Filling Torn Grain in Crotch Veneer

Advice on making an invisible repair to a torn veneer. May 18, 2010

I am working on a makore crotch veneer panel for a passage door. After sanding to 120 (picture is before sanding), I have found a few small areas where the grain is torn beyond what I think I can sand out. If I fill the areas, will I ruin the look? If that is the best route to go, what should I fill with?

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Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor P:
So you are saying the defects are more like pulled grain or chips from the veneer, not cracks all the way through to the substrate? Many defects are common with highly figured veneer. I would not in any way try to sand them out, as that would risk a low spot or going through.

The cleanest solution would be to take tiny pieces of carefully cut veneer, and fit and glue them into the defect. Regular yellow glue can be too visible unless the fix is perfect. When I do this on darker veneers, I use West System epoxy and some super fine dust to bond in the filler piece. Invisible, and does not telegraph through the stain or finish.

From contributor T:
I would take some makore sawdust and mix it with a dab of PL premium polyurethane glue until it is the consistency of putty or dough. Fill the defects with this and let harden. Block sand this flat. It will become invisible after the finish is applied.

From the original questioner:
Thank you for the tips. It is pulled grain. The homemade flattening solution did not work as well as I like, so I may end up chalking this one up to a learning experience, but all the other stock has the same defects, so the tips are very useful.

From John Van Brussel, forum technical advisor:
You may also use Famowood cherry/dark mahogany wood filler. It is actually made from wood dough and can be sanded, drilled and finished like real wood. You can also mix different colors to get a closer match to your actual work piece.