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  • sealing curved plywood edges

    My church project involves a plywood(hardwood) decprative panel that will be wall mounted. It will be arched with an arch shaped cutout(similar to looking at an open church door). It will be stained. My question: Best way to fill the plywood edges so they can be stained? Would a stainable wood filler applied with a putty knife and then sanded work okay? Heat activated iron on edging would be tricky with the shape involved. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: sealing curved plywood edges

    A good quality putty will fill the pockets and level everything, but it won't stain real pretty. Plyood edges just don't.

    After filling and sanding...would the piece look good with black edge instead of stained?

    Without understanding the project it's hard to suggest much.

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    • #3
      Re: sealing curved plywood edges

      After reading your post my first thought was exactly what "rofl" suggested. I've often found that edging an object in black to be quite suitable for many projects made with plywood, with which you might want to hide the edge.

      If you are using a fairly decent ply, filling the edge will be only a minor task providing you get a nice cut and no splintering or tear out of the surface. To that end, you may want to take a practice cut on that material with the blade that you are planning on using.

      Can we presume that you will be using a bandsaw for this "cathedral-like" cut? From my limited experience, that would be far better than a jig (sabre) saw with it's recip action.

      If splintering of the face is a possiblity, I'd tape the surface, cutting through the tape to ensure minimal damage to the surface. Then I'd sand and fill the edges and either paint them black or make them as dark as possible with the stain.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: sealing curved plywood edges

        My suggestion is to sand and stain and one coat of finish, and then used a colored putty to fill the holes to match the stain, after the putty dry's or sets up then put on your second /third coat of finish, I just use my finger to apply most of the time, at time I will put one color on one finger and a different color on another finger and blend as the need presents it self, it will work on small voids like in the edge of the ply wood, it may take a few applications on larger voids.



        this is the product I used most http://www.colorputty.com/

        If one does not seal/finish it first some times the putty will color more than just the void that one wants to fill, and makes wiping it down easer,
        Last edited by BHD; 08-17-2013, 07:45 PM.
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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        • #5
          Re: sealing curved plywood edges

          I'm with BHD, do your staining and sanding first and then try to match putty. Do not try to stain over the putty. (even the stainable stuff)

          Another idea is to cut your own thin strips of veneer and glue it to the edge using pieces of tape every 6" or so. After it dries use a small hand plane or router to make it flush.

          Good luck.

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          • #6
            Re: sealing curved plywood edges

            So....do you color match the edge grain or the end grain? Plywood complicates things.

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            • #7
              Re: sealing curved plywood edges

              i would look at buying veneer tape which is not that expensive, or make your by ripping strips from some 4/4 stock of the same species as the face veneer of your plywood and glue it to the edges. you might have to get creative with clamping in some areas, but if you still have the matching waste pieces from the curved cuts you can make cauls to clamp those areas easily. Then finish it off with the rest of the project.

              Alternatively, CWSs' idea of blackening the edges is a good one too, and might even look better in soame cases. You'd have to try it on a test piece and see which appeals to your eye, its your project after all so don't let us prod you into something that doesn't sit well with you.
              Last edited by Bob D.; 08-18-2013, 07:05 AM.
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              • #8
                Re: sealing curved plywood edges

                BHD (or any one),

                I've used the colored wood putty before and I do like it, agreeing that it is best to use any wood filler after you have already stained the project and then 'matching' the putty to the finish.

                But here a question I have: When this particular brand (MinWax) colored wood putty stiffins up in the container, is there a way of loosening it up? Preferrably with some kind of thinner or whatever. Not knowing the chemistry I'm not sure what to use. I have four jars of this stuff in different colors and apparenty the jars don't seal very well and all of them have dried. I'm hoping they are not just to be disposed of.

                TIA,

                CWS

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                • #9
                  Re: sealing curved plywood edges

                  I have reconstituted it by adding a little water and working it in your hand until it softens up. The complaint I have is there are not enough shades to get a good match. You can mix different colors but it's a huge hassle. Better to not have to use it at all.

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                  • #10
                    Re: sealing curved plywood edges

                    Sealing all the edges with putty would be a nightmare. I would not attempt it, if it were me.

                    Use a table saw and rip some thin strips off a piece of some hardwood, slightly oversize. Use some tightbond 3, and shoot some pin nails to hold in place. As long as your strips are thin, they will bend very easily with no issues. The 23 guage pins are super easy to hide.

                    Use a smoother plane or RO sander to trim the edging flush.

                    Make your own filler with some sawdust and a bit of glue if you need a bit to fill the pinholes.
                    Last edited by franklin pug; 08-18-2013, 06:32 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: sealing curved plywood edges

                      Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                      BHD (or any one),

                      I've used the colored wood putty before and I do like it, agreeing that it is best to use any wood filler after you have already stained the project and then 'matching' the putty to the finish.

                      But here a question I have: When this particular brand (MinWax) colored wood putty stiffins up in the container, is there a way of loosening it up? Preferrably with some kind of thinner or whatever. Not knowing the chemistry I'm not sure what to use. I have four jars of this stuff in different colors and apparenty the jars don't seal very well and all of them have dried. I'm hoping they are not just to be disposed of.

                      TIA,

                      CWS
                      I use some denatured alcohol if I remember correctly to soften it up some and to make it workable, on the oil base product, like I said I use the color putty brand, if that does not work try paint thinner or lacquer thinner,

                      If it is hard hard you may not be able to make it workable again,
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: sealing curved plywood edges

                        I have done this before as well, and that is to stain and finish but on the edge after it is to your satisfaction is to paint it a close color. and I felt the results were satisfactory. and have used plastic "Tee" molding on some plywood projects.
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                        attributed to Samuel Johnson
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: sealing curved plywood edges

                          Believe I have about every color of this stuff they make. And yes, it all hardens after opening. The only thing I have found that will soften it up again is Acetone. Takes a little mixing and setting for a while but it does work unlike anything else I've tried. Had to use it last week on some old dark walnut that had hardened up.
                          Big G

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