Is My Project Salvagable?


Recommended Posts

So i made this bench for my first project into woodworking. While i was gluing up the boards just weren't flat. i was sure when i screw them down they would suck in. But they didnt.  so now i have a bunch of gaps between 2" and 1" boards.  Now when i was all sanded i said this wont look bad. I'm sure after i stain it wont be noticed. Now as you can see i have 3 coats of poly on it. My question is. Between the boards there is nothing i can see through it.  Can i use epoxy to fill those gaps maybe just to below the surface line.  just tape off underneath and use a dark epoxy on it. other than these spots i love the bench and put alot of time into it.  Thanks for any input you have.633131250.jpg.7d9465064307cc422c443a14685ada59.jpgIMG_3162.thumb.jpg.518fba2de7691ca89d8427594bfe814d.jpgIMG_3163.thumb.jpg.8fb149c240b59636c6f49e806f00dae3.jpgIMG_3164.thumb.jpg.44857b74918571c3a0018f237fe183cb.jpgIMG_3160.thumb.jpg.0974333cccf361bb0ab8e3d5f29b4835.jpgIMG_3161.jpg.571b89b23afe8d703432292eab567d42.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears to me that your choice of wood is the cause. Pine.  It's terrible.  Did you get that wood from a big box store?  If you did , it's construction lumber, and not really dry enough or stable enough to be used as furniture.  It's a nice design, and you did good considering you were working with pine.  There's a couple of ways to fill the gaps.  There's wood filler, and epoxy. Since it's likely that some of your poly got down in the gaps, I wouldn't bet money on wood filler lasting to long, due the poly keeping it from bonding to the wood.  Epoxy will work. Tape off the underside, and use a thin epoxy to be sure it get as far down in the gaps as possible.  I'd do it in a couple of stages.  Don't use an inexpensive epoxy, it'l generally get hard before you get it where you want it.   Good luck

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum!  I wish my first attempt had looked that good!  Yes epoxy will those cracks.  To darken and thicken the epoxy for a close match I would try used coffee grounds.  Make sure the grounds are dry!.  Do a couple of tests until you come close to matching your stain.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d be tempted to just leave it. The gaps are probably hardly noticeable from more than a couple feet away. It’s a great result for a first project, and should hold up even with the gaps. To be honest, it would need a lot of work to get rid of all the gaps, and if you just fix one or two of the gaps you’ll then want to fix the next biggest gap or two, and so on. Before you know it you’ve spent more time fixing it than you spent building it in the first place.

Wouldn’t you rather spend that time working on your second project? 

Welcome to the forum and keep at it! 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Don’t beat yourself up. I also think you did a commendable job, especially as your first project. I agree with @JohnG , turn it upside down, sign and date it and be proud. Keep it forever and as comparison to how your Woodworking skills improve over the years. And welcome to the forum. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Coop said:

Don’t beat yourself up. I also think you did a commendable job, especially as your first project. I agree with @JohnG , turn it upside down, sign and date it and be proud. Keep it forever and as comparison to how your Woodworking skills improve over the years. And welcome to the forum. 

Yeah I agree with @Coop keep it as is, my son has the first end table I built , it was 1974, I was going to burn it but he wanted it and I’m glad he did, brings back a lot of memories

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My very first build was a coffee table that I saw in the window of a furniture store. It was like two pyramids, the second inverted over the bottom one. I went into the store to get measurements, telling the salesperson that I wanted to see if it fit in my area. For nostalgia sakes, I wish I still had it. I may build another one day, similar, just for the helluva it! 

“Pine Woodworking” at it’s finest! 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

I would be tempted to go a different route. Using a circular saw and straight edge, or a tablesaw, I would saw through from the top, right down each gappy joint (or all of them!) to create a uniform opening, then glue in filler strips of wood. IMO, the uniform stripes will look better than random streaks of epoxy. Either way, you will need to sand and refinish.

I would also take that approach but I would use a hand saw, not a powered device. I prefer hand tools anyway, but in this case I think it would be easier and safer than a powered approach. Plus as a beginner twolip may not have a circular saw or table saw.

I would not attempt to fix all the gaps at once in case the whole thing moved. Do the worst gap as a test and see how it looks. Then decide whether to do all joints, just the gappy joints, or just the worst gaps. Also consider using a contrasting color to fill the gaps - it might look good.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would leave it as is.  It’s your first project and since you are new trying certain things may make it worse and frustrate you more.  The biggest thing to take away from this is use better stock and learn to prepare.  You mentioned that you thought the screws would pull it closer, this is fine if your framing a wall, but not with furniture.  If you have gaps with light clamping pressure before glue up, that’s when you need to fix.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Rockler has a jig to be used on the router table for making finger joints that I swear bye. I have had mine for several years. Keep on keeping on bud and keep us informed on your future projects! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2021 at 9:35 PM, Coop said:

Rockler has a jig to be used on the router table for making finger joints that I swear bye. I have had mine for several years. Keep on keeping on bud and keep us informed on your future projects! 

Is this the one your talking about?  https://www.rockler.com/rockler-s-complete-dovetail-jig?country=US&sid=V91040&promo=shopping&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=PL&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm6XslsrH7gIVi4nICh1GLgVeEAQYBiABEgK4hPD_BwE 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2021 at 8:11 PM, twolip said:

Ive decided to forgo the strenuous project of trying to fix it and try something else. 

Call it a prototype.  Someday when you're in the mood you may try it again.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.