Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Jason Wolverton
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Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Jason Wolverton » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:30 am

I've done grain filling with CA glue before but I never liked the excessive sanding and nasty, acidic dust you get with CA glue. I came across some slow drying CA glue intended for use as a finish. I thought the longer open time would give me more opportunity to spread the glue into the pores and smooth out the ridges. I used a razor blade to carefully spread it around. I still had to do a fair amount of sanding, but I was happy with the results. The bodying stage should be much easier now.

The first photo of the back shows the surface after applying a wash coat of shellac over the filled grain. BTW, the wood is a very dignified set of perfectly quarter sawn, straight grained Brazilian. Very happy to be working with this wood, and the clear CA glue grain fill has produced much clarity in the finish so far. The top is Swiss spruce with an egg white sealer. (Hence the egg shell.) :D
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"I have discovered (to my joy) that it is life, not death, that has no limits."- Florentino Ariza

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petermc61
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by petermc61 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:33 am

Very nice Jason!

Steve
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Steve » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:54 pm

My standard pore fill is to use medium thin CA. I spread in on and work it into the pores with my finger. (What doesn’t peel of easily from my finger acetone easily removes.) Rather than sand, I scrape back with razor blades with corners removed. I scrape after the CA has set, but has not become rock hard and brittle. Very little sanding is involved. Lots of CA flakes and detritus are produced, which is easily vacuumed. I use a fresh razor blade for each little section. I am very happy with the resulting finish.

Mr.Rain
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Mr.Rain » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:38 pm

For Repairs(in my antique guitar collection) I use slow drying water thin CA(for Rosewood), I spread it with an old cloth (so it end ups as thin as possible).

I used this method when I have to repair the finish around a crack or anypoint where the shellac is totally gone(or the pore filler). I normally level up to the pore filler or the shellac (then I wet sand with 280, and up to 12k),and then i apply more shellac.

SteveL123
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:54 pm

Mr.Rain wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:38 pm
For Repairs(in my antique guitar collection) I use slow drying water thin CA(for Rosewood), I spread it with an old cloth (so it end ups as thin as possible).

I used this method when I have to repair the finish around a crack or anypoint where the shellac is totally gone(or the pore filler). I normally level up to the pore filler or the shellac (then I wet sand with 280, and up to 12k),and then i apply more shellac.
Mr. Rain, can you share the exact brand/ type of slow drying water thin CA(for Rosewood) glue you use?

I have a Ziricote back guitar with a few long cracks that are almost invisible that I think this glue may work well in for doing the repair.

SteveL123
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:03 pm

Jason, looks beautiful!

May I ask if you used the same grain filling with CA glue for the top? Have you used pumice for grain filling? I recently saw a youtube video where the Luthier has tried a bunch of grain filling materials including making his own, then he tried pumice and said he's never going back. I can find that video and post a link if anyone is interested.

I want to learn how to French polish and will be practicing on scraps before I have enough confidence touching my 2 guitars which needs work.

SteveL123
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:11 pm

Another question, are air bubbles a problem with grain filling with thin CA glue or Epoxy? Will using vacuum help if it is a problem?

Mr.Rain
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Mr.Rain » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:24 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:54 pm
Mr.Rain wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:38 pm
For Repairs(in my antique guitar collection) I use slow drying water thin CA(for Rosewood), I spread it with an old cloth (so it end ups as thin as possible).

I used this method when I have to repair the finish around a crack or anypoint where the shellac is totally gone(or the pore filler). I normally level up to the pore filler or the shellac (then I wet sand with 280, and up to 12k),and then i apply more shellac.
Mr. Rain, can you share the exact brand/ type of slow drying water thin CA(for Rosewood) glue you use?

I have a Ziricote back guitar with a few long cracks that are almost invisible that I think this glue may work well in for doing the repair.

HI Steve I use a brand called Soudal (CA plus spray),I am sure you will be able to find something similar specially made for wood.

For the cracks in dark woods it mixes colorless with the dust,so you get an invisible crack.
I apply glue and then sand to get it mixed in the spot( while wet),scrap the extra build up, rinse and repeat till the crack is gone.
Still it may darken a tad the area when used as pore filler(I can live with this,over seeing an ugly crack and fighting to level the shellac...).

I have filled upside down back cracks( :mrgreen: no joke intended) with this method,will not even think of using hide glue or other traditional method(I take a modern approach opposed to some people who likes seeing the "battle scars" I want to see some spotless B&S)

Again I just fix my old pre 1910 guitars (occasionally sell some as I have limited space,and a wife with limited patience too:lol: )

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Jason Wolverton
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Jason Wolverton » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:49 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Jason, looks beautiful!

May I ask if you used the same grain filling with CA glue for the top? Have you used pumice for grain filling? I recently saw a youtube video where the Luthier has tried a bunch of grain filling materials including making his own, then he tried pumice and said he's never going back. I can find that video and post a link if anyone is interested.

I want to learn how to French polish and will be practicing on scraps before I have enough confidence touching my 2 guitars which needs work.
When I started building guitars I did all the traditional French polish methods- including the use of pumice to fill the grain. The Ron Fernandez videos are a great place to start. Pumice works well, but there's a lot of elbow grease involved and one has to be very careful not to create blotchy areas by moving too much "slurry" around. Many years ago I used CA glue as a filler, but I couldn't stand the fumes and acidic sanding dust. That's why when I saw this slow curing stuff I thought it would cut down on sanding. Maybe a little. I suggest doing it outside, or with the use of a fan to keep the fumes and dust out of your face.

I would never suggest using CA glue on your top as a sealer. I learnt the egg white technique from Jose Romanillos. I really like it. A wash of thin shellac also works well as a sealer.
"I have discovered (to my joy) that it is life, not death, that has no limits."- Florentino Ariza

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Jason Wolverton
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Jason Wolverton » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:51 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:33 am
Very nice Jason!
Thanks, Peter!
"I have discovered (to my joy) that it is life, not death, that has no limits."- Florentino Ariza

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Jason Wolverton
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Jason Wolverton » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:53 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:11 pm
Another question, are air bubbles a problem with grain filling with thin CA glue or Epoxy? Will using vacuum help if it is a problem?
I've never encountered a problem with air bubbles in either CA or epoxy. I think epoxy is a good way to go.
"I have discovered (to my joy) that it is life, not death, that has no limits."- Florentino Ariza

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Mollbarre
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Mollbarre » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:07 pm

Gosh! That's a pretty guitar! :heart:
2016 Fender CN320AS
2018 Cordoba C10 crossover
2018 Ibanez GA5TCE
...and miscellaneous bits and pieces.

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James Lister
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by James Lister » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:35 am

SteveL123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:03 pm
I recently saw a youtube video where the Luthier has tried a bunch of grain filling materials including making his own, then he tried pumice and said he's never going back. I can find that video and post a link if anyone is interested.
I want to learn how to French polish and will be practicing on scraps before I have enough confidence touching my 2 guitars which needs work.
Just to note that you don't HAVE to fill the grain - I generally prefer not to. In the end it's a question of personal preference, but I sometimes advise against grain filling the first few times you French polish a guitar.

When I do grain fill I use pumice, and have tried pretty well everything else. I do sometimes use CA glue for the head, but having used it for the back and sides once, swore I would never do it again - the fumes are just too nasty. Since then I have heard of an odourless CA glue - I can't remember the brand name, but there are a few listed on e - b a y and amazon.

For me the biggest problem with pumice is avoiding staining any white or light-coloured purflings - particularly if the back and sides are rosewood. You can seal the purflings first, but the abrasive action of the pumice removes any sealant very easily, and you end up doing a lot of scraping back to clean up the purflings, which if you're not careful can open up more grain, so have you to go back to the pumice.....

James

P.S. Beautiful work, as always Jason!
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

ernandez R
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by ernandez R » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:33 pm

Jason,

I'm sitting here watching the sun hit the tops of the trees, looking over my shoulder at my third build hanging from the pot rack in her first coat of shellac and then down at the photos of your latest build... both humbled and inspired. Don't let it go to your head ;)

I like the larger elements of your rosset, they invoke old world elements without looking old. I find in my limited experience I prefer the look of borouque tiles and how they are inlayed in the top. Even though the rest is a little too busy for my taste the whole seems... Tastefully done.

To be hoest it is the skill you display, and many others on this forum, that has my complete respect. What I don't like is how I find myself to be challenged anew to toke my own efforts to the next level. My partner says we are the average of the five people we choose to souround ourselves...

About epoxy excetera, the main reason I build my first guitar was of the hundred or so I played all of them sounded like they were dipped in plastic. Perhaps that and is a thing. I know your are sanding scraping most of this as a filler but I wonder how many actlluy do?

Thanx for taking the time to share your efforts,

HR
I hate sanding wood or anything else for that matter I just happen to be good at it...

Richard Newman
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Re: Grain filling with slow drying CA glue.

Post by Richard Newman » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:39 pm

I used this slow drying CA way back and although I was really happy with the results i developed a rash all over due to the excessive sanding required. Even wearing a good mask didn't stop me having coughing fits. Maybe the brand I used or maybe I'm just too sensitive to the stuff ( I'm the same with epoxy)
I now only mainly build using maple so grain filling is not required. If I do used a timber that needs filling I use pumice and fill before installing the binding. The binding seems to fill adequately during the FP sessions.
Lovely work Jason! I'm glad you don't have any problems with it.

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