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  1. #1
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    Default Getting a very smooth finish with grain filler

    Hello, I am aiming for a nice piano style finish for a board, but first I need to get a very, very smooth sanded finish , and have used cerejeira , a South American timber with nice straight, but open pored grain.

    I have sanded it down to 240, and applied 3 coats of black Timbermate as a grain filler, sanding to 240 grit between layers. I used White Spirit to clean down after sanding each layer.The finish will be a glossy deep black finish that will show the grain.

    I have been unsuccessful in getting a dead smooth surface on the timber with 3 layers of Timbermate. The surface is very smooth to touch, but running a fingernail lightly across the grain lets you feel the grain quite easily.

    Can anyone please suggest where I might be going wrong, or a better way of getting a very smooth finish along and across the grain?

    Photo 1 : Original board plus one with one layer of black Timbermate grain filler

    P1360623 Large.jpg



    Photo 2: Both boards with 3 layers of Timbermate sanded back with 240 grit

    P1360628 Large.jpg




    Photo 3
    : Original untouched plus boards with 3 coats of Timbermate

    P1360631 Large.jpg
    regards,

    Dengy

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  3. #2
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    Default

    I thought that piano style was achieved by lots of coats of lacquer, rubbing back between coats.
    Of course I could be wrong...

  4. #3
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    Dengy,

    A long time back, I played with the idea of getting a black mirror like finish. It was done with shellac and it worked well. We have moved on since then, materials have improved. Try this, now apply a couple of coats of black stain to the wood, maybe three to colour the wood. Then apply apply two or three coats of clear sanding sealer that has been coloured with a black spirit based stain to get a smooth base for the lacquer. Then finish off with lacquer that again, has been blackened with the black stain.

    Forgot to add, sand between each process with progressively finer sand paper. Finish off with about 1200# wet and dry, used wet, and then buff up with a mop.

    You will have to play with this on a board to work out how much stain is needed at each step.

    Jim
    Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important...

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderpost View Post
    Then apply apply two or three coats of clear sanding sealer that has been coloured with a black spirit based stain
    So, grain filling sanding sealer, like this? - Sanding Sealer | Feast Watson Products

  6. #5
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    russ57. I thought the first step was to make the board really smooth, hence my effort above. The lacquer would subsequently give the depth and gloss. But also the lacquer would show up any imperfections in the board surface
    regards,

    Dengy

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldav View Post
    So, grain filling sanding sealer, like this? - Sanding Sealer | Feast Watson Products

    Yes.. Personally, I prefer Mirotone products.


    Jim
    Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important...

  8. #7
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    Hi powderpost. Thanks for this suggestion. I have been playing with these boards, you will see a letter stamped on each to distinguish them.

    I did one board with only three coats of spirit based Prooftint black, but it turned out to be a very dark brownish finish, and the original grain was strongly shown up, badly in need of filling.

    So then I decided to go with shellac based Indian Ink. One coat made the test board jet black, but I didn't know how to fill the grain after that, so put it to one side

    I have never heard good things about the FW clear grain sander / sealer. What would you suggest please?

    I have ordered some acrylic based Indian Ink to try too. Only cost $4 to send 500ml from Melbourne to Townsville. I am assured it is not soluble in alcohol..

    I have never used lacquer, so was looking for a shellac final finish coat
    regards,

    Dengy

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dengue View Post
    I have never heard good things about the FW clear grain sander / sealer. What would you suggest please?
    Dengue, I have been using Mirotone products for a while now and find them very good. Pm sent.

    Jim
    Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important...

  10. #9
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    Guitars!

    They do this all the time. The finish quality of professional luthiers is worthy of study - we humble woodworkers can learn a LOT from them

    The Mohawk and Behlen products are incredible. E.g Solar-Lux Stains and Lacquers & Finishes - Finishing


    These will give you an ultra-flat, perfect black, mirror finish - or any colour you want.

  11. #10
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  12. #11
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    Joe, look up "Barron River Guitars" on Youtube - Allen McFarlen has a number of short clips on using epoxy as a pore filler. Epoxy Pore Fill on Concert Ukulele - YouTube
    Mobyturns

    In An Instant Your Life CanChange Forever

  13. #12
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    thanks Geoff. Not sure if I would be able to use that epoxy on a box 540 x 70 x 60H, and not sure how to get a deep black colour for the box but still be able to see the grain.

    Merry Christmas, and hope to catch up next year

    Joe

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dengue View Post
    thanks Geoff. Not sure if I would be able to use that epoxy on a box 540 x 70 x 60H, and not sure how to get a deep black colour for the box but still be able to see the grain.
    What is a Ukelele other than a fancy-shaped box?

    For black, Ive used three things with success.... India Ink from Ekersleys, black RIT dye dissolved in alcohol and the ever-favourite "Vinegar Steel wool" trick with the addition of Tannin (via Quebracho Powdered Tanin)

    I also used a milk paint (Pitch Black Milk Paint) from something called (or like) The Milk Paint Company. I was impressed with the texture this imparted.

    All are excellent.

    Edit - I knew there was one more. I was obsessed with finding an excellent deep black a while back.... the very best result was from a product called 3590 Black Oil Stain from naturaltimberoils.com.au The result was un-be-fricken-leivable.

    See below, the excellent black and grain result using the OSMO 3590 and demonstrated in this instagram using ordinary Ash.

    lamp black.jpg

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