Tip: The Shim Fix for the Small Gaps in a Mitered Corner

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Blog entry by DeLayne Peck posted 03-25-2018 01:14 AM 836 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If anything sets me off in the shop, it is miscutting or bumbling a miter. Too often I don’t have the material or patience to remake a part. Or, an effort to grain match just cracked up.

There are a lot of solutions: Glue and sawdust, burnishing with a screwdriver, or try wood putty. I’m certain shimming a gap is not new. But, it works.

Cut a thin strip. Hand sand it to thickness. Dot some glue on it and tap it in place. Carefully clean up any squeeze-out. When the glue dries the rest is finesse. A rat tail file, Dremel, or a sandpaper wrapped dowel can be used to level the shim. (See photos below.)

Hope this helps!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

2 comments so far

View Rich's profile (online now)


4951 posts in 1094 days

#1 posted 03-25-2018 03:59 AM

Great tip. Thanks for sharing. I can see that on a corner, you’ll get good grain matching. Fortunately for me, my miters are always perfect.

Ha, just kidding. I’m sure I’ll be using your tip regularly.

Any suggestions for dealing with the corner of a mitered box that has a gap? Just the tiniest opening really messes up the look.

-- Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to sound smarter the faster they come at you.

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 2706 days

#2 posted 03-25-2018 03:34 PM

I am the “Wood Waldo,” not the “Whisperer.” But, I have used the advice of others to burnish fine box edges closed. That means working the gap closed by rubbing the shank of a screwdriver over the gap. I patiently work each side of the gap toward the other. That method works compliments the practice of softening sharp edges with light sanding.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

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