As I mentioned in my recent workbench blog, I had used inverted dovetail joinery to connect the skirt of the benchtop to the endcap. just like Arabian Nights, there are 1001 stories why joinery can get screwed up- mine were rushing + miscalculating + lack of experience + other. All of these matter not, and the end result is a misaligned, crooked, awfully looking, and unacceptable dovetail fit:
you can plainly see the tearout and large gaps between the mating parts, and the misalignment on the bottom tail and it’s socket.
Obviously the ‘proper’ way to do things is to keep on practicing to finesse and perfect your joinery. BUT, learning to fix and clean mistakes is also a skill worth having for those times when things just ‘seem’ to happen.
This is a workbench, and the dovetail does it job – just doesn’t look too nice. I could have left it as is, and it wouldn’t make any functional difference, BUT. I preferred to clean this up, and accomplish 2 things:
1. have a nicer looking bench and dovetail
2. learn a new skill, and see if my theory would prove itself to be useful.
my idea seemed to have been fruitful!
Since the gaps are in endgrain, I figured it would be easy to blend cutoff pieces since endgrain does not have grain patterns that would be broken by a patch. what I did was slice cut off pieces of same material into small wedges, coat them with glue, and pound them into the visible gaps:
(in this photo it’s actually the 2nd filling of the remaining gaps after the initial filling of larger gaps)
once dried, I pared the excess material off, and planed/trimmed the endgrain flush with the tails:
Some of the fillers can still be seen and could be fixed a bit more/better, while other fillers are completely invisible. after a little more planing and scraping this looks even better, and after a coat of finish this one is good enough for the workbench – maybe in other situations I’d push for a tighter look, but for this purpose I am very satisfied with the result – hell of a lot better then the starting point.
Hope this can be of help,
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.