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How You Can Make Knot Holes & Voids Vanish

So I was making my coffee table and once the top was glued together, I sanded it down flat.

It was at that point I could really see it. I could tell I didn’t choose the best lumber at lowes for this project.

There were voids and knot holes everywhere!

Ok, to be honest, I knew this was going to happen, and I chose the wood just so I could apply this method to fix it, and teach you exactly what the process is.

What method am I talking about?… Epoxy!

So I got some Gorilla Glue brand epoxy, which seems to be well made and easy to use.

Epoxy is a 2-part glue that bonds to almost everything. The gorilla glue epoxy comes in a dual-syringe that applies both parts equally and simultaneously. Very helpful.

So you mix it up and use a little piece of wood to apply it. Wherever it sets, it will cure and is NOT easy to sand away, so you don’t want to over do it.

For that reason, you limit the exposure it has on the surface by basically quarantining the voids with some masking tape.

Here’s what I mean:

See the void from the knot hole? I surrounded it with tape and I’ll apply the epoxy just where I want it.

Here’s the entire table top, taped up and ready for epoxy:

Next you want to apply the epoxy, like I mentioned above, just dab it on with a little piece of wood once you’ve got it mixed.

Here’s what it will look like when applied:

Once it sets you can sand it down with a orbital sander and you’ll have a nice flat surface:

Here’s another before and after. This is when the epoxy was hard and I removed the tape:

And here’s the same knot after sanding down the epoxy:

Now what I expected to happen was for the epoxy-filled voids to completely resist the stain I would apply to the surface.

That’s another reason I tried to keep the epoxy in really focused areas using the masking tape.

But the epoxy actually darkened up with the stain really nicely, and by the time it was dry, you couldn’t even tell where the epoxy was.

Here’s the entire process on this one knot hole:

So as you can see, epoxy does a really good job of filling in voids and knot holes to leave your surfaces smooth and flat.

And the process is super simple, so give it a shot and let me know what you think!

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About The Author
Adam has been woodworking for the last 10 years. He considers himself a 'Small Shop Woodworker' and practices his hobby in his garage. With the lack of time, space, and proper tools, he always finds ways to get great results without over-complicating or over-thinking the process. Various shop jigs, table saw sleds, and tricks of the trade have served him well. God has blessed him with a beautiful family, as well as a passion for teaching others about woodworking. You can read more about Adam here.

8 thoughts on “How You Can Make Knot Holes & Voids Vanish”

  1. This convenient two-part wood epoxy putty has a multitude of uses. While it is ideal for filling unsightly nail, screw and knot holes in wood as well as repairing damaged areas (scratches, gouges, dry rot, etc.), where it really shines is as an excellent shapeable putty for carvers.

  2. Adam,
    Loved the epoxy fix. I just got done refinishing 3 tables and wish I had known about the epoxy trick. I used colored putty in a jar( never matches perfectly), sawdust and wood shavings mixed with wood glue with so so results. I actually have the Gorilla Epoxy, if it is still good. I wonder if the clear Gorilla Glue would do the same. I used the clear to fix a crack in my RV shower floor plan, caused by leaving heavy body wash and shampoo bottles up on the shelves in shower when RV is on the move, by previous owner.

    • Bill, I’d be interested to find out about the clear glue, I may try that.
      But another thing that looks really good, if you do try the epoxy fix, is to mix black mica pigments with it. This would be for if you don’t want to make the hole disappear, but instead make it stand out. The black epoxy contrasts wood really well.

  3. I can’t claim to be the originator of this idea because I know a lot of wood-turners in Europe do this. It’s basically the same idea, but using car body-filler resin, the same two-part epoxy idea, but miles cheaper.
    As you mix the resin, you can add all kinds of colouring agents, from brass filings to wood-stains or even acrylic paint or glitter and the resin will take on that colour.
    The other big plus is that this product is designed both to be easily sanded and to take polish. Hence you can either hide the knot hole or make a feature of it.
    It’s basically a smaller scale version of the resin river-flow table tops you will no doubt have seen all over the Googles.


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