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Filling voids in salvaged lumber

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Forum topic by RipFence posted 05-02-2021 08:53 PM 419 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RipFence

130 posts in 3853 days


05-02-2021 08:53 PM

Hello LumberJocks:
I have recently acquired a stash of 8/4 hard maple that was milled in the 1950s. It was locker room and bleacher benches. The demolition team ripped it off the bases causing a variety of degrees of damage. These are only on one side so I’m just trying to figure out how to protect the underside of various projects. Please see the pic below with a 20” gouge as one example.
I’m thinking my two main options are 1) cut a dado with a router to smooth out the gouge and glue in a matching patch or 2) leave the gouges as is and fill with epoxy. There are a LOT of gouges all with slightly different shapes so option 1 will be a lot of work. I’ve never worked with epoxy but it seems like it might be a good solution.
Please share your thoughts on these options and any other suggestions you might have.
Best wishes,
Jim!


12 replies so far

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SMP

4430 posts in 1065 days


#1 posted 05-02-2021 09:08 PM

Well i guess it kind of depends on what you plan on using them for. I recently dismantled a busted old armoire that was solid maple. I ind of penciled on what was usable strips and ripped those and crosscut into decent sized pieces. Cut some smaller pieces best I could. A few filled with Timbermate maple. And the parts that were too far gone i burned

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pottz

18742 posts in 2144 days


#2 posted 05-02-2021 09:14 PM

i agree with smp just rip what is clean wood and discard the rest, cutting dados and filling with matching wood or epoxy is a huge amount of work and probably will not look very good.

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

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sras

6254 posts in 4289 days


#3 posted 05-02-2021 09:16 PM

Depends on how good the other side is. If you want to keep the full width boards and the patches won’t show then patch it up.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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pottz

18742 posts in 2144 days


#4 posted 05-02-2021 09:19 PM



Depends on how good the other side is. If you want to keep the full width boards and the patches won t show then patch it up.

- sras


thats true if one side is clean and you’l never see the bad side go for it.this is free wood right,you have nothing too lose ?

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

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RipFence

130 posts in 3853 days


#5 posted 05-02-2021 09:46 PM

Thanks guys.
Sras and Pottz: Yes, the other sides are perfect and, in many cases, gorgeous. Plus they come from the building I’ve worked in most of my career and have sentimental value.
So, yes, I will patch with either wood or epoxy and am looking for help deciding on the best approach.
My first project will be a Stickley 622 dining table so the underside will not show. Even if someone does look underneath it will be cool to explain where the lumber came from.
Epoxy or Dado approach? If epoxy is good enough I’ll go that way. Otherwise, I’ll suck it up and fill dados with patches.
Cheers,
Jim

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SMP

4430 posts in 1065 days


#6 posted 05-02-2021 10:51 PM

Oh, if making a table and nobody will see underneath then just leave it. An even better story to tell if someone looks underneath

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sras

6254 posts in 4289 days


#7 posted 05-02-2021 10:58 PM



Oh, if making a table and nobody will see underneath then just leave it. An even better story to tell if someone looks underneath

- SMP

+1 on this

If you need to patch I’d use wood

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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RipFence

130 posts in 3853 days


#8 posted 05-02-2021 11:03 PM

Okay I like the ease of that approach! But will that put the wood at risk for splitting in the long term? Seems like those cracks/gouges would be stress risers.


Oh, if making a table and nobody will see underneath then just leave it. An even better story to tell if someone looks underneath

- SMP


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pottz

18742 posts in 2144 days


#9 posted 05-02-2021 11:44 PM



Okay I like the ease of that approach! But will that put the wood at risk for splitting in the long term? Seems like those cracks/gouges would be stress risers.

Oh, if making a table and nobody will see underneath then just leave it. An even better story to tell if someone looks underneath

- SMP

- RipFence


you’ll probably be fine just leaving it i mean that wood is 70 years old so if it was gonna crack it should have by now,as long as it hasn’t endured big temp humidity changes.i agree the story behind it is worth saving for a special project.

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

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SMP

4430 posts in 1065 days


#10 posted 05-03-2021 12:23 AM



you ll probably be fine just leaving it i mean that wood is 70 years old so if it was gonna crack it should have by now,as long as it hasn t endured big temp humidity changes.i agree the story behind it is worth saving for a special project.

- pottz

+1
Yep if it has survived kids running up and down jumping on it for 70 years i think it can handle some plates and cups.

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RipFence

130 posts in 3853 days


#11 posted 05-03-2021 02:38 PM

Yes, those boards have been in use for 70 years but they were intact. The gouges are from the demolition a few months ago.
Still, I think I’m getting the messages to not worry about it. Or maybe just fill the gouges with epoxy.
Thanks,
Jim

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splintergroup

5453 posts in 2382 days


#12 posted 05-03-2021 03:40 PM

I agree with just leaving it alone unless it is used for critical structural support.

Epoxy really wouldn’t add much strength. Best for that would be to route out a groove and insert some filler. You wouldn’t need to go full depth of the gouge, only 1/2”-3/4” with wood glue to beef it up sufficiently.
If you could cut an angled groove (45 deg router bit), fitting and clamping a filler piece would be simpler.

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