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Forum topic by Pitt posted 02-11-2009 03:51 AM 1093 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pitt

35 posts in 3269 days


02-11-2009 03:51 AM

I’m building a jewelry box and messed up my miter joints (some small gaps either from not enough glue or bad cuts, or both). Any advice on filling these prior to finishing? I will probably use BLO as a finish.

Thanks


10 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3680 days


#1 posted 02-11-2009 04:01 AM

I’ve had good luck with Elmer’s wood filler. It comes in tubes in many different colors. Pick the color closest to the wood you’re working with, force it into the gaps, and sand smooth when dry. It won’t be invisible, but it’s pretty good. Some people prefer to make their own filler by mixing sawdust from the wood you are using with glue.

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

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3357 days


#2 posted 02-11-2009 04:02 AM

Pitt – if the gaps are not to large you can try running a burnishing rod down each edge. That would roll your edges in a bit and may hide it. It won’t work on very large gaps. Another trick is to run a v-groove bit down each edge and then fill in the groove with another contrasting wood – then flush it up with the sides. I’ve done both and they work pretty well.

Hope this helps. And welcome back to the site.

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

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Pitt

35 posts in 3269 days


#3 posted 02-11-2009 04:09 AM

Thanks Charlie and Betsy

I tried mixing sawdust from my sander and it didn’t work too well. The filler may work and with cherry would probably be less visible as the rest of the wood ages. I don’t mind rounding the edges, but have no idea how to use a burnishing rod…

I put contrasting wood splines in the edges and will take a look at the vertical (v-groove) suggestion also.

The real solution is probably to figure out how to cut better miter joints.

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3357 days


#4 posted 02-11-2009 04:12 AM

Pitt – a burnishing rod is simply a piece of hardened steel. You can use the round portion of a screwdriver shank as well. It sounds more magical than it is. Since it sounds like this may be a learning box – give it a shot and see what works.

Miters have been the bane of a lot of woodworkers over the years. Takes some practice and patience for sure. You’ll get it.

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

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Pitt

35 posts in 3269 days


#5 posted 02-11-2009 04:24 AM

thanks Betsy – do you just run it down the edge to “dent” the wood together?

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Betsy

3338 posts in 3357 days


#6 posted 02-11-2009 04:26 AM

Pretty much yes Pitt. It does not need a lot of pressure. If the gap is too large it won’t work, but for very small gaps it should.

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

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Pitt

35 posts in 3269 days


#7 posted 02-11-2009 04:37 AM

Thanks. I find that they are all learning boxes, but people still seem to like them.

View cmaeda's profile

cmaeda

205 posts in 3016 days


#8 posted 02-11-2009 08:10 AM

I used to use a variant of Betsy’s burnishing rod trick too. Only I pushed the corners into the top of my tablesaw.
Miters are really hard to get perfectly flush but I find using a tablesaw and double checking all my settings does the trick. Make sure any chips or dust in your setup doesn’t interfere with the accuracy of the cut.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8240 posts in 2890 days


#9 posted 02-11-2009 08:28 PM

I once watched Jim Cummings do Betsy’s cut and spline trick on a small octagonal box. He did all of the corners and it turned out great. He just ran the corners across the table saw with the blade set at about 1/8 above the table.

-- 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 Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2656 posts in 2988 days


#10 posted 02-11-2009 08:57 PM

If the gaps are small, burnshing them (Betsy) if large, try Genes advice and consider using contrasting wood for the splines so it looks like it was intentional, ie dark box light splines.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

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