Found out I messed up my project after it was assembled. Advice appreciated...

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Forum topic by exterminate posted 01-13-2014 02:14 PM 1537 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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136 posts in 2569 days

01-13-2014 02:14 PM

I made a shot glass holder for a co-worker. I thought all my measurements were accurate, but I got one wrong. The diameter of the base of the shot glasses. I bored 48 shallow holes, all at 1.25”. turns out 1.375” would have been perfect, and 1.5 would have allowed some play. Problem is, it’s completely assembled. I used titebond II to glue the shelves in some shallow dadoes. Is there a way to unglue it without hurting it? Or is there a small tool I could used to enlarge the holes without disassembling it? I’m not a shot drinker, so had none at the house to test with. I should have bought a few just for that purpose, but I was pretty confident the holes were large enough. Got to work today to present it to her, put in a couple of her glasses, and my heart sank. So disappointing and frustrating. Here is what I’m working with:

Any advice is greatly appreciated

Thank you!

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

24 replies so far

View ADHDan's profile


800 posts in 2650 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 02:32 PM

Would you have room to get in there with a right-angle drill attachment and a forstner bit?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2988 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 02:38 PM

How about making 48 donut shape rings 1.375”x1/4” or so thick and glue them on the bored holes ?

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3217 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 02:41 PM

Call it a golf ball display cabinet and make another one.

I don’t think there are any options, short of cutting it down on the table saw and rebuilding it.

Even then, it would be easier to just make new drilled shelves than trying to make these holes slightly bigger with a drill press. one of the holes is going to get buggered, my bet.

If you rebuild it, can you find a better veneer for the back? something that matches and is not so loud. maple bead board veneer is kinda cool.

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2569 days

#4 posted 01-13-2014 02:43 PM

Dan, there is only a little over 3.5” on the middle shelves, and 4.5 on the lower and upper. Not enough for a right angle drill with Foerster bit unless maybe I cut the shank on the forstner bit…worth a shot.

Ken, not a bad idea, just not sure how I feel about that one

Mark..I’m not there yet…but that may end up being the end result. So frustrating..

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2838 days

#5 posted 01-13-2014 02:44 PM

I don’t know how you could control the depth of the cut with a forstner bit in a hand held drill but you can certainly try. Can you pop the back off and cut the shelves out and clean out the dadoes with a small chisel? Then you could make new shelves and would only have to bore new holes in the one by bottom. Or else you could through drill new shelves with right diameter hole and glue them on top of the shelves that are already there. If this is something she payed you for you may have to suck it up and make another carcass as the error was yours. On the bright side, it doesn’t look too complicated.

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 2269 days

#6 posted 01-13-2014 02:49 PM

Can you fill the holes and cut a new pc of 1/4 or 3/8 wood with new holes in it to sit on top of the old shelf.
Could be a different type of wood to make it look like it was on purpose/ part of the design.

View PurpLev's profile


8552 posts in 4190 days

#7 posted 01-13-2014 02:51 PM

make another one – or the doughnut rings would be my second best solution if you could still fit the shot glass in there with them in place (shelf clearance height).

attempting to center a larger forstner over a smaller hole can lead to anything but frustration and a messed up board – and I’m talking when the board is NOT already glued into a tight area.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3882 days

#8 posted 01-13-2014 03:06 PM

when i have to re-drill a larger hole
i make a template board
with the new size
clamp it over the old one
your cut forstner bit might just work
as you will only be cutting a thin bit of the edge of the old hole
not the whole thing

make the template the right thickness
and when the bit top
is flush with the top of the template
you should have about just the right depth
in all the holes

slide it along and clamp
then for the end ones just cut one end of the template
to get closer to the corner

with a right angle drill
just be careful to keep it square
or the glasses may tilt

good luck

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3217 days

#9 posted 01-13-2014 03:08 PM

what if you made another 1/4” shelf with the right size holes drilled and glued it on top?

this would work!

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4118 days

#10 posted 01-13-2014 03:11 PM

This might work
First cut the the glue lines with a exacto blade, take your time and make sure you have them cut very well.Then use a bottle jack or spreader clamp to force it apart. If damage occurs to the shelves you can just cut the damage off and reduce the size of the box a little.
Another alternative is to make thin boards with properly size drilled holes and glue on top of your existing shelves,if you use a contrasting wood like walnut it will look a design choice rather than a repair.

Mark and I must have been typing at the same time

View Picklehead's profile


1053 posts in 2471 days

#11 posted 01-13-2014 03:16 PM

Maybe make a thin shelf with the correct diameter holes (through holes) and laminate it on top of existing shelf? Probably nobody would ever notice the original holes, and if some of the shot glasses were smaller, they would be centered in the holes by the original holes. Might even look like you planned it that way.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3043 posts in 3979 days

#12 posted 01-13-2014 03:28 PM

Purchase a smaller set of glasses. weird I know but just a thought…

or… drill a 1/8 hole in the center. Place a short dowel in the hole and store the glasses upside down. The peg should almost reach to the bottom of the glass and stop them from sliding out.

or… along the same lines.. glue a short 1.25” wide round bung into each wrong size indent. Store glasses upside down on them.

or…Make new thin trays that sit in each shelf area with the correct indentation size. The tray could be removed to get a rack of glasses out at a time.

or… some of the other ideas above.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2569 days

#13 posted 01-13-2014 03:45 PM

Thank you all! You have all given me hope that this can possibly be salvaged. I’m not very good at all this yet, and though its a simple design, it took me quite a bit of time to execute. I’m leaning towards the lamination of a thin dark specie wood to the existing shelf, with holes bored through at the correct diameter. I used Mahogany splines, so Mahogany on the shelves would match. I do want to fill the holes I did wrong, so I’m thinking of using thin cork material for that. It would provide a soft cushion for the glasses to sit on, and may look like a feature as well, instead of part of a fix.

Thank you all again! I really appreciate your time and thoughts!

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3217 days

#14 posted 01-13-2014 03:52 PM

I this were my project I think I would make another one. I would probably never be happy with this cabinet and I would hate it. I would make a new display cabinet and call this…..a golf ball display cabinet as someone suggested. You will probably wreck this cabinet making the change. When you finish with this please post on here and let us know what you did and how it worked for you.

View rockom's profile


134 posts in 4412 days

#15 posted 01-13-2014 03:53 PM

You could bevel the leading edge of your thin add in. It may make it look thinner than it actually is when standing a few feet away.


-- -> Malta, IL -<

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