How to fix 10 Common Woodworking Mistakes

6. Repair Dents in Wood

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, dents happen. And whether they’ve appeared on a project you’re just preparing to finish or on a nice piece of wood you’re still making plans for, the mistake can be disappointing. But it doesn’t have to stay this way if you remember water and a clothes iron.

Wetting small and medium-size dents with water will cause the crushed and sunken wood to swell and rise. The result is greatest with softwoods, such as pine or cedar. Dents can swell so much that the resulting wood is actually higher than it was originally. Just wait a day or two for the water to dry completely, then sand off the resulting hill of swollen wood. For extra help, use an electric clothes iron in addition to a wet cloth to raise deep dents in hardwoods.

7. Widening Cabinet Doors That Are Too Narrow

Inset cabinet doors that fit neatly within a surrounding face frame look terrific. But they’re also challenging to build because the tolerances for error are small. And as you’ll discover, it’s quite easy to make inset cabinet doors too narrow for their opening, especially if pairs of doors meet in the middle. Any gaps are multiplied by two and put on display in the most prominent part of your project. The best fix for undersized inset doors involves a 1/4″-wide strip of bullnose trim. Fasten this semi-circular profile to one of the adjoining stiles where the doors meet, then plane the pair to fit the opening. The bullnose trim gives you a second shot at getting the door-to-frame clearances just right, but there’s an added bonus too. If small amounts of warping mean the door stiles don’t meet perfectly along their entire lengths, no problem. The curved edge of the bullnose hides the error surprisingly well.

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