Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just to fill you in, my joinery needs help

I make gaps, I mean really big gaps. My joinery needs more work, and they will only get better with practice and experience. Until I get to the level where my woodworking is as awesome as I feel it should be, there is filler.

Bad joinery, wonky wood, blow outs, all of these are part of woodworking, and sometimes we need some help. I used to use premixed off the shelf stuff, but I've moved on from that (graduated?). My recent go-tos for are Bondo and Durhams.

The Bondo works great! It's very stable and it has a really long shelf life since it comes in two parts. It also pares nicely as it cures. I like paring it close, then plane, scrape, or sand to final prep for finish. The downside is that you have pretty much just promised to deliver a painted end product.

The Durhams is a water putty that comes in powder form. After adding water to the desire consistency, it hardens and doesn't shrink. It hardens almost too hard, causing some nicks in edged tools.

It also has the base wood color that most wood fillers have, matching close to but not exactly to any wood species I have ever used. Of course, dyes and wood dust can be used to tint the filler closer to the desired shade, and it also claims to be stainable, although I have tested it.

I used the Durhams on the laundry sorter and have decided to paint it since I'm using three local species; barn pine, barn poplar, and scrap oak.

What kind of fillers and or techniques do you use on your projects?


  1. Never used filler (*cough), the old glue and sawdust is quite handy so I've been told.

  2. On a building site, I don't see much use for it, but I use it in the shop. I haven't tried the glue and sawdust approach. Although I have read recently about sanding a miter before the glue sets to get a really nice joint. :) I am hopeful that my skills improve enough to slow down on filler usage, but I don't mind supporting the local economy for the time being. ;)


Let me know what you think! Comments and suggestions are always welcome!