Over the past 40 years, I’ve tried just about every wood-filling concoction ever conceived, and water-based fillers are my favorite. I also use a lot of the oil-based putties produced by Minwax and would like to pass on a tip to keep them usable. I had several jars that I didn’t seal properly, and the putty turned rock hard. So I added some mineral spirits, stirred vigorously, and got a jar full of smaller rocks. I then called the Minwax consumer-help number and was told that the proper solvent for their putty is vegetable oil, added a few drops at a time. I tried it on a different jar, and in a few minutes, the putty was soft and pliable. I’ve been using this technique for well over a year with no problems. Minwax did emphasize adding the vegetable oil a little bit at a time to keep the putty from turning into soup.
Jack Hinkel, Apex, NC
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #180