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Very nice write up Paul!


That black 'staining' will keep coming back to the top if you don't get most of it out with Oxalic acid (vinegar will work, but not nearly as well and takes many more treatments).

As far as fill, you might consider using toothpicks, cut them short and drive them in with just a touch of yellow wood glue. When fully set, sand down flush, I like using good nail files, they are easy to work with, flat but still flexible enough to follow a curve and come in lots of grit from 80 up to 2000.

You may be able to blend in the patches using a fine blade tip (razor or scalpel, an exacto isn't fine enough) to 'carry' the natural grain lines into the patch area, then rubbing some darker stain very lightly into the cuts. Look at the existing grain and try to duplicate the length and direction of the pattern. It does wonders to break up the edge of a patch which makes it much less visible.

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