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Other topics for members => General Woodworking => Topic started by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 01:29:56 PM

Title: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 01:29:56 PM

 I'm working on an end grain (Cookie) table top, and I have minute checks in the wood. I have put on several coats of sanding sealer, lacquer base, but, even though I thin it pretty well, I can't get the checks to seal up, and allow a smooth finish. I even put on a thicker coat and rubbed it in with a dampened rag. STILL get the checks to show and I can feel them as I run my finger tips over the wood ???

  Any advice on how to close them up or get them to fill, so I can put on the finish coat ???

  I have sanded off 7-8 coats of sealer, and, it's getting old.  ::) ::) ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Radar67 on May 21, 2009, 01:37:44 PM
Mix some of that sanding dust with watered down white glue and fill the checks (like a wood filler), or mix in graphite to give it a black tint. Then finish as normal when the surface is smooth.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: metalspinner on May 21, 2009, 02:09:45 PM
Mixing some fine sawdust with a bit of lacquer will make a good paste filler the right color.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 02:33:22 PM
 Did that for some of the checks you could actually force a fingernail into. These are FINE checks. I just sanded off another 1/32 or so, and some of the checks are no longer showing in the bare wood.

  This hard wood is tough on me and the sander AND the belts  ::) ::) ;D

  Wish some of guys that I have given wood to, could try working with it, and post results.  ::) ::) ::) ::) ??? ??? ??? ???

  Need more input. Thanks, guys.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: LeeB on May 21, 2009, 06:46:50 PM
Try epoxy.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 07:28:44 PM

 Problem I seem to have is, the checks are so fine, I can't force anything into them, to "glue" them up, so to speak.

  There were 2 heart hole-checks, and I mixed up clear epoxy and sawdust and mashed it into the holes-checks, and used a plastic squeegee to smooth it over, and smear some into some of the fine checks. Sanded it off smooth and applied the sealer, and the checks still "Curl" ??? just enough, so you can feel them. Sanding doesn't get them smooth enough to hide them ???

  I know end grain is the pits, but, there MUST be a way to do this ???  ??? ???
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: LeeB on May 21, 2009, 07:42:20 PM
coaty the whole thiong with a couple layers of epoxy. Lots of sanding, but will level it off. Or you could use something like the table top self leveling epoxy.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Sparty on May 21, 2009, 07:48:37 PM
I hate to be "Debbie Downer" but... I think that you will find that once you have the crack, it may not be possible to fill.  It may be OK for a while, but it will open back up with seasonal moisture changes.  Those little cracks will open and close each season and there's not many (or any) finish that is flexible enough to keep up with that.  The thick epoxy deal may work by limiting the moisture changes....but a thinner finnish usually looks nicer.

Trust me, you are the only one who will notice those little cracks...the project probably looks great, cracks and all.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 07:51:44 PM
  
Quote
table top self leveling epoxy

  This I would like to do. Don't have it down here, that I know of  ??? ???

  I left the natural edge and it has the rough texture of where the bark was grown to the wood. Looks real slick.

  That's why I'm trying so hard to get it right.

  Photos don't show what I'm describing. It's really fine stuff, but, deep enough I may have to sand another 32nd off.  

  I really had it level and no dips from belt sanding.  ::) ::) ::) :(
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: LeeB on May 21, 2009, 07:55:13 PM
How small are the cracks? A good wax job might well hide them if they are real small.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 08:04:18 PM

 Can't jam a fingernail in them, and, about ' long. Probably over 200 of  'em  ::) ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: LeeB on May 21, 2009, 08:27:58 PM
I still say epoxy. Put a couple coats and sand till smooth, not till the epoxy is all gone. Or, just live with it. It will look natural just like the live edges.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 08:48:19 PM

 Don't have epoxy like you are thinking of. I used the 2 part that comes in tubes ???

  Tomorrow, I will wear out 1 more new belt and see if I get rid of most of them  ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: metalspinner on May 21, 2009, 10:05:55 PM
Harold,
In the shops down there that sell the wood items are several pieces that are coated with what appears to be a plastic resin.  It is perfectly clear but was put on quite thick, maybe an 1/8". 
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 10:08:26 PM

 Have to go into the BIG town, next week. I will look into it. Thanks Chris. 8)
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: metalspinner on May 21, 2009, 10:19:46 PM
If your passing through Sarchi heading towards The Big Town, the shop on the right on the river before the bridge at the curve in the raod is where I picked up this tray. ;D
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 21, 2009, 10:42:39 PM

 I will give those directions to the Bus Driver  8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) :D :D :D :D
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Ironwood on May 21, 2009, 11:34:54 PM
Defintely expoxy, use a small propane torch (w/ flexible hose so it doesnt flair up randomly) to help allow the flow into the fine cracks, just dont get it TOO warm or it will activate the epoxy hardener prematurely. You will need to "baby sit" the thing the WHOLE time while it is setting up. Dont sand off between coats as it helps get it to flow into the cracks left from earlier applications. You will see what I mean, as there will be a berm or dam where the previous coat didn't want to enter the crack, as that berm builds along the crack edge it will force it into the crack in subsequent applications. The lack of "interest" of perking inot the cracks has as much to do with trapped air, as it does a surface tension issue. MAKE sure you coat top and bottom equally in the FINAL finish, as the moisture exclusivity needs to be balanced from top to bottom to prevent the "cookie" from moving in an unbalance fashion if humidity changes or it has to acclimatize to it's final location. I have baby sat many cookies over the years.

            Ironwood
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 22, 2009, 09:23:35 AM
 I guess I have to try to find Epoxy  ::) ::)

  First thing I did, after getting both sides reasonably flat, was, apply 2 coats of Sanding Sealer to the bottom side. Today, I will take a moisture reading. Down here, 16% is common moisture content in these houses. Gringo's need A/C, not Ticos.

  When I used the very thin sealer, I found that the Lacquer Thinner would soak into the wood and expand the edges of the checks. That's why I scrubbed the sealer with a dampened rag, to try to force the sealer into the checks.  Finishing has never been my thing  ::) ::)

  Problem is, the person that helps us sell our stuff, knows everybody in the higher up levels of business, and, they are the ones that are looking at our stuff, and putting in orders. Don't know if they have A/C in their homes or not, or even if they place the items in the offices.

  Makes it tough to build for  ::) ::)   Thanks, Ironwood
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Ironwood on May 22, 2009, 09:32:26 AM
That A/C no AC is a tough one. This makes the equal coating top and bottom EVEN more important as the piece WILL need to reach equalibrium AFTER they  are in their final resting spot.

 I have had some NYC folks who own a hotel in CR bring finished wood products back the Hudson River area and had a TON of issus w/ moisture problems. They got used to VERY inexpensive products and then wanted me to fix the issues, this even extended to slab counter tops.  Sorry, call up your CR wood dude. No offense FLH, it's just their local wood folks in CR aren't as concerned once the product leaves their wood shop. Nice to see that you are.

                     Ironwood
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 22, 2009, 10:40:23 AM

 I'm fixin to experiment with drying some pieces, and then see how badly they check.

  Need to find a supply of alcohol and see how that goes, also.

  Hope small pieces will give accurate results compared to large ones, but, I'm doubtful.
 Large = larger problems  ::) ::)
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 22, 2009, 04:16:14 PM

 According to my Moisture Meter, the table top is at 26%.  ::) ::) ::) It rains a little every day, now. The shop is NOT moisture proof ::)

  Place I sanded down through the checks, yesterday, are not showing any sign of checking. The other areas, where I didn't go through the checks, but, DID remove all the sealer, I can feel the checks on my finger as I run them across the wood.

  Need to find a BIG plastic bag with no holes, for an experiment  ::) ::)
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: CHARLIE on May 23, 2009, 12:09:13 AM
I've had some small cracks in a rough turned bowl once and tried something I read about. I diluted wood glue in water and then threw the bowl into the bucket. The water made it swell shut and the glue it soaked up kept it from cracking again when I slowly dried it out.

Just a thought.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: getoverit on May 26, 2009, 06:43:03 PM
Harold,
I use a specialty epoxy that can be found at most boating stores to gap fill the instruments I build. It is called West System III epoxy and works wonders for what you are trying to do. There is another product called Z-Poxy finishing resin that works equally well, but has a yellow tint to it.

Any good 30 minute epoxy should do the trick if you can find it though. If you have trouble finding what you need, send me an IM and I'll send you some.

Another good tip that I can offer is that most epoxies will thin really well using denatured alcohol. This will allow them to flow into the cracks easier.
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Ironwood on May 26, 2009, 07:03:43 PM
I use West System also, Great tech support as well. It is at the upper end of the continum in hardness/ brittleness. FYI

 Ironwood
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on May 26, 2009, 07:31:07 PM

 Thanks guys. I'm plenty familiar with West System.  Ken, shipping would kill us.  ::) ::) >:(

  I been sawing for a couple 3 days, and too taard to mess with it when I get home.  ::) ::)
Title: Re: End Grain
Post by: fstedy on May 27, 2009, 12:44:10 AM
Someone posted a acetone and plexiglass formulia a while back for hardening spalted wood for turning pens. Might be worth a try from what I remember they put acetone in a glass jar with a lid then added plexiglass shavings then let them sit until the plastic disolved. You could make the mix so it would have the proper  viscosity to flow into the cracks.