My woodworing ideas and tips #2: Fixing small opps....

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 06-29-2008 06:22 AM 1406 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: What to do, what to do Part 2 of My woodworing ideas and tips series Part 3: Sand paper and cheapskates »

OK—- so here’s my first tip. I was reminded of this little tip when I saw a similar little “defect” on my bed rail.

So let’s suppose, just to humor me, that you have been commissioned to build a new royal throne for Queen Elizabeth. And not only that, but you’ve been given the grand honor and immense responsibility to build this new throne out of the last remaining piece of Transalvanian Ugbuga wood. This is a very rare wood indeed. Can’t screw this up, no can go to big box store to get more———no can go to Rockler or Woodcraft for more either. Soooo no mistakes—- OK???

You are moving along so well, the Queen is going to be pleased. You are ready to apply your finish and YIKES—- right in the middle of the center——you know the piece the Royal Head will be resting on as she ponders the wonders of all those people who adore her and will never have the money she has——there’s a stray sliver. Oh the horror of it. You have to find a way to repair the sliver because you can’t take it off or you’ll have a large divet that the Royal head will not appreciate. But to complicate matters this sliver is too small to get glue under it to fix it. What to do, what to do.

OK – getting bored with my rambling yet???? Sorry—- it’s my only entertainment.

Well we’ve all have had this happen—- probably not with that rare Ugbuga wood.

You’ve got a sliver something like this.


It’s pretty small – yet large enough that you can’t take it out. Now how to fix it. The biggest problem with little slivers is how to get glue under the sliver without lifting it up so far that you take the chance of breaking it off.

Getting the glue bottle’s tip under it is next to impossible. You could use these little squeeze bottles

to put some under it, but it’s still a bit messy. Using your finger to try to jab some glue under it is also too messy to be practical.

What you need is another sliver! I have used very thin paper, such as a store receipt, but sometimes that’s not stiff enough. So one of the best things that I’ve used is a small, very thin, piece of an offcut. Something like this.


Apply a little dab of glue onto the end.


Slide it under the sliver, getting a good coating under the sliver.

Then clamp.


Let dry – sand and finish the project.

So I hope this helps you save a piece of very important wood someday. And when it does, please remember me——- :-)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

12 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3766 days

#1 posted 06-29-2008 06:28 AM

cool idea! thanks for the post!

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3782 days

#2 posted 06-29-2008 09:48 AM

When I’ve encountered that (usually because I caused the splinter myself), I will sometimes just break the piece entirely off, and then glued it back on. That way I get glue everywhere it needs to be, and usually (USUALLY) it looks just fine with no trace of the break lines.

-- Eric at

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 3907 days

#3 posted 06-29-2008 02:25 PM

Betsy, you are fast becoming one of my favorite LJ’s. I love your energy and sense of community knowledge and respect. Keep posting ma’am. By the way. Given and OOPs like this, my wife always tells me,... Looks like another opportunity for embellishment! Isn’t this the reason someone smarter than me invented the “inlay?” LOL,, Happy Days!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3872 days

#4 posted 06-29-2008 06:34 PM

I’ve worked with Transalvanian Ugbuga. It’s very hard and splinters easily. But it may not lift up enough to slide anything under it. Another thing you can do is put a drop of glue under the splinter and then gently blow it in with a little compressed air.

Also, when working with Transalvanian Ugbuga wood, make sure you wipe it down with mineral spirits and seal it well. It is very oily, and you wouldn’t want the Queen’s butt turning brown when she sits in her thrown.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3977 days

#5 posted 06-29-2008 07:01 PM

Hi Betsy;

I want to know how much you charged the Queen?

Good tip.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View northwoodsman's profile


242 posts in 3744 days

#6 posted 06-29-2008 07:10 PM

Perhaps your next segment could take it one step further…. “How To Remove A Splinter From Your Finger and Glue It Back In Place.”

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3894 days

#7 posted 06-29-2008 07:30 PM

Thanks guys.

Woodrat—- I’m flattered!

Blake——that’s a GREAT idea – I’ve never thought of using compressed air to move glue. But it makes good sense because these are usually small fixes so it’s only a small amount of glue that needs moved. Thanks for the tip! Oh and the mineral spirits is a good idea to .. wouldn’t want to embarrass the Queen with a brown butt on those nice threads!

Lee—- I didn’t charge enough, believe me and she talked me down from what I charged—- so I lost on this deal. I never was good at business.

North——I’ve never gotten a splinter——is that similar to a sliver? Hummmmm :-)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#8 posted 06-29-2008 07:58 PM

Betsy, Betsy, Betsy,

How long did you say you have been out of commission? ;>)

Thanks for the great post.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3894 days

#9 posted 06-29-2008 11:13 PM

Too long Lew.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3797 days

#10 posted 06-30-2008 06:13 AM

Great idea Thanks!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View Grumpy's profile


23917 posts in 3849 days

#11 posted 07-02-2008 10:55 AM

Funny thing Betsy, that glue applicator you have is identical to mine. I think it came out of a printer ink refill kit or something like that.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3894 days

#12 posted 07-04-2008 10:59 PM

Grumpy – I picked the glue bottle up at Rockler. Sure has come in handy.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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