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I have the attached piece of very dry cedar that I want to use for an inside table. I am sanding it down and removing the bark. However, I need to know what to fill the large holes with? I do not want to hide the character of those holes. I have been told there is some form of clear epoxy I can fill them with. Then I will use use poly to cover the entire top. 

Has anyone used any type of clear filler for these types of holes?

Thank you in advance.

Roger

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Pourable ultra clear commercial grade table top epoxy

Envirotex, a 50/50 bar top resin

Impressive results

Ken's recommendation is great and definitely works. High-quality epoxies are the best. I also really like the products from West System. I've also had luck for smaller knots using conventional epoxy like you'd buy at a home center--though it doesn't work as well and is expensive in large quantities.

I've also used epoxy and mixed in powdered dye to tint it. I've built with Mesquite, which has lots of knots that are usually black or close to black in color. Just stir the epoxy, put in a bit of powder (black analine dye stain powder), and stir again. You can add more powder if desired.
 

A couple of thoughts with this method:

Don't use fast-set epoxy. It thickens too quickly.

Epoxy can be hard to stir without getting some bubbles. Therefore, when you sand, you may end up with some "pinholes." You can spot fill those with more epoxy as needed.

KregRep

Thanks to both of you for the information. it looks like I can purchase this locally. A number of the fill areas are about 2" deep. Any problem filling these and letting them  dry before putting the top coat on the entire product?

Thanks in advance

Roger

Deep recesses/voids:

Use a colored "dye marker" pen to match the wood color in the recess.

You don't want to see a light or bright color spot or area down deep into the recess.

Sometimes I'll use a very fine tip flame torch and burn the wood to make it a dark color.

Apply a layer of filler down into the deep crevices, 

allow the material to set, then followed by a top layer.

If the void goes all the way thru the slab, tape the back size so the material doesn't pass all the way thru.

Some deep voids can be filled/packed with alum foil---spray paint the foil black---allow to dry before applying the filler.

If you pour it in, all at once, to fill the deep voids, it'll take a long time to cure.

The top layer of filler should be slightly above the surrounding surface---

allow to cure.

I prefer to use a card scraper to make the filler smooth and flush with the surrounding area.

NOTE

If using a ROS, use a very LOW speed setting.

A high speed setting will cause the filler material to soften---

the fill the sandpaper, it'll make beads and smear marks and make a MESS.

BTW---apply a wide path of 2" wide masking tape, around the knot hole and voids, so the filler material doesn't run out all over the surrounding areas that don't need filler.

This will permit easier and faster cleanup.

TIP

clean out all the crevices with compressed air before finishing and using the filler material.

TOP COAT

Allow the filler material to completely dry, before appling your final finish.

I like using Minwax Helmsman Spar Urathane.

"Clear Satin" for a non-glossy look.

If you desire a shine, it's available in a "Clear Gloss".

Apply the first coat thinned 50/50 with mineral spirits.

The tinned mixture permits deep penetration into the wood.

Then follow-up with 3 top coats.

Spraying on the finish is best and will come out flawless and beautiful.

Use a HVLP sprayer.

If you chose to brush on the finish, use a "white/natural bristle brush" that features split feathered tipped ends.

DO NOT use the poly brushes or brushes marked for ALL PAINTS.

Thinning the material, 80/20 mix---finish/mineral spirits, will minimize the brush marks.

Lightly sand with 320 grit between coats, and clean up all sanding dust, with a tack cloth.

BTW---I'd suggest doing some practice pieces, before proceeding to your finished product.

Practice your brushing strokes, until you got it down, and with no overlaying brush marks showing.

Use a light to view the finish at all angles, to see if you have any flaws.

If any exist, allow the finish to dry---8  hours---sand smooth---clean---and apply subsequent coats. 

PS--I love working with Cedar and Alligator Juniper.

Some beautiful rustic tables and such, can be handcrafted, from these materials.

 

Hi Roger,  working with voids and defects in wood is one to the fun things to do in woodworking.  For better that 25 years working wood as a profession, I have been taking wood that is usually thrown into the firewood bin and making very interesting and actually excellent projects out of it in the way of cabinets and furniture. I have found that it is one of the most desirable traits in wood that seem to bring the best market and highest sales in my area. 

The product that is use is epoxy resin and even the kind you buy at the Home Depot and Lowes as well as similar stores.  I use that at the base and use resin dyes that is used in commercial building of fiberglass, diving boards, and other fiberglass products.  The colors come in a varied assortment of colors however the one I use the most is black.  Black is the best for what I do as I work a lot with hickory and knotty pine as well as cherry.  The black gives the best color and seems to fill the voids best of all as in a knot the colors are dark from browns to blacks and the surrounding area seems to transfer the colors into the actual void that your are working with thus giving you a stunning accent.  The funny thing about filling a hole is that when a void is filled it is usually dark regardless of the color you add until you have it above the level of the surrounding wood and it will then in certain lights see colors other that dark.  This is the reason that I will use more of this than you will any other color. 

In the past I have written some articles about using epoxy resin for both filling voids and doing inlay work and there are some photos of such on my photos and project pages.  One article can be found by using the "search"  located in the upper right hand corner of the pages,  Type in :  "epoxy resin in voids"   You will find it but it is under a heading "230 volt electrical help for some reason" and in a discussion between Justin Waldron and my self.  This was in Feb 18, 2011 and another article June 20 2015 under "Wood glue is some better than others"  and in a discussion started by Jack Haskins Jr..  It shows a project with a inlay I did using some black epoxy resin.  The discussion is long and in that discussion I describe how I use Mylar tape and resin colored by dye to fill a void and also pour into a cut out design for an inlay.

Above are some photos that I have used epoxy resin in filling voids that were a large knot and one in a bar front panel where I found a large knot with a hickory nut in-cased in the wood.  This way you can see for your self how it looks and works.  The one showing the close up of the hickory nut was left shy of filling with the intend of showing off the edge of the nut.  The nut had been cut into with a saw blade and thickness planer when I prepared the wood that had been rough cut lumber.  You should over fill the voids over the top and then sand it down using sandpaper and then apply a top coat and it will turn to a highly shinned surface,  In the examples that I have include the wood is hickory and it is clear coated with out stain.  I should also add that this type of epoxy is not the same as the jell coat used to finish bar tops and as a media to cover and in-case photos and other items between the coat and the wood surface.  This is the actual resin used in bonding resin mats in fiberglass work.  It works better that the jell coats and is much cheaper and to make it clear I have used both and will not use the jell coat stuff for doing what I have pictured.  It tends to shrink as it cures and does not always remain intack.  It can chip and crack where the surface will become thin such as the edge of a knot when you sand it out.  I have even tapped  threads into the resin the product without  a problem.

In the table the black stripes are black colored epoxy resin as is the tear drops shapes in the table top. They are cut 1/4 inch deep using a die grinder and burr.   You can actually make artificial defects and knots in wood by using your artist ability by carving grain patterns in the epoxy and then covering with your top coat. 

Questions ????? feel free to contact me.

Jay very good write up and well explained , also very good pics.  well done as all way,s , JIM !!

Jay Boutwell said:

Hi Roger,  working with voids and defects in wood is one to the fun things to do in woodworking.  For better that 25 years working wood as a profession, I have been taking wood that is usually thrown into the firewood bin and making very interesting and actually excellent projects out of it in the way of cabinets and furniture. I have found that it is one of the most desirable traits in wood that seem to bring the best market and highest sales in my area. 

The product that is use is epoxy resin and even the kind you buy at the Home Depot and Lowes as well as similar stores.  I use that at the base and use resin dyes that is used in commercial building of fiberglass, diving boards, and other fiberglass products.  The colors come in a varied assortment of colors however the one I use the most is black.  Black is the best for what I do as I work a lot with hickory and knotty pine as well as cherry.  The black gives the best color and seems to fill the voids best of all as in a knot the colors are dark from browns to blacks and the surrounding area seems to transfer the colors into the actual void that your are working with thus giving you a stunning accent.  The funny thing about filling a hole is that when a void is filled it is usually dark regardless of the color you add until you have it above the level of the surrounding wood and it will then in certain lights see colors other that dark.  This is the reason that I will use more of this than you will any other color. 

In the past I have written some articles about using epoxy resin for both filling voids and doing inlay work and there are some photos of such on my photos and project pages.  One article can be found by using the "search"  located in the upper right hand corner of the pages,  Type in :  "epoxy resin in voids"   You will find it but it is under a heading "230 volt electrical help for some reason" and in a discussion between Justin Waldron and my self.  This was in Feb 18, 2011 and another article June 20 2015 under "Wood glue is some better than others"  and in a discussion started by Jack Haskins Jr..  It shows a project with a inlay I did using some black epoxy resin.  The discussion is long and in that discussion I describe how I use Mylar tape and resin colored by dye to fill a void and also pour into a cut out design for an inlay.

Above are some photos that I have used epoxy resin in filling voids that were a large knot and one in a bar front panel where I found a large knot with a hickory nut in-cased in the wood.  This way you can see for your self how it looks and works.  The one showing the close up of the hickory nut was left shy of filling with the intend of showing off the edge of the nut.  The nut had been cut into with a saw blade and thickness planer when I prepared the wood that had been rough cut lumber.  You should over fill the voids over the top and then sand it down using sandpaper and then apply a top coat and it will turn to a highly shinned surface,  In the examples that I have include the wood is hickory and it is clear coated with out stain.  I should also add that this type of epoxy is not the same as the jell coat used to finish bar tops and as a media to cover and in-case photos and other items between the coat and the wood surface.  This is the actual resin used in bonding resin mats in fiberglass work.  It works better that the jell coats and is much cheaper and to make it clear I have used both and will not use the jell coat stuff for doing what I have pictured.  It tends to shrink as it cures and does not always remain intack.  It can chip and crack where the surface will become thin such as the edge of a knot when you sand it out.  I have even tapped  threads into the resin the product without  a problem.

In the table the black stripes are black colored epoxy resin as is the tear drops shapes in the table top. They are cut 1/4 inch deep using a die grinder and burr.   You can actually make artificial defects and knots in wood by using your artist ability by carving grain patterns in the epoxy and then covering with your top coat. 

Questions ????? feel free to contact me.

Hi Jim,  Thank you for noticing my post.  It is amazing how the ones whom appreciate something that was written with the intent to help someone goes unnoticed.  Yet to my surprise it is by someone of whom just appreciates a persons work and time taken to write a post.  Jim I have noted the fact that you are one of whom does appreciate and also experienced enought to know how much time it takes to respond to an article that is written of which is done so asking for information. 

 

When a person offers help to someone whom asked for help and it is left as though it was not even read makes a person think what the heck am I spending my time offering the help in the first place.  In this case I have experienced first hand and offered the proof in photos an example of what the question was requesting and yet the ones whom received an answer were the ones who only wrote words.  I do not even know if it was read and that makes me want to say the heck with even bothering anymore.  That is one of the reasons that you seldom see me on here anymore.  Thanks again Jim as at least I know someone read my post.

james wilhelm said:

Jay very good write up and well explained , also very good pics.  well done as all way,s , JIM !!

Jay Boutwell said:

Hi Roger,  working with voids and defects in wood is one to the fun things to do in woodworking.  For better that 25 years working wood as a profession, I have been taking wood that is usually thrown into the firewood bin and making very interesting and actually excellent projects out of it in the way of cabinets and furniture. I have found that it is one of the most desirable traits in wood that seem to bring the best market and highest sales in my area. 

The product that is use is epoxy resin and even the kind you buy at the Home Depot and Lowes as well as similar stores.  I use that at the base and use resin dyes that is used in commercial building of fiberglass, diving boards, and other fiberglass products.  The colors come in a varied assortment of colors however the one I use the most is black.  Black is the best for what I do as I work a lot with hickory and knotty pine as well as cherry.  The black gives the best color and seems to fill the voids best of all as in a knot the colors are dark from browns to blacks and the surrounding area seems to transfer the colors into the actual void that your are working with thus giving you a stunning accent.  The funny thing about filling a hole is that when a void is filled it is usually dark regardless of the color you add until you have it above the level of the surrounding wood and it will then in certain lights see colors other that dark.  This is the reason that I will use more of this than you will any other color. 

In the past I have written some articles about using epoxy resin for both filling voids and doing inlay work and there are some photos of such on my photos and project pages.  One article can be found by using the "search"  located in the upper right hand corner of the pages,  Type in :  "epoxy resin in voids"   You will find it but it is under a heading "230 volt electrical help for some reason" and in a discussion between Justin Waldron and my self.  This was in Feb 18, 2011 and another article June 20 2015 under "Wood glue is some better than others"  and in a discussion started by Jack Haskins Jr..  It shows a project with a inlay I did using some black epoxy resin.  The discussion is long and in that discussion I describe how I use Mylar tape and resin colored by dye to fill a void and also pour into a cut out design for an inlay.

Above are some photos that I have used epoxy resin in filling voids that were a large knot and one in a bar front panel where I found a large knot with a hickory nut in-cased in the wood.  This way you can see for your self how it looks and works.  The one showing the close up of the hickory nut was left shy of filling with the intend of showing off the edge of the nut.  The nut had been cut into with a saw blade and thickness planer when I prepared the wood that had been rough cut lumber.  You should over fill the voids over the top and then sand it down using sandpaper and then apply a top coat and it will turn to a highly shinned surface,  In the examples that I have include the wood is hickory and it is clear coated with out stain.  I should also add that this type of epoxy is not the same as the jell coat used to finish bar tops and as a media to cover and in-case photos and other items between the coat and the wood surface.  This is the actual resin used in bonding resin mats in fiberglass work.  It works better that the jell coats and is much cheaper and to make it clear I have used both and will not use the jell coat stuff for doing what I have pictured.  It tends to shrink as it cures and does not always remain intack.  It can chip and crack where the surface will become thin such as the edge of a knot when you sand it out.  I have even tapped  threads into the resin the product without  a problem.

In the table the black stripes are black colored epoxy resin as is the tear drops shapes in the table top. They are cut 1/4 inch deep using a die grinder and burr.   You can actually make artificial defects and knots in wood by using your artist ability by carving grain patterns in the epoxy and then covering with your top coat. 

Questions ????? feel free to contact me.

Jay,

I did appreciate your post. I appreciate the time you took to present the great detail and pictures. Sometimes life gets in the way and we cannot reply as quickly as we would like to.

I also like to take the time to research before replying so that my reply makes sense and is educated. I have spent the last 3 days looking in to the products and the approach that you have taken. 

I will also be taking the next week to look at videos online discussing the type of approach you are taking so I make sure I understand completely and perform the job correctly.

I appreciate everyone's feedback and support. I will let you know how this works out as soon as I can get back to the project.

Thank you

Roger


Jay Boutwell said:

Hi Jim,  Thank you for noticing my post.  It is amazing how the ones whom appreciate something that was written with the intent to help someone goes unnoticed.  Yet to my surprise it is by someone of whom just appreciates a persons work and time taken to write a post.  Jim I have noted the fact that you are one of whom does appreciate and also experienced enought to know how much time it takes to respond to an article that is written of which is done so asking for information. 

 

When a person offers help to someone whom asked for help and it is left as though it was not even read makes a person think what the heck am I spending my time offering the help in the first place.  In this case I have experienced first hand and offered the proof in photos an example of what the question was requesting and yet the ones whom received an answer were the ones who only wrote words.  I do not even know if it was read and that makes me want to say the heck with even bothering anymore.  That is one of the reasons that you seldom see me on here anymore.  Thanks again Jim as at least I know someone read my post.

james wilhelm said:

Jay very good write up and well explained , also very good pics.  well done as all way,s , JIM !!

Jay Boutwell said:

Hi Roger,  working with voids and defects in wood is one to the fun things to do in woodworking.  For better that 25 years working wood as a profession, I have been taking wood that is usually thrown into the firewood bin and making very interesting and actually excellent projects out of it in the way of cabinets and furniture. I have found that it is one of the most desirable traits in wood that seem to bring the best market and highest sales in my area. 

The product that is use is epoxy resin and even the kind you buy at the Home Depot and Lowes as well as similar stores.  I use that at the base and use resin dyes that is used in commercial building of fiberglass, diving boards, and other fiberglass products.  The colors come in a varied assortment of colors however the one I use the most is black.  Black is the best for what I do as I work a lot with hickory and knotty pine as well as cherry.  The black gives the best color and seems to fill the voids best of all as in a knot the colors are dark from browns to blacks and the surrounding area seems to transfer the colors into the actual void that your are working with thus giving you a stunning accent.  The funny thing about filling a hole is that when a void is filled it is usually dark regardless of the color you add until you have it above the level of the surrounding wood and it will then in certain lights see colors other that dark.  This is the reason that I will use more of this than you will any other color. 

In the past I have written some articles about using epoxy resin for both filling voids and doing inlay work and there are some photos of such on my photos and project pages.  One article can be found by using the "search"  located in the upper right hand corner of the pages,  Type in :  "epoxy resin in voids"   You will find it but it is under a heading "230 volt electrical help for some reason" and in a discussion between Justin Waldron and my self.  This was in Feb 18, 2011 and another article June 20 2015 under "Wood glue is some better than others"  and in a discussion started by Jack Haskins Jr..  It shows a project with a inlay I did using some black epoxy resin.  The discussion is long and in that discussion I describe how I use Mylar tape and resin colored by dye to fill a void and also pour into a cut out design for an inlay.

Above are some photos that I have used epoxy resin in filling voids that were a large knot and one in a bar front panel where I found a large knot with a hickory nut in-cased in the wood.  This way you can see for your self how it looks and works.  The one showing the close up of the hickory nut was left shy of filling with the intend of showing off the edge of the nut.  The nut had been cut into with a saw blade and thickness planer when I prepared the wood that had been rough cut lumber.  You should over fill the voids over the top and then sand it down using sandpaper and then apply a top coat and it will turn to a highly shinned surface,  In the examples that I have include the wood is hickory and it is clear coated with out stain.  I should also add that this type of epoxy is not the same as the jell coat used to finish bar tops and as a media to cover and in-case photos and other items between the coat and the wood surface.  This is the actual resin used in bonding resin mats in fiberglass work.  It works better that the jell coats and is much cheaper and to make it clear I have used both and will not use the jell coat stuff for doing what I have pictured.  It tends to shrink as it cures and does not always remain intack.  It can chip and crack where the surface will become thin such as the edge of a knot when you sand it out.  I have even tapped  threads into the resin the product without  a problem.

In the table the black stripes are black colored epoxy resin as is the tear drops shapes in the table top. They are cut 1/4 inch deep using a die grinder and burr.   You can actually make artificial defects and knots in wood by using your artist ability by carving grain patterns in the epoxy and then covering with your top coat. 

Questions ????? feel free to contact me.

Wanted to update you on final product. I appreciate the advice.

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