Rubbing Alcohol + Heat = dent repair?

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Forum topic by depictureboy posted 11-23-2010 08:34 PM 2873 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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420 posts in 5133 days

11-23-2010 08:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

i read on a music instrument forum that some guys on there use put rubbing alcohol in a ding, light it on fire and it causes the ding to swell and disapear…I am at work right now and cant experiment on this…have any of you ever tried this? I would have to think you would only want to do this on bare wood not one that has been finished in any way; blo for instance…

what do you all think?

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

7 replies so far

View Max's profile


55997 posts in 5764 days

#1 posted 11-23-2010 08:39 PM

I have not tried this but have used a wet cotton cloth put over the dent and then a iron on that which will swell the wood fiber’s to bring it up to where you can sand it smooth again.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 5361 days

#2 posted 11-23-2010 08:40 PM

yep I Have heard of it

works great on bare wood, if its finished gently slice the finish with a razor blade, and use some hot water, you have to get the moisture and heat to the raw wood, on finished pieces it isnt perfect, but does pretty well,

View tbone's profile


334 posts in 5175 days

#3 posted 11-23-2010 09:22 PM

I have used that method many times. It works great. It’s particularly useful on woods that are prone to watermarks—red oak comes to mind.
The heat from the alcohol does the trick without any residue left behind. It burns ‘clear’ so you need to be a little bit careful to keep your hand away from a flame that is hard to see.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 4318 days

#4 posted 11-24-2010 03:50 AM

Am I the only one that thinks its a bad idea to intentionally light your wood on fire..?! I mean comeon… fire is fire… wood is wood… lst I checked one fuels the other…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 4541 days

#5 posted 11-24-2010 04:08 AM

I saw that on a Michael Dresdner ( I think that’s his name) video. He put some drops of denatured alcohol in the dent and took a lighter and set it aflame… it burned instantly, and each time he did it it brought the fibers back up. Before that, he showed the clothes iron/water trick.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5543 days

#6 posted 11-24-2010 04:11 AM


Did you look at the Video on YouTube by CharlesNeil?

The wood does not burn… The fire burns the alcohol, which heats any other moisture, which expands the wood, which tends to remove the dent…

Very clever… Watch the video…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4425 days

#7 posted 11-24-2010 07:54 AM

I have done it a couple of times. It works on very shallow dents.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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