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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I was working with a sheet of red oak plywood last night and I found a 6" scratch in the middle of it. Is there a certain kind of putty that I can buy to fix it so it doesn't show up after I stain it? Thanks!
 

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If it is just a dent and now wood has been removed You can sometimes use a steam iron to heat and steam the spot to get the dent out. Do this carefully and don't over heat it. Then let it dry. Most times this will not only remove the dent, but it will raise the grain, making it necessary to sand the raised grain roughness off.. Again, don't over do this.

If wood has been removed, it's possible to cut a "Dutchman" in the surface layer and then make a patch of the exact same size and shape. Make both the cut and the patch it as small as possible to completely remove the blemish. Then glue the patch "Dutchman" in place. Place a piece of wax paper over the patch with a board and weight to hold it down while the glue dries. The wax paper will prevent any glue squeeze out from sticking the board to the surface.

If you look closely at B grade plywood you will frequently find these, usually shaped kind of like a flat football, but sometimes in other shapes. A double ended dovetail is another common shape. A piece of the scrap plywood with similar grain is a good source for this patch. Cut just the top layer off and it can be the source of the replacement piece. Practice on scrap before doing this on your good sheet. A good fit, plus careful sanding, can blend the patch in so it is almost invisible.


Charley
 

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Staining over wood putty doesn't usually work very well...even the stainable putty. It generally goes in more area than you would want, for example, filling in the grain around the damage. CharleyL's advise would be the way I would do it... Light steaming and heating is your friend...
 

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If it's just a scratch, several manufacturers make wax crayons in various wood tones - Mohawk is one, but I think that Minwax has some also and they may be easier to find at Lowes or HD. These are normally used after the finish has been applied and the crayon matched to that color. If the scratch goes across a grain boundary, you may have to compensate for the color difference - I believe that the pros use different color felt tip markers to blend in the differences. Do a search for scratch repair in furniture for some tips.

Wood Maintenance & Repair - Restore & Clean Wood Floors | Minwax

Steaming works well for dents - I had the handrail for my foyer leaning up against the wall when I was installing the railing and it slid down and the top rounded surface hit the top step nosing hard enough to make a nasty dent. A damp cloth and my wide's iron - took several cycles as the cloth will dry out - and the dent had almost disappeared and was hidden by some blending with sandpaper.

The veneer in today's plywood is so thin that you cannot do any significant sanding on it. If you have cutoffs of the same plywood, you can slice off the veneer on the TS (plus a little bit of the next layer to make a patch of the defect is big enough that it needs a patch. Several manufacturers make templates of various designs - one of these and a set of the inlay guide bushings would allow you to make an almost invisible parch with care.

https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/blog/creating-wood-inlays/?zoom_highlight=guide+bushings

Cut the male in a piece of plywood where the grain is a good match, rip the part loose on the TS. Use the patch to set the depth of cut on the router, cut the female recess in the part being repaired and glue in place - fish glue is one suggestion as it doesn't bleed into the wood and you should get an almost invisible glue line.
 

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Hey, Ryan; that hurts, eh?
Has the parts layout been done and the panel sawn?
Can this piece be replaced in the parts layout? Used elsewhere where it won't show?

A restoration pro can make that scratch invisible, but it's an art! An optimist would say that this is an opportunity to learn a new skill.
If there's a Mohawk distributor near you have a chat with them:
Find A Distributor
 

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All good advice above. when I steam out a dent I a wet white cloth and an iron so the iron does not come in contact with the wood and leave a stain.

I have found that if a blemish is to be filled do all the finishing first then do the filler,putty what ever last and mix it with the same stain to match the wood finish, then when dry touch it up with the clear finish and feather it in.

Herb
 

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A place I worked had good luck steaming veneer covered particle board. When it wasn't enough, or there was a gouge that went through it, we used Famowood filler of the color to match that wood and I would take a .5mm or .7mm mechanical pencil and draw in the missing grain lines. The lack of grain lines is what gives the patch away. Some guys also use colored pencils. You have to be careful when staining not to wipe them off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help guys, it is a gouge across the grain. I didn't see it until I glued up the panel. It is the side for a refrigerator and only a little bit shows after the base cabinets are butted up to it. I may still try a inlay kit for the heck of it for practice but I might just let it be. I am sure I will see it everytime I am in the kitchen tho lol
 
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