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tody Brock
07-10-2009, 10:59 AM
I just turned a pen using a Wenge blank, the pen looks great except for the little "holes" that have shown up. Do you fill these with something, if so, what do you use or is this just a characteristic of the wood?

David Walser
07-10-2009, 11:14 AM
No, you don't have to fill the pores in open grained wood, like wenge, walnut, or oak. Unless you want a high gloss film finish. To fill the pores, you can try two or three coats of sanding sealer (I use lacquer) that is then sanded down to the bare wood. Another approach is to fill the pores with a commercial grain filler. Either way, you'll end up with a flat surface that you can then cover with your film finish of choice (CA, poly, lacquer, shellac, etc.).

Good luck!

Bernie Weishapl
07-10-2009, 11:38 AM
Unless I want a smooth surface I let them alone. I like the natural feel of the wood myself. If I do want it smooth I do like David has suggested.

Mike Marmon
07-10-2009, 3:56 PM
My favorite method to seal porous woods is to wet sand with BLO. I usually do this once I sand up to 320, then just add BLO to the sand paper and sand away. It will leave a nice smooth finish and no worries about color matching.

Good luck

Terry Quiram
07-10-2009, 7:14 PM
I have had the most success by wet sanding with thin CA glue. It is kind of tricky but once you master the technique you will be very pleased with the results. I sand with a folded piece 220 paper about 1 1/2 inch wide and build up a little dust. With the lathe running slow enough so as not to sling CA all over yourself the paper under the pen blank and squirt some CA on the paper where the paper and blank meet. Keep the CA right there as you will have to add more as you go across the blank. You are trying to build a small amount of slurry so the pores will fill but not so much you have to spend a lot of time getting the blank leveled again with lots of sanding. Good luck.