Ask WWGOA: Using Drywall Plaster or Stucco as a Wood Filler

Question:

I am currently working on a project using bird’s eye maple. This wood has many indentations and is difficult to sand smooth. I have heard of a method where drywall plaster or stucco is applied onto the wood to provide a filler. Does this work? And does this filler dry clear so that a wood stain can be applied to the wood without a while milky appearance from the filler?

Submitted by 1billadams


Answer:

Maybe I’m missing something, but I can’t imagine using drywall compound as a wood filler. It would remain white, just like it does on your wall, and it’s lots softer than maple. The real answer to this question starts a few steps back. Planers can tear out birds-eye maple, and many other highly figured woods, so you need to finish surfacing with a scraper, hand plane, or by sanding. On my last project that used birds-eye, I got close with the planer and did my final surfacing using a card scraper. If you really want to stick with the planer, you can try moistening the surface slightly– right before sending the part through the planer. This softens the fibers so they’re less likely to tear. Some planers have two feed speeds. Highly figured woods should be run at the lower feed speed.

Thank you for your question.

George


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