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what is the best way to 'fill the gaps' ?


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as i finish the planking on my first-build Whitehall tender I can see rather a lot of daylight between the planks ! What is the best way to fill these gaps....should I be collecting up the saw dust to make some sort of paste ?  I want to varnish the hull but I know this will just enhance each and every defect (no shortage of those I'm afraid !).

 

any ideas welcome

thanks

Simon

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Sawdust and glue is a nice filler if the gaps are minor otherwise they will show too much as they accept the stain/varnish/finish differently than the solid planks. If the gaps are severe, maybe start cutting fillers from the same planking material and fitting them into the larger gaps.... I think a varied planking can look pretty good and maybe better than one that has a LOT of non-wood filler or glue laden sawdust.

Now, if you paint then smooth is the goal then and a good filler may not show as such. Never used the Elmer's with wood fibers... some swear by it.

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wow...didnt expect so much input ! many thanks to all and I am going to experiment with the pvc glue+ sawdust combination and  separately see what I can find locally for wood stains and fillers. Unfortunately living in Brazil we don´t have much - if anything- in the way of hobby shops but I can check out what furniture makers use (by the way, am not complaining about living in Rio - hobbies here are very much the outdoor kind, and generally involve a beach !).

 

cheers

Simon

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One final thought.

 

Regardless of what you use to fill the areas, make sure you mask the surrounding area unless you intend to paint the surface.  It really doeas not matter what you use for filler it needs to be confined to only the spot being filled.  The filler material will get into the pores of the surrounding wood and you will have tremendous difficulty applying a uniform stain.  Sanding will not help because the material will be in imbedded into the grain.  If it cannot be prevented, I have found that using a gel stain will produce the best results.  Gels do not absorb like liquids and using them is almost like painting on a finish.

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  • 5 months later...

To get technical, PVA is Polyvinyl Acetate.   That is what PVA stands for.  As for what it is -  it's a fancy name for White Glue :D or any of in the white glue family because those glues use a PVA base, the differences betweent them come with the other stuff that may be in the glue..

 

Elmers, Carpenters Glue, Tack Glue etc etc.

Edited by SkerryAmp
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the best method. Tried and true works every time. Take some medium CA (gap filling) and with a glue tip extender put a healthy amount of glue into the gap, then sand over it until a ton of sawdust cover the gap and glue, wait for the glue to dry then blow on the hull to remove the excess dust. The gap will be filled with a seamless "wood filler". If there is a slight bump just sand it down. It works so well for me everytime that it is the only method I trust.

 

Now, of the gap is too large take one of your planks and turn if sideways and insert it into the gap. Then use an xacto blade to trim the excess. Sand it down and you're good to go.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just did my first experiment with making and using my own wood filler. I had been collecting the dark sawdust from the Sapele wood I used on my hull. I took a small amount of it and made a thick mud using a few drops of water, then mixed in some white glue until it looked like the commercial wood fillers I had used in the past. I applied this paste to various nail holes and small cracks in a few palces on the hull and and let it dry overnight. What a nice surprise when it set up nice and hard and was very sandable and blended in just fine. Thanks for the tips I got on this great website.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is there any trick how to collect the dust to mis it with the glue? I had quite a lot of dust from my planking, it was resting on a belt sander, but it was absolutely not enough for mixing it with glue. Trying to come up with some dust collecting tool..

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It's a small belt sander, it has a pipe to collect the vacuum cleaner, but if I do it, all the dust will go into it :)

post-5430-0-02349900-1388159719_thumb.jpg

 

I feel like it's really something simple, but can't find a way to collect enough dust with it. Maybe with some manual tool? 

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I'd be scared to death to use a power belt sander working on a wood ship, I'm scared enough using my small vibration type electric palm sander on stubborn areas but like Spyglass said, even if you just manual sand a bunch of scrap planking and sweep all the dust in a little pile, you should have plenty to use for making some gap filler.

Edited by shawn
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