Well, my jig slipped.

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Okay, I'm looking for advice on fixing a mistake. When using my exact width dado jig, the clamp slipped on one end and I ended up wounding the panel. The piece is walnut ply and I've put a maple panel in the dado just for clarity. Any suggestions on how to fix it? This will be inside the cabinet and under a shelf, so it won't be too visible, but nonetheless I obviously want to repair it as best I can. Any suggestions are much appreciated.
 

Attachments

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Yes, that's an option. I reset the jig and recut the dado, so it's actually fine. The maple panel in the picture is in the recut dado, so I can go with a cosmetic fix only on the errant cut.
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
If you have a cutoff of the walnut plywood, you could cut a piece and shape its profile to fit into the dado (or even carefully remove the portion between the bad cut and the good dado with a handheld router set to the dado depth) and then reduce this filler piece to the same thickness as the dado depth. If you are clever with selection of the grain of the walnut filler piece (called a "Dutchman"), you can glue it in and it will hardly be evident that you've made a repair. I've used Dutchmen on several projects to cover screws or even embedded wiring and they are nearly invisible.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
If you have a cutoff of the walnut plywood, you could cut a piece and shape its profile to fit into the dado (or even carefully remove the portion between the bad cut and the good dado with a handheld router set to the dado depth) and then reduce this filler piece to the same thickness as the dado depth. If you are clever with selection of the grain of the walnut filler piece (called a "Dutchman"), you can glue it in and it will hardly be evident that you've made a repair. I've used Dutchmen on several projects to cover screws or even embedded wiring and they are nearly invisible.
Thanks, this was where I thought I'd end up. I do have some offcuts. I can expand the mis cut into a more regular shape to make making the Dutchman a little bit more straightforward. Is it feasible to fill the gap then remove just the veneer layer from the ply offcut and glue it in place?
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Is this your exact fit dado jig?


It appears that the errant dado is slightly curved, not straight. How did you have it clamped to the workpiece? It kind of looks like the jig and clamp pivoted to get a curved cut.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Yep, that's my jig. One of the ends of the movable rail wasn't twisted down tightly enough and as I came back along it with the router, the pressure made that end slide out.
 

Dan Bowman

Dan Bowman
Senior User
Most of us have "been there, done that" and can empathize. If it were me, I'd grab a new piece of plywood and mill a new panel. It will cost a bit more than a fix but you'll make up for that in time. I've got several pieces of furniture that have an "ooops" repaired or covered up so no one else sees it but I know it's there, every time I walk past, and I always wish I'd just done it right to begin with.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
IF you can use a dutchman all is well do you have a drum sander? If so, cut straight across the panel and route off about half thickness where goof is, make a dutchman trying to match the grain, rip the bulk of the back of dutchman off and sand to fit
 
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Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Yep, that's my jig. One of the ends of the movable rail wasn't twisted down tightly enough and as I came back along it with the router, the pressure made that end slide out.
I forgot to ask. Why did't you cut the dado with a dado blade and tables saw? Just curious and BTW I like the Dutchman solution for a fix.

This will be inside the cabinet and under a shelf, so it won't be too visible
 
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JimD

Jim
Senior User
You can also just use a wood putty with a good color match. I like "ZAR". I bought a big tub to use when I was refinishing some flooring and have most of it left over. It is red oak but you can get a lot of colors. I think it will accomplish about as much as a wood repair - hide the spot well enough it will not draw the eye. The only way to make it not really visible would be to replace the entire surface shelf to shelf. If you have a scrap piece big enough, that should be possible.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
I forgot to ask. Why did't you cut the dado with a dado blade and tables saw? Just curious and BTW I like the Dutchman solution for a fix.
I used the jig because these dados are across a long panel - the panel is 93" x 20", the dados go across the 20" width and they're stopped on the back side. They're for section dividers. I cut the long dado for the back frame on the table saw.

Picture attached of the dry fit last night. This piece is going to hang on a french cleat, so I needed some relief inside the back of the case for the cleat.
 

Attachments

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
IF you can use a dutchman all is well do you have a drum sander? If so, cut straight across the panel and route off about half thickness where goof is, make a dutchman trying to match the grain, rip the bulk of the back of dutchman off and sand to fit
I don't have a drum sander, but I should be able to thickness the dutchman with the planer if it's large enough.
 

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
If you use solid wood, you'll either have to find a very wide (and expensive) board to make the dutchman, or you will have to run the grain of the patch perpendicular to the grain of the panel, which will be very noticeable. Also, since the gash seems rather long, you may have expansion/contraction issues using solid wood, since the plywood won't move but the solid wood will. Instead, I'd use an offcut of the walnut ply that you have, or get a small sheet of walnut veneer to put over some birch plywood. If you use veneer over a piece of plywood that's thinner than the original panel. then you can route the shape of the slot to within a few thou of the thickness of the patch ply, and just sand it down to the exact depth. Using a planer to level a patch to thin-veneered hardwood ply is very dangerous (aesthetically) IMO unless you are supremely confident in your planing abilities.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
If you use solid wood, you'll either have to find a very wide (and expensive) board to make the dutchman, or you will have to run the grain of the patch perpendicular to the grain of the panel, which will be very noticeable. Also, since the gash seems rather long, you may have expansion/contraction issues using solid wood, since the plywood won't move but the solid wood will. Instead, I'd use an offcut of the walnut ply that you have, or get a small sheet of walnut veneer to put over some birch plywood. If you use veneer over a piece of plywood that's thinner than the original panel. then you can route the shape of the slot to within a few thou of the thickness of the patch ply, and just sand it down to the exact depth. Using a planer to level a patch to thin-veneered hardwood ply is very dangerous (aesthetically) IMO unless you are supremely confident in your planing abilities.
Thanks, this is good stuff. I'll use an offcut of the walnut ply. Since the piece is fairly small, I can also put the dutchman blank on its edge and use the table saw to get close to the final thickness, then sand to fit.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
My current favorite way to make a long dado with a router is using my track saw track and an attachment for my router. My track saw is DeWalt but other manufacturers have them. The router is guided well. You can clamp the track but the soft backing is usually enough to keep it in place.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
I forgot to ask. Why did't you cut the dado with a dado blade and tables saw? Just curious and BTW I like the Dutchman solution for a fix.
Can't answer for anyone else, but I can cut a bunch dados with an exact fit jig and a straight bit long before I get the exact blades/shims/height setup on a table saw.
 

Dutchman

New User
Buddy
It looks like the errant route is at the back or the case? You might consider planing some walnut 1/8 thick, rip these 1/8 strips the width necessary to cover the route and pin them accross the back in front of the back panel like a decorative element.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
set you're jig back up and make the dado wider. do the same on the opposing dado. now fill in both and cut new dado's. make it look like a design element.
 

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