Q: I am making furniture out of a knotty European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and would like to incorporate certain knots in the finished design. Some of the knots are up to three inches in diameter, but they’re not loose. One in particular is open enough to see through. How would you suggest I secure these knots and fill the knotholes in order to prevent them from loosening in the future?
A: Secure knots you suspect could work loose by flooding them with thin cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesive. Fill any large gaps, holes or cracks with epoxy — either clear or colored with epoxy tinting pastes — to match or contrast with the knot. Tape the back side of open holes to keep the epoxy from dripping out. Do all this before you begin your normal sanding sequence so that during sanding, you sand off any glue that gets on the surrounding wood.