How best to patch holes in cabinet wood

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Pat

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Joined
Mar 17, 2005
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1,234
Location
Payson AZ
I have a cabinet that has about 8 superfluous holes in the floor.  While they don't show, I'd like to patch them up and return the cabinet to a more complete condition.  Some of the holes were made by the manufacturer to attach an appliance.  Then another item was attached and removed. 

It seems to me Norm on "Yankee Workshop" uses little dowels to patch holes in wood.  Some of these holes are small, but I've seen some dowels almost as thin as toothpicks.  I assume I glue them in.  Also, I need to be able to cut them without damaging the finish of the cabinet.  Then if there is any indentation left, I use some kind of wood filler?  If I recall, once the holes are filled with dowels, new holes could be drilled in the area, if necessary.  Not that I'm planning to drill more, but the patch should be that sturdy. 

Or Plan B would be to take the MH to Davis Cabinets in Junction City next summer.  It's about 50 miles or so from here.

--pat
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
The procedure to fill a hole depends on the situation.  The simplest is to simply fill the hole with wood putty such as Weldwood.  Fill the hole tamping down the stuff with something like a wooden match stick.  Carefully level off it with a sharp knife.  Let dry and carefully sand off imperfections and finish with paint, varnish or whatever matches the finish of the cabinet.

If you need structural strength, as you might if the hole were next to a hinge or other screw,  then you use a dowel.  With a drill ream out the whole to the width of the dowel you are using.  Apply a carpenters glue like Elmer's to the dowel and insert in the hole.  Tap into place gently with a light hammer.  Wipe off excess glue with a damp cloth.  Allow to dry 24 hrs.  Trim the dowel flush with a  dovetail saw, carefully sand flush and paint.  If the cabinet has a clear finish or oil finish, cut the dowel short and drive it just below the surface of the cabinet with another dowel of similar diameter or a nail set.  Wipe clean of glue as above and allow to dry 24 hrs.  Now using a stick of scratch reparing putty that matches the finish, fill the dimple above the dowel, let dry and varnish if needed.

Or turn the whole mess over to the cabinet makers in Junction City.  This has a certain charm.
 

Pat

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Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
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Location
Payson AZ
Carl:  I'm ok with most of these procedures except the part about matching the finish.  The woodwork in here is so nice and all hand made.  I just hate to ruin something with my amateur repair job.  I will likely seek out the lads in JC next summer. 

--pat
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
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west Los Angeles
Pat said:
Carl:? I'm ok with most of these procedures except the part about matching the finish.? The woodwork in here is so nice and all hand made.? I just hate to ruin something with my amateur repair job.? I will likely seek out the lads in JC next summer.?

Good thinking.  :)
 
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