Invisible Fix for Chipped Plywood
While planing the solid-wood edge-banding on a plywood tabletop, I accidentally planed through the veneer, leaving a small but unsightly nick. Can I repair this without having to remake the top?
Michale Crouse, New Freedom, PA
Yes, you can. Start by planing fairly thin shavings (0.003 in. to 0.004 in.) from a piece of scrapwood of the same species, color, and grain pattern as the plywood. Trim a dozen or so shavings somewhat longer than the bare spot. Dab a thin layer of yellow glue onto the bare spot and place one shaving on it.
Repeat this procedure until you’ve filled the void and then some—seven to 10 layers. Work quickly in order to finish before the glue dries. Place a business card or a piece of waxed paper on top of the mound and immediately clamp a hardwood block over the repair. A second block underneath the workpiece will prevent denting.
Tighten the clamp to force the wood shavings to conform to the irregular surface. Let the repair dry overnight before removing the clamp and blocks. Now, carefully handplane the mound with a sharp, standard-angle block plane. As you get close to the surrounding surface, switch to a scraper and/or sandpaper for better control. (For an open-grained species like oak, I also put in fake grain lines with an awl to match the surrounding wood.)
Because of the high wood content and the thin glue bond between layers, the repair holds up and takes stain beautifully.
From Fine Woodworking #198