It looks like I'll never end my search for a clear pore filler that I can make work!
I use hot hide glue for almost everything in the guitar because I think it makes a better sounding instrument---Richard Bruné agrees...It's a lot easier to use than it has the reputation for being. I'm thinking of using it as a pore filler---no wood dust added as that gives a muddy look.
I know that Gene Clark had some objections to using it as a filler, though I've never been quite sure what they were. Anybody had any experience using it for filling?
Filling out is not one thing that HHG does well. It dries into a very thin film. Many layers needed!
What attracts me to hide glue is that it is complete "burn back" so that I can go back over the pores that need rework, without witness lines.
It's also possible to thin it enough that it can run down into the pores. Trying to force thick viscosity fillers down into the pores has never worked for me. I envision thin coats to begin with, and perhaps thicker coats later---we'll see about that.
There are many issues around pore filling having to do with appearances, and for my nylon strung instruments even the effect on tone quality---believe it or not! I once utterly killed a wenge back by filling the pores with an "odorless" cyano.
Try it, it may work fine :-) Cyano is in fact a kind of floating plastic, not good in big quantities.
The one negative thing I've heard about hide glue as a pore filler is that it can become cloudy under the finish during high humidity. I use and love hide glue but have not tried it as a pore filler myself.
Hello Roger and Doug,
Thanks for your comments (:->)...
A couple of clarifications. Wenge has to be one of the most porous of the hardwoods---great tap tone. Ervin and I agree that it comes the closest to sounding like the Brazilian that we could buy back in the old days.
The "odorless cyano" has quite a rubbery consistency when set up---might even not be cyano...The wenge back filled with it was so dead that I didn't even bother to test it for damping. I just gave the student a new wenge back. The guitar was eventually finished by Haiying using the usual pumice and shellac method, and is quite successful.
More clarifications: I'll be sanding back to the wood so that there isn't any glue left on the surface, just in the pores.
I'm starting a test today of a comparison of a shellac pore fill and an HHG pore fill. They both cure up hard, so I'm guessing that they will have about the same---minimal--- effect on tap tone (Q). Plain shellac improves the Q of my LS redwood by about 30%, to my surprise!
I pre-finish parts, which is a trick that I learned while making furniture in Frank's Gryphon building back in the early 1990's. Backs and sides are filled, and cured in a drying cabinet at 90-100° F., as are necks and bridges. I then proceed with French polishing when the guitar is all put together---notes available on request.