Filling Gaps with Sawdust Mixes

      The old "mix sawdust with glue" trick takes a beating here from skeptics — but there are other suggestions. October 1, 2010

What glue or varnish could be mixed with walnut sawdust in order to fill large cracks in walnut? The goal is to have the varnished or oiled finished piece not look darker or lighter at the site of the filled hole.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
The glue sawdust method never works well in my opinion. The difference in appearance of coated endgrain versus facegrain is obvious. Sawdust is saturated wood fiber, 75% of which has some or all endgrain showing. That is why the wood dust/glue always appears darker than the face or side grain that is being filled.

From contributor J:
How dark it takes a finish depends on how much glue you use. You will need to experiment with different ratios. I would use original tight bond diluted with some water. I have had it work well and I have also as Contributor A stated had it turn way too dark. Why are you using wood with large cracks in it? Your answer may be tinted epoxy if they are large enough.

From contributor I:
Forget the glue and sawdust. Take the touch-up approach. That’s what we do every day. You’re not going to get grain lines and background colors without it. If you must use sawdust then use the same stain that you finish with mixed into your glue. I like to do that with all my regular glue joints and especially laminations. The glue joints just disappear.

From contributor W:
Yes forget about sawdust. You have to touch up your gap. For small gaps you can use a putty for fill. Then touch up your finishing to get the color match. For the big gap, it is better if you use a wood piece to fill in your gap.

From contributor O:
I recently read somewhere, and recently tried a different method with better results than the glue/sawdust method. Use the finest sawdust you can get, such as from a sander, and mix it with shellac. I have used this method several times now with better results. I now have small canisters saved of the different species sanding sawdust saved. I used seal cote as my mixing shellac.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2017 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article