’m finished with first layer of Hull planking of Artesania Latina’s “Harvey” 1847 clipper. Successfully, I’d say. A few spots needed a bit of filler to make it “very” smooth (I may be a bit anal here- first build) I used some standard ‘DAP plastic wood’ filler and am not pleased with the stuff. Seems too thick? Not sticky enough? Too clumpy, not easily spread... Anyway, got it on, and smoothed with lots of sanding. Don’t want to use this product again. Looking for recommendations. I’ve done sheet rock work before, and thinking gypsum joint compound might be the right consistency? Anyways, advice appreciated
 

Jimsky

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Hi Sid. There is a really nice product for wood made by Elmer - it is wood filler putty. It comes in different packages (small. tubes, large) and different colors. It is drys very fast, sands smooth and stain friendly

105017
 

Winston

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You might consider an Australian wood filler named Timbermate. A few features I also liked about it:

1. activated by water or if you are mixing in colors a water based stain.
2. Dries really hard.
3. Sands easily, Also...

If you are a thrifty type of person like me, after a rough sanding (just before you hit wood) scrape up the dust and put it back in the container as its reusable.

I believe it comes in different wood colors, but I have only used the clear type and mixed in stain so it blended in well with the guitar I was making.
 

Terry Christian

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Way back and I do mean way back circa 1966 we used to use an epoxy filler called Epibond. It was a beige colour and could be sanded and filled easily. It is still made, but it is now horrendously expensive - $150/us quart. So, moving on, I now use a 3M product which is used for auto-body spot repair. It is a solvent based product, but it drys quickly in thin coats and sands easily to a feather edge. Depending upon the hardness of the substrate it blends very well and is fairly compatible with poplar and pine. It can be built up in layers to fill a "divit" and it paints well. It is available from several places. I have attached a link to the place from which I purchase the filler: https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/3m-super-red-putty-05099-p-16689.aspx
 

paulv1958

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1 up vote for Timbermate. Using a modelers putty knife its easy to fill the gaps. The range of colors bend in really well. Also Cabots. come in really small containers.

I use elmers for large fills prior to 2nd planking as the colour does not matter at that point.
 

Terry Christian

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While I think spackling compund is okay. I have found that it does not bond well enough where the material feathers such that it will flake off and leave a small, but well defined line or reveal where the compound ends and the base material begins. The 3M material bonds well, is not expesive, and does not present a.reveal along the edges. The epoxy is better, bur as I noted, beyond expensive.
 

Moxis

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I have been using many types of fillers during my modeling years. They all have had the same problem: After cured they are too hard and very difficult to sand so that you do not sand the wood around the filled spot too much.
After many trials and errors I have found that the best filler for me is epoxy resin mixed with microballs. The latter is like dust, made of glass, very cheap and can be bought from shops selling glassfibre materials.
The consistency of epoxy/microball mix can be worked as you like, from a yoghurt type almost running stuff into more like solid filler. When cured, the stuff is very easy to sand, like balsa wood so that it is softer than the wood around it and you do not sand the wood too much.
If you add methanol when mixing the stuff, it will cure even more soft, like a foam. Then it is easy to use also even with balsa wood or other soft materials.
 

Terry Christian

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Moxie, this is something new to me, but I do like the epoxy and easy sanding part. Also, have not heard of adding methyl alcohol to retard the epoxy reation. I have used dilute acetic acid to completly stop the reaction. At any rate, I salute your inventiveness and intend to try your method at the first opportunity.
 

Moxis

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Thanks Terry for your comment. I am glad if I can help you and others to find new methods for our hobby.
In fact adding methyl alcohol to the mix does not retard the curing process ( maybe a little), but it makes the cured filler more porous and easier to sand. Aeroplane modellers are using this method to fill dents in balsa wood.
 
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