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Wood filler recommendations?

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Filling an area so that it won't show is an art that I've never quite mastered.  That said, I would fill the defect in layers, using sawdust of the same wood species mixed with hide glue. Of all glues, Hide glue accepts stains & varnishes better than any other glue. 


People who repair guitars, violins, and other instruments occasionally select a sliver of wood  that very closely matches the color and grain lines, and then they make a carefully controlled cut with a >new< scalpel or razor blade to obtain a smooth gluing surface.  Then they lay the patch in with hide glue (use the tip of a #11 scalpel blade to apply the patch), wait 24 or more hours, and then sand or scrape the patch flat with a cabinet scraper or flexible >new< razor blade.  When done carefully, the results are often amazing.


Try these techniques on a bit of scrap, obviously.  It may possibly make a difference if you use sawdust that was sanded from the endgrain vs the long grain, so you might experiment with both to see if there is a discernable difference. 

Edited by Bob Blarney
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