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Forum topic by Murphy posted 09-06-2017 12:30 AM 4401 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Murphy

7 posts in 44 days


09-06-2017 12:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question novice fail dado

Hey everyone. New guy here. First large project. Thanks for your time.

I’m building three, chunky, cube-style bookcases out of pine 2×12’s (see dimension plans attached).

So, I built a router jig to cut exact 1-1/2” wide dadoes exactly the same width apart and square to the edge of the lumber. The dadoes came out clean and perfect, and I was promptly proud of myself.

What didn’t come out perfect, and what many of y’all probably could have foreseen, is the lumber itself is not clean and perfect. I have no jointer or planer, and I stupidly didn’t plan for such variance in the “dimensional” lumber (my fault for trying to use carpentry lumber for furniture, really). So, although I tried to choose the straightest boards, many of the shelf boards are slightly cupped or twisted, and most were slightly less than 1-1/2” thick to start out with. Also, on top of that, I had to sand them smooth for finishing which really makes them less than 1-1/2” thick.

Long story short, my dados are about 1/16” to 1/8” too wide for the shelf boards, and some shelf boards are not square, so there are uneven gaps. I realize now that I should have undersized the dadoes and sanded to fit, instead of trying to make everything perfect the first time. I’m a designer and drafter, so I’m used to working with perfection in CAD… I’m realizing real fast that I gotta get over that if I want to be successful in building things in the real world. lol.

So my question: I know, theoretically, I could shim them to get a tight fit, but since some are cupped or twisted (a straight shim would not work to fill these gaps), and I’m painting it anyway, could I just use wood filler or JB weld Kwikwood for these gaps, or will that compromise the joints?

I look forward to learning from y’all and my mistakes.


28 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3149 days


#1 posted 09-06-2017 12:51 AM

I was going to recommend hand carving shims, but if you’re painting them, go for the wood filler, paint turns mistakes into masterpieces.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3452 posts in 2189 days


#2 posted 09-06-2017 03:36 AM



I was going to recommend hand carving shims, but if you re painting them, go for the wood filler, paint turns mistakes into masterpieces.

- papadan

Very true, have my share of such masterpieces.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2506 posts in 2663 days


#3 posted 09-06-2017 05:50 AM

I’d go with the wood filler too. As I’ve gotten better at woodworking, I don’t necessarily make less mistakes, but I get better at hiding them!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Bluenote38's profile

Bluenote38

174 posts in 169 days


#4 posted 09-06-2017 10:11 AM



I d go with the wood filler too. As I ve gotten better at woodworking, I don t necessarily make less mistakes, but I get better at hiding them!

- Manitario

Too true – I sometimes think wood working is more about fixing mistakes than anything else. Wood putty should work well for you. Good luck and welcome to the brotherhood.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

26281 posts in 2118 days


#5 posted 09-06-2017 11:20 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks

Mistakes happen. Hiding them is a learned skill.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

4853 posts in 2046 days


#6 posted 09-06-2017 12:39 PM

What Monte said. AN old mentor taught me that a good carpenter is someone who can hide his mistakes so no one notices them.

View ArtMann's profile (online now)

ArtMann

624 posts in 596 days


#7 posted 09-06-2017 05:28 PM

I buy construction grade lumber for shop cabinets, tables, fixtures, jigs and various other utilitarian purposes. It is usually inconsistent and inaccurate in thickness and may have twists and bows in it. The edges are also rounded over. I store it in my shop loft for a few months to let it dry and then I mill it flat and to 1.375” thickness and joint and rip the width to whatever dimension I need. In other words, I treat it as rough sawn lumber. After doing this, it is pretty stable. I know you don’t have the equipment yet but as time goes by you may acquire it.

View htl's profile

htl

2968 posts in 940 days


#8 posted 09-06-2017 06:10 PM

Minwax makes some wood putty’s that are wood colored to match their stains, they work great for buggers and nail holes and the like.
My trick is to put on the stain, then first coat of finish let dry then add the putty, this way the putty doesn’t fill the pores of the wood to where the stain can’t sink in, now the second coat of finish and all is sealed.

Back 40 or so years ago using nails on face frames wasn’t such a no no and the putty would hide the nails holes.
Just my $.02

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1240 posts in 1454 days


#9 posted 09-06-2017 10:55 PM

Another way to do this sort of thing is to make the dados smaller than the shelf thickness. Ex: shelves 2 in thick, blind dados at the front, 1 3/4 in wide. Dress out the cup at least the height of your table saw fence with a hand plane and cut the rebate with the dressed side against the fence, standing up. With well dressed timber, I cut the rebate, bottom of the shelf down, on a router table.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1604 posts in 2645 days


#10 posted 09-06-2017 11:16 PM

Construction lumber is going to shrink quite a bit also unless it has dried for a few months after you bought it.

Post a picture of what you built.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1830 posts in 721 days


#11 posted 09-06-2017 11:54 PM

Just affix the top and bottom shelves and maybe one pair in the middle. The rest are sliding shelves. It really should be fine unless you want a seamless look, which at this point probably isn’t possible. Your other option is to hide your mistake with a face frame. And if the space on the top side offends you, then put a piece of trim over it.

Wood filler will just make a mess. It will probably crack after a while and look terrible.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

7939 posts in 1266 days


#12 posted 09-07-2017 01:59 AM


Construction lumber is going to shrink quite a bit also unless it has dried for a few months after you bought it.

- patcollins

It will.

Or cut thin strips to glue in.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3452 posts in 2189 days


#13 posted 09-07-2017 04:29 AM

Mistakes happen, heck it could be worse you might have gotten an award for it. See pic below. This has been passed around at work countless times. You want one of your own, make one….. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Murphy's profile

Murphy

7 posts in 44 days


#14 posted 09-07-2017 10:54 PM

Thanks for all the info and welcomes, everyone.

I might try to shim up what I can (the larger gaps), and use filler for the rest.

I worry just filler will, as mentioned above, crack over time, but also negatively affect the glued joint strength since I’m not using fasteners. Any thoughts on the strength of wood filler in glued joints?

I think my next large tool purchase will be a planer.

Also.. I dig that award. lol.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3452 posts in 2189 days


#15 posted 09-08-2017 12:56 AM

I have friends at other mechanics shops that borrow it from time to time. Gets alot of laughs.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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