miter joint didn't turn out so good, now what?

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Forum topic by rbeaulin posted 05-06-2014 04:23 PM 1563 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rbeaulin's profile


2 posts in 1752 days

05-06-2014 04:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter joint joinery problem fix

I’m working on my very first project, a flag display case.

My miter joint has a small (1/32” or less) gap right in the middle. I had two clamps on it but I must’ve had them too close to the edges. My question is can I salvage this (see attached pic) by fixing it and making it look perfect? Will I be able to plane it down, or will the gap always be there? If I fill it with a filler will it be noticeable? would I be able to stain or dye it?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

9 replies so far

View diverlloyd's profile


3337 posts in 2128 days

#1 posted 05-06-2014 04:39 PM

Looks like you clamped with to much pressure. You could always take a handsaw and cut down the center of the joint,then add a piece of lighter wood for a could cut all the way through or just part of the way but whatever you do you will need to do to all 4corners. Don’t use so much clamping pressure only a light amount is needed.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1791 days

#2 posted 05-06-2014 05:48 PM

Sorry for this unneeded post. I tried to delete it when I posted twice in error.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1791 days

#3 posted 05-06-2014 05:50 PM

Everything’s a learning experience. Fill that tiny seam with the right color putty, then finish the way you normally would.

You’re the only one who will notice this slight flub (unless you make the addditional error of pointing it out). If you find, later, that you just can’t stand it, you can always make another one.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5860 posts in 3083 days

#4 posted 05-06-2014 05:51 PM

Simply burnishing the miter with the smooth shank of a screwdriver will close that gap in a hurry.
I actually burnish all my miter joints, even if they are fully closed. It is a nice way to ease the edges, and unlike sanding or planing the joint… you won’t open up the miter.

Give it a try.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View kdc68's profile


2708 posts in 2547 days

#5 posted 05-06-2014 06:35 PM

+1 pintodeluxe….

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View JAAune's profile


1864 posts in 2587 days

#6 posted 05-06-2014 06:48 PM

Pinto’s repair technique works well. I’ve used it before to salvage some miters that had bigger gaps than what’s shown in the pictures above.

-- See my work at and

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2707 days

#7 posted 05-06-2014 07:04 PM

Another + for Pinto’s solution. Works like a charm!

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View rbeaulin's profile


2 posts in 1752 days

#8 posted 05-06-2014 07:30 PM

Thanks Pintodeluxe! That closed it right up, awesome tip.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22054 posts in 3376 days

#9 posted 05-06-2014 07:43 PM

What I would do is go ahead and stain and finish it. Then after the finish dries for a few day, get the right color putty stick and rub it in there to fill the gap and then wipe it with a rag and it will hardly be seen.
or the burnishing idea should work too! I do that on soft wood like cedar.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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