Fixing woodworking mistakes doesn't always mean fixing things a woodworker may have done wrong, it could also be fixing wood that inadvertently broke, chipped or cracked, but sometimes fixing mistakes means working with the wood to prevent mistakes from happening later on because often it is better to fix things before they break than after ...

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One of the first challenges we all have to deal with from time to time are sanding scratches, and these can be the most annoying because we all know that we created these in the first place, so it means fixing our own workings ...  

Sanding Swirls
Over the years I have had a few people ask me "how can I get rid of swirls from random orbit sander?" The quick answer to this is to keep sanding with an ever decreasing sandpaper. There is no other way, but what we want to do is to try and prevent these in the first place, and very often the cause is using sandpaper grits that are too coarse. The problem with these is they dig so deep into the wood that even with heavy sanding from finer grits, some of these very deep grit gouges can still be seen after the wood is finished, and often they cannot be found until the final wood finishing.  sanding swirls

The culprit is often 60 grit sandpaper and although this is supposed to be manufactured to a specific size, I have, in my workshop 3 different 60 grit sanding papers, all with different sizes and one extremely aggressive so there are variances in grit size to be aware of. The best way to avoid random orbital swirl scratches is to never use 60 grit unless you absolutely have to ....

Fixing Hinge Pockets
Over the years I have cut many of these and once in a while, no matter how careful I am, I end up with a hinged pocket that is too deep or uneven. The best way to fix this to use a thin veneer to build the wood back up and to use either a 5-minute epoxy glue or even a CA glue and a CA glue accelerator, to give the patch an instant adhesion.

Hinge repair

Wood veneers can come in different thicknesses and it nice to have a couple of so on hand, but any veneer is really a must in the workshop for repair a number of woodworking errors that can occur.

Dowel Pegs
Anyone who follows my channel will know that a few years ago I switched from mortise and tenon joints to using dowels because dowels are at least equally strong but much faster to use, much more accurate and give me a wider choice of uses. In some cases where I am doing dry fits or final glue-ups, and working alone as I usually do, and adding glue inside dowel holes, it can be awkward to when holes are in different pieces and in some cases the carpenters glue wants to run out of the hole before I can get the dowel in.

Installing dowels

What I do for these is put just a dab of CA glue into the dowel hole, the spritz the dowel peg with an accelerator then pop it into the hole and now I have a secure dowel peg that I can work with that helps me in better aligning the other parts of my project.

I always keep some fresh CA glue and accelerator on hand, you can check it out  HERE ... and keep your opened and unopened bottles of glue in the refrigerator they will last up to 18 months.  

Glue Droplets
And of course since I mentioned a droplet of glue on my wood, I learned about a quick way to deal with these as well, and it comes from using utility knife blades ... not the knife, just the blade   -- be careful, these things are sharp --

Removing wood glue

Basically, all I do is use them as a mini scraper to scrape off the glue before it sets. It's quick and easy and it means you don't have to do a wholesale sanding of the whole board just to get off a drop or two or glue. I even have a little mini scraper I made to get a better grip on them that comes in useful from time to time especially on edges and corners. 

Removing Wood Dents
Getting rid of dents in wood is a perennial question but is often easy to fix, or at least reduce the effects of. If the dent is too deep, this method may not solve it all together, but it can help.

Wood dents repair

As woodworkers, we all know that moisture (water) makes wood fibers expand, and when they do, they often do not shrink back. That's good news when repairing dents because often, all you need to do is put a drop or 2 of water right on the dent and allow the water to soak into the wood, allow the wood to expand, then if needed lightly sand the area. Very often that is all it takes to fix a dent. Quick and easy.

Copyright Colin Knecht


 Fixing Woodworking Mistakes