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Tip #184
A Simple Repair For Checks & Splits

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Sometimes, we find a piece of wood in a pile at the lumber retailer that catches our eye. “WOW!”, we think…”I could make something awesome out of that, if only it didn’t have that unsightly check in the edge!”

Well…there’s no need to let that stop you, because you can fix that problem…and if you do a good job, those who look at it will never know.

Just make a carefully-plotted saw kerf right down the center of the check or split -- fit and glue a sliver of matching wood into the kerf -- sand flush -- and finish to match.

The secret to this little technique comes in having a couple of small, thin-kerf, fine-toothed handsaws for the job and knowing a little something about them.

Oriental saws are available in amazingly thin models. Most catalogers who sell them tell you the kerf widths in their sales copy. So, pick one or two you feel will match up with your most frequent needs (see standard veneer thicknesses below) and mark their kerf thicknesses on the blade sides.

Then measure and mark the kerf thicknesses on any fine toothed handsaws you may already own.

When repair time comes, Match one of your saws to the kerf width you need to make your repair, find a piece of veneer - or cut a sliver - and make your repair. Remember to use a saw that’s several thousandths thicker than your filler wood …so you have room for glue.

For example, standard wood veneers typically come in 1/40” to 1/28” thicknesses. That translates to:

1/40” = .02500”

1/32” = .03125”

1/28” = .03571”

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