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Other Woodworking Tips

Dealing with dents and scratches

Dealing with dents and scratches

Though not typically caused by tools, dents and scratches in wood also can show up at finish time like uninvited guests. And while sanding removes surface scratches, dents require a different tack. First, moisten the dented area by placing a damp cloth over the depression, and then running a hot household iron over the cloth, as shown right. The steam generated will swell the compressed wood fibers, letting you sand them flush once they dry.

Sometimes, the easiest and best fix for tool marks is to mill a replacement part, or better yet, to machine extra stock for spares in the beginning. Another option includes using tool-marked stock in areas where it won’t be seen.

 
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