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How To Correct Small Blemishes And Defects In Your Woodworking Project

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Author: Megan Cherry

While it is common for wood to have defects like splits, cracks and knots, you may notice blemishes in your finished project like scratches, dents and gouges. These blemishes are inflicted on the wood from the machines you use to make your project. Even if you're making a simple piece like a pair of bookends, you'll want to remove these blemishes if you want your woodworking project to look its best. If you're making a larger piece, it becomes even more important to remove these defects.

Wood putty is available in many colors and forms, and is the easiest method of repairing gouges and other small defects on the wood's surface. While wood putty of all kinds are basically applied the same, there can be a difference in your application depending on the wood you are using. For example, if your wood has an open grain with bigger knots and large cracks, that will require a different treatment because the space that needs to be filled is larger. Dents can usually be steamed out, while shallow dents and scratches may disappear under the sander. Sometimes a piece will split accidentally while you are routing. If you can find the chip, it may work to glue it in place and hold it securely by wrapping the piece in masking tape. If you can't find the chip, it may be possible to make a new piece to glue in place. If possible, try to cut the replacement for the chip from the same board so the color and texture will match.

When applying putty, you will need a putty knife or a flathead screwdriver. Using the end of your tool, apply the putty to the hole in the wood. Pack in as much putty as possible, and remember to leave the putty above the surface of the wood... it will shrink as it dries. When it is completely dry, you can do a little light sanding to bring the repair even with the wood surface. Be sure and sand it the same way you did the rest of the piece so the texture matches. If the repair needs to be made in a very obvious place on your project, there are a few guidelines you may want to follow. If the piece will be finished without any stain and you intend to finish it with only a clear coat or an oil finish, it is possible to make your own putty out of glue and sawdust from your project. You may also mix the sawdust with an epoxy. Epoxy dries very quickly and won't shrink like glue. If you plan to stain your project, you will need to use a water-based putty or wood filler. If you're lucky, the putty will match or dry slightly lighter than your wood. If this happens you can always touch it up as needed. Or, you can add color to the filler before you put it on your piece. If you choose to do this, check on a piece of scrap wood first to see if it matches.

About the author: Megan Cherry writes for If you are looking for a high quality well made coat rack step in and check us out, we manufacture a complete line of wall mounted coat rack from a shaker peg style coat rack to a modern wall coat rack with brass hooks or satin nickel for the brushed stainless steel look we even have a very modern looking hand rub white lacquer coat racks to go along with our line of Oak, cherry and Maple wall coat racks, we can even manufacture you a custom size coat rack or even ship you a coat rack that is unfinished.

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