Should I try and "fix" this?

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Forum topic by Alan S posted 10-20-2011 04:15 PM 1611 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alan S

181 posts in 3282 days

10-20-2011 04:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oops repair fix

So I posted this picture in my Greene & Greene crib blog.

I realized shortly after gluing the whole thing together that something wasn’t quite right. I designed the panel to have 2” gaps on each side before the inner sets of three slats. Instead, I made the panel 2” wider than it should have been, and those gaps are only 1” each. So to me it looks a little funny that the inner sets of three slats aren’t defined with the appropriate space around them like they should have. Does this bother anyone else?

I can imagine a pretty elaborate process to try and fix this. To get the inner panel out, I think I would pretty much have to destroy it. It isn’t glued in, so removing it would be possible. Once I got the panel out, I would have to fill the grooves/mortises so that when I narrowed the panel, there wouldn’t be holes in the horizontal pieces showing. I’d have to create a new panel, but to get it in, I’m not so sure. Ideas?

Does anyone think I am overreacting? I’d like this to follow my design, but do I really want to undertake such a drastic procedure to modify this design issue? What do you think?


35 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10350 posts in 3393 days

#1 posted 10-20-2011 04:17 PM

I’d leave it.
Looks good from here. In fact, it looks quite nice.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Gary's profile


9324 posts in 3398 days

#2 posted 10-20-2011 04:21 PM

I agree with Gene. Wouldn’t do anything. No one will know except you. And the beauty of that wood and your craftsmanship is what people will see.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2916 days

#3 posted 10-20-2011 04:22 PM

It isn’t ideal, but I’d probably leave the panel in there because the amount of work to fix it wouldn’t be worth it, in my opinion. I didn’t notice the problem until I read your description. ;-) Of course, it’s always one of those things that will bug you, but probably not anybody else.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2849 days

#4 posted 10-20-2011 04:41 PM

Alan – I have looked at it several times and I never knew there was any issue. I have tried to make many things only to have some minor flaw that ONLY I know about. IT me it’s fine and will work just great. Knowing you I know that you want it perfect espically for the intended use.

LEAVE IT – that is my vote and it still looks great.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2604 days

#5 posted 10-20-2011 04:43 PM

Your only true mistake was ever telling anyone about it ! ;=) I say it adds character.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Pdub's profile


923 posts in 3145 days

#6 posted 10-20-2011 04:44 PM

I think it looks fine. Both sides match so it looks like you planned it that way. No one will notice. Gonna be a nice lookin crib.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#7 posted 10-20-2011 05:06 PM

I’m going to sort-of be the bad guy here.

While I think it looks great as is, I can see what your intention was, and I believe the larger gap on each side of the panel would look even better.

It’s not really a question of needing to be fixed… like I said, it’s great as is. But the real question is whether it’s going to bug YOU in the long term. If you are going to second-guess yourself every time you look at this beautiful crib, better to bite the bullet now and do it like you originally planned.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3282 days

#8 posted 10-20-2011 05:28 PM

You’re not being the bad guy. Honest responses are all I want.

Thanks everyone for the responses. The positive feedback does make me feel better, but I think this is going to bother me.

I think I can get the panel out without destroying it, and even reduce its size to reuse the wood. If I take my router to the back of the bottom horizontal rail, I can basically open up the groove to the back so the panel can be angeled out. I can put it back in that same way. Then I just have to shape a piece to fit when I routed out to hold the panel back in place.

I am a little worried about filling the mortises that are there (I’ve also cut these same mortises in the horizontal rails for the front of the crib. Do you think I can fill those and make it look okay?

I’m still not convinced I’ll change anything, but I’m just trying to explore my options. Thanks again everyone for the comments!


View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2936 days

#9 posted 10-20-2011 05:51 PM

I couldn’t find what was wrong until reading your description. Now that I see it it, kinda attracts your eyes to the problem. Probably would never have noticed it at all if you hadn’t pointed it out.

Is there any thing you could do to that center panel with a router to increase the gap that wouldn’t sacrifice the style and overall appearance. I’m looking at the way the posts are stepped in width and makes me wonder if the panel could have some similar steps. That would leave your mortises intact. Maybe, if you’re going to take the panel out anyway you could try this first. Nothing to loose.

It’s a tough call, not sure what I would do. Might just leave it alone. I t looks great at first impression. Sometimes it’s best to just let it be. But I understand your problem. I’ve done similar things.

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3282 days

#10 posted 10-20-2011 05:55 PM

The panel actually isn’t just a single board. It is sunken in in the middle. There are two vertical slats that are 3/4” deep on the right and left sides of the panel, that is more like 1/2” thick. So I can’t just route away the outsides or it would look pretty funny. The two slats are glued to the sides of the panel and that assembly is set in there loose. And of course the tenons for those two slats extend farther into the rails than the inner panel, so I can’t somehow cut it in half and glue it back together all in situ.


View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3531 days

#11 posted 10-20-2011 06:03 PM

I’m with CharlieM here – just doesn’t quite look right.
Whether or not you fix it somehow, well, that’s another kettle of fish.
Give this one away and make another one?

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2778 days

#12 posted 10-20-2011 06:09 PM

I was going to recommend you carpet tape a pattern to the back splat. Then route out a vertical bowtie or “dog bone” pattern to widen the space between the splat and slats. However now I understand that the back splat is not a solid panel. Although, you could build a new shaped back splat to avoid filling the mortises!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3104 days

#13 posted 10-20-2011 06:24 PM

As a software developer we always say “That’s not a bug, its a feature.”
I couldn’t tell what was wrong either and if anybody does, just say its how you designed it. ;)

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3617 days

#14 posted 10-20-2011 06:37 PM

Looks good as it is. If it bothers you, you could instead remove the nearest slats on either side. That would increase the gap and seems much easier to do.

-- Yves

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2891 days

#15 posted 10-20-2011 06:38 PM

It would look more balanced with a narrower panel, but in my opinion, and as others have said, it is not a glaring mistake, and it’s not likely anybody other than a woodworker or your mother in law would notice it… :)

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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