Aalto Inspired Tea Cart #4: Fixing a routing mess up.

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Blog entry by bfd posted 07-20-2008 06:53 PM 1399 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Refining the laminations and underwater basket weaving Part 4 of Aalto Inspired Tea Cart series Part 5: Making progress ... I think »

So seeing how woodworking is largely based on problem solving I tought I would post this to show you a recent problem that I had to solve. When I was routing the edge of one of my bent laminations I accidently nicked the sides leaving a nasty gouge. My heart sank thinking how much time and money I have invested in these laminations so far. Knowing that if I replace one lamination I would have to replace both since that they are matched from the same flitch of veneer and I would seriously eat into my profits. (the veneer wood costs $175 to replace). I needed to come up with a way to try and fix this. After looking for a solution I found it in one of my woodworking books. Taunton’s Complete illsutrated Guide to Working with Wood by Andy Rae. had the answer to my problem. Create a patch. So that is what I set out to do.


Having saved my cut offs from my lamination the first thing I did was to use a 1/2” plug cuttiing bit to drill out the plug. I then used a 1/2” forstner bit to drill out about a 1/4” deep hole in the lamination. notice I didn’t cut an entire circle I then glued in my plug and let it dry.


After it dried I trimmed the plug with my flush cut saw.


And then hit it with some sand paper. Almost as good as new.



Now back to the rest of the project!

8 comments so far

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 3686 days

#1 posted 07-20-2008 07:13 PM

Great save BFD. Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to remember this one.

-- Martin, Kansas

View FritzM's profile


106 posts in 3775 days

#2 posted 07-20-2008 08:19 PM

Nice fix man! I tend to feel that repairs can sometimes give a piece that might otherwise appear “machine” made a more handmade quality. but I bet this one will probably go unnoticed. Great job. On another note, it’s crazy to see the close-up photos of your laminations….. man they look like a solid piece lumber. very cool.

-- Fritz Oakland, Ca (dedicated to my other hobby)

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3859 days

#3 posted 07-20-2008 11:41 PM

Like they say, we don’t make mistakes—- we make deviations or variations.

Nice fix!

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

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3666 days

#4 posted 07-20-2008 11:51 PM

Nice fix!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3770 days

#5 posted 07-21-2008 04:05 AM

Hi Fritz,
I too was very surprised at how 25 pieces of veneer look almost like a solid piece of lumber. I think it was because of the glue I used. I mixed it with a lightener so the glue was almost a perfect match to the ash veneer. I also kept the flitch of veneer in order so it is in sequence which helped as well. I was prepared for it to look like Aalto’s laminated ply where you can see each layer.

Betsy and Jarrod my heart stops at least once on every project I do …oh I mean I like to build deviations or variations into every project. Thanks again.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3235 posts in 3675 days

#6 posted 07-21-2008 06:27 AM


The lamination and repair look great. Will you show us how you finish it also? I recently did a similar repair (on solid oak, not lamination). I was very careful with choosing grain that looked identical. BUT . . . when I stained it, it stuck out like a sore thumb. I’m not certain what I did wrong. I thought the sanding was consistent, but it really showed—more stain soaked in around the edge of the plug. Is there something that needs to be done to keep that from happening? I didn’t have any book to consult for advice. I was able to rescue it by cutting off the edge and gluing on an entire strip, but I figured that I would try the plug idea first.

Thanks for your post.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View EEngineer's profile


1098 posts in 3576 days

#7 posted 07-24-2008 05:13 AM


I’ve had similar experiences with patches like this. You need to seal the patch first to keep stain from seeping into the end grain exposed. I have used polyurethane to seal the plug and then sanded down to bare wood again before staining. The poly tends to seal the join between plug and original. If the fit is not real tight, though, you can end up with an unstained border around the patch that highlights the patch.

Others have suggested to me using sanding sealer but I don’t like sanding sealer. Maybe I am not using it correctly, but I always seem to get uneven staining when I use it.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3770 days

#8 posted 07-24-2008 05:30 AM


Thanks for the comments. I am actually not going to use any type of stain so hopefully I will not experience the same thing. I will just be doing a clear coat finish so as to highlight the light beautiful color of the figured ash. I did test the patch with some denatured alcohol to simulate what it would look like with finish on it and it is very minute.

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