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Expert's Corner — pores

Fillers - When Smooth isn't Smooth Enough

finish grain pores sealing stellar surfaces table the finishing store wood woodfinishing woodwork woodworking

Fillers - When Smooth isn't Smooth Enough

So, you've just finished that stellar table top and you'd like to give it a 'smooth as glass' finish.  What's a woodworker to do? Why, 'Fill and Finish' of course. There are two kinds of 'fillers' - putty type fillers used to fill scratches, dents, and holes in wood, and grain (aka pore) fillers that serve to level out the surface of open grained woods. It's the latter filler that concerns us here. Woods such as oak, ash, elm, mahogany, chestnut, walnut, wenge, and teak are characterized as having 'open grain' because the wood pores are large. In contrast, 'closed...

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TIP: Linseed Oil and Polyurethane

bob bond flexner linseed oak oil polyurethane pores seal

I’ve heard it suggested that linseed oil (raw or boiled) should be applied to wood floors before applying oil-based polyurethane. Various reasons are given: seal the wood, establish a better bond, or add color. Doing this is risky, however. Raw linseed oil can take months to dry. Boiled linseed oil can take a week or longer deep in the large pores of oak. If you apply polyurethane before the linseed oil is thoroughly dry, the linseed oil and polyurethane will mix right on the wood and create an oil/varnish blend, which will never get hard. It would be like brushing...

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