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Tip #137
Shop-Made Wood Putty

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Need a matching wood putty for an exotic wood project? No problem.

A recent jewelry box project featured finger lap joints that "missed" a bit. The project was made from purpleheart - and our plans were to apply a clear, polyurethane finish to preserve its natural color (an oil-based finish would have turned the wood a dark brown, spoiling its beautiful color).

Naturally, we couldn't find any wood putties that would even come CLOSE to the color of our purpleheart...so, we had to make our own. Here's how.

We started by gluing the project pieces together and allowing them to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

Next, we took one leg from a worn-out pair of pantyhose and stuffed the foot about 6" or so into the input end of our Dust Collector's hose, where it connects to our table saw's lower saw guard dust port.

We connected the hose to the port and went to work "shaving" off a bunch of dust and small sawing chips from a scrap piece of matching (purpleheart) wood.

We turned off the saw and removed the Dust Collector's hose to retrieve the pantyhose that was jam-packed with purpleheart sawdust.

We mixed the sawdust with a slow set glue having a long "open time". We used Franklin's "Titebond II Extend" to create our putty...then forced it into our unsightly gaps using a small, thin artist's palette knife.

We waited 24 hours for everything to set up thoroughly, then sanded our jewelry box sides smooth and flush using our Belt Sander. The finished job looked so good that you couldn't even tell the joints were filled!

More evidence that the difference between a great woodworker and a good woodworker is that the great woodworker knows how to hide his mistakes!

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