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Author Topic: Filling spaces  (Read 1007 times)

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BLah247

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Filling spaces
« on: January 01, 2007, 03:15:18 pm »
I'm having to build my cabinet with hand tools.  No matter what I do to try and get a striaght cut I'm still going to end up with minor gaps here and there.  I have it completely dry assembled right now and there are parts with 1/16" gaps... actually some like on the top may be 1/8" gaps.

What can I use to fill those gaps? I'm using 3/4" Plywood and I've seen pictures of some people work and it appeared they used something like dry wall putty and then sanded it out.  I'm laminating the sides and front and painting everything else so I'm not really worried about the color or if I loose the grain.

Xam

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Re: Filling spaces
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2007, 07:35:11 pm »
That's what I did. Its pretty much impossible to build everything exact unless you have a die cutter (wrong term?)
I used wood filler on mine and then sanded. If you are painting, this will be very hard to detect if done properly. Deep filling (like you are describing, may take more than one application.

Xam
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leapinlew

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Re: Filling spaces
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 09:27:11 am »
I've used drywall mud as a super thin layer to try to hide the wood grain on my last build. It appears to be holding ok. On small scrapes and gashes I use wood filler and on any larger areas I use bondo.

ScottS

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Re: Filling spaces
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 12:09:23 pm »
Lots of possibilities for gap filling. Here are a few:

Small gaps can often be pulled together with a good clamp, then held in place with screws and glue. Obviously, the wood will have a tendency to pull apart, so you don't want to do this with big gaps; say, nothing over 1/16th of an inch.  I typically use parallel jaw clamps like those made by Bessey or Jorgenson.

Larger gaps need to be filled rather than pulled together. Bondo works well for this. You can also use wood putty, but it has a tendency to shrink as it cures. Which means that you often have to go back and fill the same gap a second time. Bondo doesn't shrink and is very easy to sand. It doesn't look like wood, however, so it isn't appropriate for anything that will be stained.

For very large gaps, there are two-part epoxy putties. They start out with the consistency of Play-doh and quickly cure to an ultra-hard, sandable compound. WoodEpox and SculpWood are the two brands I'm familiar with. SculpWood is made by System3 and might the easier of the two to find. WoodCraft used to carry it, but it doesn't seem to be available on their website anymore. My local shop had some in stock last time I visited, however. The downside to these products is that they're very expensive!

If you can't find, or don't want to pay for, the epoxy fillers, the final option is to glue a wood strip into the gap. It doesn't have to be a perfect fit, just good enough to close the gap so that it can then be filled with Bondo or wood putty. I often cut these by hand, but it's pretty difficult if you don't have a very good saw. An easier option might be to buy a back of wood shims from your local home center store (e.g. Home Depot, Lowe's).