Saturday, July 30, 2005

Plug & Fill, Fill & Plug

Fun and games today with plug cutters, Forstner bits, epoxy wood filler, and oil paint. It would have been nice if I didn’t have to do it at all, but I do, so I did.

I used a 2 part epoxy wood filler to fill the gaps. This worked good (I hope) for two reasons. First, because the filler is comprised of a base and catalyst I was able to play around with the base to adjust the color with out having to worry about it setting up. Once the color was how I wanted it, I could then add the catalyst. After the catalyst is added I had about a 20 minutes working time before it sets-up to the point that I couldn’t play with it any longer. Second, because this is wood that has never been stained or anything, and because the filler is designed for clean wood, it should be a strong bond. If I was trying this on an old floor with oil, stain, shellac, varnish, or poly it may not hold in the long run. I used this filler on an exterior, south facing window sill 3 years ago and it is still holding strong.

There are some potential problems. The addition of the oil paints may cause problems as it sets. I added very little paint, so I’m hoping it won't be a problem, but the potential is there. I tried something similar with sawdust a few years back. It didn’t work. I had to add so much saw dust to adjust the color that the filler was crumbly and dry. The other problem I may encounter is with the color. This filler will not take a stain so I had to try and imagine what the final results will be and try and match the filler to that. Time will tell how well I did. It is really very little filler, so even if it is not a dead-on match, which it most assuredly won’t be, it may (fingers crossed) just look like variations in the wood.

As for the plug cutter and Forstner bit, that was a little more tricky than I thought. I saw Norm do this on The New Yankee Workshop, and of course it came out perfect because Norm is God-like in his woodworking abilities. While I, on the other hand, am more ape-like in my woodworking abilities, so at this point it looks like it was done by Coco the Gorilla. It is too early to judge how well I did, but it doesn’t look like Norm’s handiwork at this point. I really won’t know how well I did until after I sand.

And speaking of sanding, the plan originally was that I would start that today. Obviously that didn’t happen. Plan B was to start tomorrow, but to be honest I’m pooped. I think Plan C is looking really strong. I can race through my work on Monday and get off by 11:30 or so. Pick up the sander at 1:00 and start in on the floor. Maybe, if I’m really nice, they’ll let me turn it in bright an early Tuesday morning and only charge me for a half day rental. I can then pick up the edge sander Tuesday after work and do the same thing. That means that maybe, just maybe, I can start to put the finish on Tuesday evening.

If Plan C works it will be a miracle(other fingers crossed).


Trissa said...

Hey Greg-
Can't wait to see pictures of this project. I think you'll be close to getting plan C done- you amaze me with the amount of stuff you get done. Norm is pretty amazing- but I'm sure your gorilla work will be great!

Jocelyn said...

I just remembered that we used that 2 part stuff for filling the kitchen floors- but we didn't match it as you are. I bet it will look fine-crossing fingers.

One thing with Norm- not to minimize his God-like skills- he gets retakes. But maybe he's so good, he never makes mistakes. But then, he also has all the best and appropriate tools. Just think what you could do with a complete woodshop!

derek said...

That gorilla story is a little odd... some of it was funny.