Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sometimes #**%*^(*# Happens! Take Two

     This was the conclusion of the post when I talked about the tablesaw mishap and how it tore up the inside, bottom of one of the legs.

Epoxy/Sawdust Patch

     I wasn't real pleased with it and hated the thought of having to compromise on the over-all quality of the piece.  I reasoned that it was in a location that wouldn't be real noticeable but, like I always would stress to my students; I'll always know it's there!
     This is where the magic of the internet and electronic networking come into play.  I've had communications with Chris Hall who's blog can be found at:   He is from Massachusetts and specializes in Japanese style of woodworking which, if you're not familiar with it involves a lot of intricate hand cut joinery.  In any case, he commented on the blog and asked why I didn't consider making a Dutchman patch?  Let's see now, I was born in Amsterdam and am a genuine Dutchman myself -- you'd of thought that would have been a no-brainer for me now wouldn't you?  Thanks to his comment the outside of the leg now looks like this.

Dutchman Patch
      Realize that this is an extreme close-up so there is a visible line at the end of the patch but this piece came from the cut-off from this leg.  That one prominent grain line that goes from the lower right towards the upper left is the most visible feature so I was glad to be able to match that up.  The more difficult part of the hunt was trying to line up the various sections of interlocking grain the Sapele has.  Won't really be able to see exactly how well I succeeded on that until the final finish has been applied.
     Once I found a suitable "donor" piece, the first step was to route out the leg to remove the damage.

Dutchman Donor Piece
     I made a template for the patch which was clamped to the leg.  The first step was to outline it with a marking knife to prevent the wood fibers from tearing out as the router removed the material.  I went down to a depth of about 3/16".

Dutchman Template

     The corners were squared off and the patch piece was fitted and glued and clamped in.  Once the glue was thoroughly dry everything was planed flush.  Here you can see how that predominant grain line follows through the patch.

Ready for Final Sizing
     Here's the final shot of the patch from the inside.  It's slightly visible but a vast improvement over the photo at the top of this blog.  Thanks Chris for pointing out a better way to fix an unexpected mishap!

Much Improved, Darned Inter-locking Grain!


  1. I do those in a elliptical shaped patch, much harder to see the edges of the patch. The final view is a great repair. By the time it is near the floor on a piece of furniture nobody will ever see it.