Filling holes in wood type?

Hello all,

Has anyone successfully filled holes in wood type? This type was previously used in sculpture and the letters all have small nail holes in the center. For an O, that’s not a problem, but it definitely detracts from an M. I was thinking about wood filler, Bondo, or Sugru, and I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who with experience. Thank you!


image: wood_type_holes.jpg


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I have mounted wood type and blocks to the walls before, but I drill an angled hole (centered side to side so it will hang properly) in the back that does not penetrate through the wood. It goes in to a depth just deep enough to enable me to tap a wire nail, or brad, into the wall to insert the hole over.

This preserves the type for future use by simply lifting it off of the nail and going to press with it.


Yes, I’ve heard of people using automotive body filler. It’ll be immune to pretty much any solvent you’d use on type. My suggestion is you do it when it’s warm and dry so the wood is tight and won’t shrink. That said, if it’s just a nail hole you should be ok.

Automotive Body Filler prints different than the wood.

Use Shellac, shellac Flakes from Kremer Pigment in Methyl Alcohol, reduced and then fill the hole, it prints seamless.

I have used J. E. Moser’s brand Epoxy Stick (Kneadable Epoxy Putty) with fine success. It is a product sold by wood working companies. Very little shrinkage, sands easily, holds up to printing and cleaning without fail. After sanding to desired level, I seal with shellac or linseed oil before inking.

Speaking of sanding, whatever material you choose to use, be very careful when sanding so that you do not unintentionally abrade the type surface or round over an edge or corner. Nothing ruins a day like turning a small blemish into a big problem.


Thank you, all. I look forward to trying your suggestions.