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Best filler/putty to fill out dings? (refinish project)

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I'm refinishing my old Yamaha RGX621D axe and it has quite a few dings and bumps, plus a younger version of me had the "great" idea of engraving his initials with a dremel in it...

What kind of filler is best for leveling the surface of a bare-wood guitar?

 

PS: Stripping this guitar revealed a 7-piece alder body with a yellow-ish veneer on top that doesn't follow the forearm contour. Why did they go through the trouble of veneering it if it's to be painted opaque???

As for the natural and sunburst versions of it, you'd still see the "ugly truth" in the forearm contour, so still useless?

Seems to me they were simply using generic body blanks made of whatever wood was on hand and they were all veneered to hide it.

That guitar never sounded particularly good either, but it has sentimental value...

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PS: Stripping this guitar revealed a 7-piece alder body with a yellow-ish veneer on top that doesn't follow the forearm contour. Why did they go through the trouble of veneering it if it's to be painted opaque???

As for the natural and sunburst versions of it, you'd still see the "ugly truth" in the forearm contour

 

veneered multipiece blanks is common enough from solid color Mexican fenders too..

 

everyone had said good stuff so far. to steam out a ding use a folded, wet (not sopping) paper towel placed on top of the ding and apply a hot clothes iron. after it dries sand it smooth (make use and use sanding blocks on the flat portions, it will help your end product)

 

I've seen Atrox & others use bondo to good effect when filling bad dings.. takes paint & sanding really well..

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Cyano acrylate and wood dust. Squirt a little CA glue into the divot. Sand over the damp divot with mild grit sandpaper on a flat block. The surrounding sawdust will work its way into the divot and attach to the glue. Squirt a little more CA and repeat the process (depending on how deep the divot is) until the divot is flat even with the surrounding wood. Paint over this. With very deep gouges, you can fill the dent with sawdust of the same wood and hit it with thin CA glue where it will instantly solidify. This keeps you from removing surrounding wood too much.

 

This is the best method I've found because every other filler I've tried (like epoxy base products)eventually will shrink or otherwise change under the paint due to the wood being different than the filler material in terms of reaction to environment conditions. On dark hardwoods you can even finish over this CA/dust mix and it looks like a natural feature in the wood because the color matches perfectly.

 

I do prefer other fillers for "pore filling" wood for general finishing. In those situations, the wood pores are too small for defects to show up under the wood...and CA used over a wide area can be smelly and difficult to work.

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^^^^ This is a great method. However, that red putty for auto body work that is in a tube works great as long as the dings arent huge. I usually add a little superglue over the top for addl strength, but you may not need it. Dan Erlewine uses the red stuff on non vintage things.

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I've used the red spot putty for shallow fills no deeper than the thickness of a poly finish. It doesn't stain and it's very susceptible to swelling from moisture. Bondo works better. and bondo can actually accepts stain pretty well.

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Here's a trick from my days of building wooden caskets......a couple drops of rubbing alcohol then, light it on fire. You'll actually see the wood swell. Repeat as needed. Sand to a smoothe finish.

 

Years ago, I worked for a company building high end, solid wood caskets. People didn't want to see wood filler in their expensive caskets so, we discovered this little trick that pretty much eliminated most of the filler. Try it.......you'll like it!

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Is there anything that would work for a body you hope to finish with tru-oil? I know it won't be perfect, but are there any fillers that will take oil and look at all reasonable?

 

I'll try the alcohol trick -- sounds pretty wild.

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WashburnGuy wrote:

Wow, the alcohol trick is amazing! I tried both it and the iron and alcohol worked much better.

 

Works like a charm.....every time!


I have a couple of wrinkles on my face.  Will the alcohol and fire work on that?

Should I drink the alcohol first?

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WashburnGuy wrote:

Here's a trick from my days of building wooden caskets......a couple drops of rubbing alcohol then, light it on fire. You'll actually see the wood swell. Repeat as needed. Sand to a smoothe finish.

 

Years ago, I worked for a company building high end, solid wood caskets. People didn't want to see wood filler in their expensive caskets so, we discovered this little trick that pretty much eliminated most of the filler. Try it.......you'll like it!


I HAVE to try this. Sounds cool.

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