Need Help - Accidentally exposed wood biscuits on table

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Forum topic by Buckeyes posted 09-16-2019 02:08 AM 1911 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Buckeyes's profile


2 posts in 856 days

09-16-2019 02:08 AM

Hello fellow woodworkers,

I am in need of some help in how to get myself out of a little conundrum I created for myself. I am creating a table and I used biscuits to join the wood together and surprise surprise, in my finish cutting the table to size, I exposed a few of the biscuits, see pictures. I am using white oak and bolivian coffee wood in the table. I created my own white oak biscuits thinking I could just re-biscuit the areas and put these in. My wife said she does not like the patch. So I am trying to entertain other ideas.

Here are some ideas I have of how to remedy this problem:
1. Use the biscuit joiner and create my own biscuits out of bolivian coffee wood and strategically create slots around the whole table edge so it looks intentional
2. Use the biscuit joiner and create a groove all around the outside edge and either use a resin or some kind of putty to fill in and smooth to a finish
3. Do some kind of banding with spray glue (not sure if this would durable long term since table is a coffee table)
4. try some kind of metal inlay (not sure if its possible)

I have never used a resin or a putty in that manner so not sure if resin would stay in the groove since table is round to set and not sure if putty can be colored and would it accept a clear coat for a final finish.

So to the forum, any ideas on what you would do or what would be best to ensure a successful finished product and not involve an extensive amount of labor? Any ideas are welcomed!

15 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


4220 posts in 3130 days

#1 posted 09-16-2019 02:27 AM

If it were in my shop I would keep cutting the table smaller till I was on the other side of the exposed biscuits.
Or remake the table.
Cool design I like it.
Good luck

-- Aj

View Firewood's profile


1650 posts in 2966 days

#2 posted 09-16-2019 02:30 AM

Sorry for your dilemma. The putty solution will be noticable because of the end grain pattern. What about routing a groove all the way around the table through the biscuits and gluing in a contrasting strip like walnut or ???? That’s all I got.

-- Mike - Ocala, FL

View swdst's profile


123 posts in 2423 days

#3 posted 09-16-2019 02:32 AM

Maybe cut some thin hardwood strips and glue them to the edge with something like titebond, paying attention to how the wood is going to move in the future. Similar to your idea of banding it, but not with a spray adhesive, something stronger. Or if you really want to get creative, chisel out a butterfly and inlay it, a lot of work, but could look amazing as long as there isnt too many of them. I would probably RIP a couple long thin pieces and band it

-- The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for. Louis L'Amour

View therealSteveN's profile


9383 posts in 1906 days

#4 posted 09-16-2019 02:49 AM

Several good ideas, and all of them leave AJ’s smaller sized top as an end point if you don’t like them.

I generally don’t like edge banding unless it has clear points where it stops and starts, and with your shape, you don’t have them. I’ve only tried this once, and had so so success, but mine was on a much pointier area.

It was the same guy at a show that gave me the idea. Edgebanding and heat.

Like the other options it still leaves the smaller sized top.

Only other thought is Go Bucks….

-- Think safe, be safe

View Rich's profile


7743 posts in 1922 days

#5 posted 09-16-2019 06:20 AM

If I were doing the fix, I’d start with a sweep gouge and a V gouge and scoop some of that biscuit out of there with the sweep gouge. The purpose of the V gouge is to give some randomness to the edges since straight edges tend to catch the eye.

I’d follow that with epoxy putty, getting as close to the main tone of the wood as possible. At that point, you’ll have a fill with random edges that don’t catch the eye. However, the lack of grain to match the surrounding area will need camouflaging.

There are a number of ways to do that. Some time back, I did a post about defect damage and repair. Those techniques will work here. I’ve since developed new techniques that I haven’t done a blog post about yet (and probably won’t). PM me if you want more info.

A repair like this can fall into a couple of categories. One is where the casual observer doesn’t focus on the repair area. The best is when even you have trouble finding it after it’s done. The first is pretty easy to achieve.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2875 posts in 879 days

#6 posted 09-16-2019 07:27 AM

It is a very nice table top, design-wise, and the woodgrain is looking real good too. I know you want to hide the biscuits for your wife´s sake, but I think I would just plug the gaps with some shims of the same wood and call ér done.

You can always pretend you meant to do that as part of the design:))

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7353 posts in 3825 days

#7 posted 09-16-2019 10:24 AM

Personally I wouldn’t edge band it, I’d be worried about movement and separation of the banding. I love the design, so much so that if this was important enough I’d start over. If that wasn’t an option, I think I’d route a groove around the edge that cut over the exposed biscuits, and then fill it with some inlay material. Actually, I might do that first and see how it looks, if it’s chit…then rebuild using some of the same wood.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Buckeyes's profile


2 posts in 856 days

#8 posted 09-16-2019 12:10 PM

Thanks everyone for the ideas. I have decided to route a dado all the way around and inlay a different wood.

View Robert's profile


4833 posts in 2813 days

#9 posted 09-16-2019 01:21 PM

Thanks everyone for the ideas. I have decided to route a dado all the way around and inlay a different wood.

- Buckeyes

Excellent solution! You know the mark of true craftsman is knowing how to turn a mistake into a “design feature” ;-)

I was going to suggest edge banding.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View pottz's profile


22268 posts in 2316 days

#10 posted 09-16-2019 01:53 PM

been there done it,and it’s not fun.i like your idea.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View bilyo's profile


1456 posts in 2435 days

#11 posted 09-16-2019 03:36 PM

I like your solution. It should look good. I do have a question about it for those of you that have done this type of inlay. Will there be any expansion/contraction problems with the inlay where it goes cross grain?

View theart's profile


233 posts in 1887 days

#12 posted 09-16-2019 06:36 PM

I would probably cut 1/4” deep mortises at all of the seams and put in fake splines.

View DS's profile


4041 posts in 3753 days

#13 posted 09-17-2019 02:45 PM

You could always remove the exposed biscuits and fill the holes with matching end grain material from your off fall.
It might never be noticed if you are careful about it.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

View a1Jim's profile


118308 posts in 4909 days

#14 posted 09-17-2019 04:55 PM

Your approach is what I was going to suggest, good fix. The other point in this learning process is what I learned years ago,you don’t need biscuits at all edge gluing is fine without any joinery(end gains a whole different story)glue is much stronger than wood. So for future project forget the biscuits altogether.


View Toller's profile


64 posts in 2932 days

#15 posted 09-17-2019 07:51 PM

I expect you have already made your dado, but let me share my fix.
I cut a biscuit slot in the wrong face of an almost complete chair and was sick about it. I filled the slot in with putty and cut a piece of veneer that exactly matched the rest of the wood. I can’t even find the defect, it was that perfect.
That was 15 years ago and it is still good.

You are dealing with end grain, which might make it more difficult, and you have several which will multiply the problem; but it is possible to fix it.

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