Please tell me I don't have a $300 piece of trash...

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Forum topic by DRStevick posted 01-15-2012 02:02 AM 2500 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 2378 days

01-15-2012 02:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing question maple purpleheart koa laquer ca glue

OK, I’m freaking out a little bit here… I came in to type and to try to calm down a little bit. Hopefully someone out there can help me out.

I was about 99% complete with my project – a cribbage board in Koa with Purpleheart and Maple inlay on a maple case, with two barrel hinges. Unfortunately, the holes for the barrel hinges and the holes for the pegs on the other side were deep enough and lined up such that there was one hole that went completely through the board. Wouldn’t have been a problem, had I remembered that it was there.

I intially just pressed the hinges in place – the fit was tight enough. However, after a few days of showing it off, opening and closing it, I noticed that they were a little loose, so I decided that they needed to be glued in place. Armed with a bottle of CA glue, I applied some glue to the notch in the hinge. Not realizing that the glue was actually coming out of the peg hole on the other side!

So now I have a bit of a mess with the CA glue. Unfortunately, as I’m about to find out, CA glue removal liquid also removes laquer very well also. Down to the wood.

So here’s where I am – I’ve cleaned up all of the CA glue, but now I have some areas where the laquer is removed down to the wood. I’ve lightly sanded the whole project with 1500 grit wet/dry sand paper, and used 0000 steel wool to smoothe the edges between the laquer and the bare spots.

Is this recoverable? Starting from scratch isn’t really a viable option – I don’t have another set of coins to inlay, and I don’t know if I can get these out without destroying them. With the way the coins are inlayed, I don’t know if I can get the entire project down to bare wood. And, of course, now that the hinges are set with CA glue, I can’t separate the top from the base.

16 replies so far

View StumpyNubs's profile


7591 posts in 2798 days

#1 posted 01-15-2012 02:05 AM

How about some photos of the problem areas?

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The greatest woodworking show since wood was invented is now online!)

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30 posts in 2378 days

#2 posted 01-15-2012 02:13 AM

OK, I’ll see what I can get. Not sure how well they’ll turn out.

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30 posts in 2378 days

#3 posted 01-15-2012 02:18 AM

The first two are the back edge; the second two are (obviously) on the top… It actually looks like I need to do a little more cleaning on the area of the first picture. – DONE.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2561 days

#4 posted 01-15-2012 02:55 AM

beautiful piece…wish I could offer some suggestions on the finishing issue.

just wondering though are they rare coins or something? they appear to be some sort of commerative navy set? or is it $300 in labor?

otherwise way better than my cribbage board

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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30 posts in 2378 days

#5 posted 01-15-2012 03:06 AM

No, the coins aren’t rare or anything… Between the koa and everything, plus the inlay, etc, I was originally going to charge $250 for the piece, but the customer gave me $300 for it… I was planning to deliver it on Tuesday after fixing the hinge issue. Oh yea – forgot to mention – the CUSTOMER HAS ALREADY PAID FOR THE PIECE! ARRGH!

View sras's profile


4797 posts in 3127 days

#6 posted 01-15-2012 03:08 AM

I would be trying another coat of finish.

Maybe you can create a test piece with the same characteristics and see how it works…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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30 posts in 2378 days

#7 posted 01-15-2012 03:09 AM

The coins – Basically Submarine Squadron One (Center Coin) has six submarines assigned (the other 6 coins). The captain of Squadron One is transferring in a couple of weeks, so the six submarine commanding officers got together to get him a gift; I was chosen to build it. It turned out awesome, until about 2 hours ago…

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30 posts in 2378 days

#8 posted 01-15-2012 03:16 AM

I think I’m going to try that and see what happens… I mean, I can’t really screw it up any more than it already is. I’ll finish cleaning, get a couple of coats of laquer on it, wait until tomorrow moring, and see what happens.

Worst case, I think I can get the coins out without too much effort. Would definately destroy the board, but at this point, it’s already destroyed. I already have holes in the board that I used to aid in positioning and gluing; I should be able to enlarge the holes and tap the coins out – the back sides of the coins don’t matter anyway. In fact, I had to use my bench grinder to grind the back side of the coins flat anyway. Bad part is, due to the holiday, I’d have to wait until Tuesday to get more lumber.

Off to finish cleaning and apply some laquer. Keeping my fingers crossed!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3268 days

#9 posted 01-15-2012 03:20 AM

I was going to add that you could wipe the entire back with the glue remover….get all the laquer off that area…would make the whole thing match up…..if it gets real bad…you can use the glue debonder as a paint stripper…would make a reduction to bare wood pretty quick…Good luck.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Torr's profile


19 posts in 2644 days

#10 posted 01-15-2012 03:23 AM

It’s lacquer, right? Should be doable. I’d mask off the unaffected areas and re-spray or re-brush the lacquer. Then sand to level and blend and maybe shoot one more final coat over the whole kit and caboodle. Should blend in fine.


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30 posts in 2378 days

#11 posted 01-15-2012 04:02 AM

Thanks for the advice… I’ll post when I know if it’s going to work or not.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2673 days

#12 posted 01-15-2012 04:35 AM

I think it will work. I have touched up places where spray guns dripped on lacquer. sand it off and spray again.

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30 posts in 2378 days

#13 posted 01-15-2012 04:56 AM

Ok… I think I can calm down now. Three fresh coats, and although I can tell where the problem areas were due to a little unevenness in the thickness of the lacquer, I think that after it’s fully cured and I do one more sand of the whole thing and another couple of coats of lacquer that I’ll be fine.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3048 days

#14 posted 01-15-2012 08:40 AM

Yeah, relax. Laquer burns in and doesn’t leave witness lines, so a couple more coats and and gentle rubbing out, no one will know if you don’t tell them. Had it been poly…....


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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30 posts in 2378 days

#15 posted 01-15-2012 09:00 AM

Thanks, everyone… I know exactly were to look, and I can barely tell that there’s a difference, and I havend done any rubbing out yet. I’ll do that tomorrow, then a last coat over the whole thing and I should be set.

On a completley separate note, I discovered today that the 1/8 inch bit in Rockler’s self-centering bit set is slightly undersized – the pegs won’t fit! It’s not due to the finish – I made a test hole with a standard 1/8 bit and the self-centering bit on a piece of scrap wood. Pegs fit in the standard 1/8 hole, but not the self center hole. Looks like I have to drill all of the holes out again!

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