Smashing Repairs Fast
By Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher
When I took Woodworking 101
in the eighth grade of high school I was allowed to
use very sharp chisels and high speed machinery after we passed a safety
test. In this class we were expected to build a project each semester. Of course we all
made mistakes and had to deal with these as well as we could. The
instructor, Mr. Landus, would tell us to help each other and try to figure out
for ourselves how to repair our projects.
My bench-mate was constructing a bookshelf out of white pine and was gluing
the bookshelf up when one of the knots fell out of a side board, which he didn't
notice until the next day of class. Because of the way the piece was joined together
the knot couldn't be reinserted so this void had to be filled...what to do?
Since the void was on the small side, he decided to
reshape the void using chisels so he could inlay another piece of wood and glue
it in place for the next day. The next day he worked on the repair, shaving it down
with a chisel, getting it just right so he could begin his finishing process. It was a solution that worked for him.
Fast forward to college, where in
last month's finishing tip
, I mentioned that I worked for a fellow named Otis
in order to feed myself. One day I came to work and Otis was in
the shop, belt sanding on an old white pine primitive piece with a worn 220 belt on the
sander. As I was standing there he was rough cutting a plug to fill in the void on the
top which was irregular in shape and about a 1/2" deep. I thought...that'll never
work. He applied a little
to the void and then I watched him smash the
plug in place with a rubber hammer...but it was still not going in all of the way.
I thought it was time for the chisels, but no, Otis picked up his old belt sander and sanded the plug
flat and it looked just great. The time it took to repair, from start to finish, was maybe 45 seconds.
Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at
. You can also visit Alan's website by
Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood
September 9, 2017
September 20, 2017
French Polish Workshop
September 23-24, 2017
October 7, 2017
October 11, 2017
Finishing the Finish