Oak Plywood - Dents in a finished project

I built some mission style benches a few months ago, turned out really really nice. Built all out of Oak, used Watco Danish oil for a subfinish, then used a poly shade to get the right depth of color. Finally got everything right and they look awesome. I used oak plywood for the top of the bench as I liked that idea of a single grain pattern across the bench. I edge banded the sides with oak and put 4" cleats around the edges behind the edge band for added strength. They do not move, bend, flex with 3 heavy adults sitting on them, they're awesome!
Walking past them the other night and I notice a blemish on the surface. Upon closer inspection, it looked like someone had dented the wood. The size is about the same as a dime, but what's happened as I guess the oak veneer had a small bubble or depression underneath it, and the veneer has caved into the depression. My first thought was to pump glue into the space to fill in the void and lift the veneer, but I don't know if that will work as there's several coats of poly on top of it and the surrounding wood is pretty stiff, not like an unfinished veneer.
so the question is how to repair this? I've thought about making a small template, taping it to the bench, and then using a router, rout out the area and fill in with a patch. I then have to re-stain and re-poly the area but I'm worried about getting the same color with the watco and poly shade.
Any ideas? And BTW - Does Oak plywood usually have these problems? That was probably the flaw in my design, using that instead of edgegluing some stock together. I was just trying to save wood for future projects that deserved it!
Thanks in advance
Mike Rinken
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Never had that problem with oak plywood, and I have no idea how to fix it. Sorry.
Why did you use oil as a subfinish? What does that gain over just polyshade?
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John wrote:

Well to be honest, I started off with the watco trying to get a dark enough finish but couldn't. I needed to add some red and darker hues to the finish, and wanted to poly it as they're benches for our family of 7 and would see a lot of heavy use. The poly-shades offered me a way to add the color and poly at the same time. I came very close to the finish on the (shocker!) store bought table (it was exactly the one SWMBO wanted so I thought, gee $400 and I don't have to hear her complain how it isn't done yet) with the poly shades so I was happy with that.
I wiped off the excess and then let the watco sit for 5-6 days before applying the Poly. Worked fine. Of course being in Colorado where it's extremely dry all the time, I had no problems with dry time.
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On Thu, 20 May 2004 16:59:59 -0600, "Creamy Goodness" <creamy at agbf1942 dot com> brought forth from the murky depths:

Oh, I see. Now that it's stained an polyed, just use a small 3-lb sledge to pound out the dents from the inside.
Na worries, mate.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Correction - use a large sledge hammer to extend the dent outward until the entire surface is recessed to match the flaw. Of course, this will result in an overall thickness somewhat thinner than what the OP started with, but a nice thin, even coat of filler can bring it back to the original thickness.
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On Thu, 20 May 2004 16:16:29 -0600, "Creamy Goodness" <creamy at agbf1942 dot com> wrote:

Hardwood plywood varies in the number of voids that may be encountered.
Sometimes a wash coat of lacquer thinner will reveal the voids, as the thinner flashes off less quickly in the area of the void.
Tapping the surface with your finger is more reliable but slower.
The fix I would use in your situation would be to take a syringe (hypodemic nerdle, keith) filled with gap filling glue. Cover the area of the void with plastic wrap, penetrate the veneer and insert the glue, until you see it begin to come out around the entry point of the needle.
Put some more plastic wrap down over the area and clamp a flat board on top.
I would let this sit for about forty-eight hours before removing the board.
HTH.
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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Tom Watson wrote:

Can I get enough pressure out of this to raise the dent? The veneer has cracked around the edges which I'm afraid will just bleed out glue and not actually raise the veneer.
And I did do the finger tap on a few areas I could hear when sanding. I filled one or two very small voids and they have held up fine. I have no clue why I missed this one.
Thanks Tom. Love your projects BTW.
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On Thu, 20 May 2004 17:33:29 -0600, "Creamy Goodness" <creamy at agbf1942 dot com> wrote:

What you might try is to look at a piece of the cutoffs from the ply, determine the depth of the band that sits below the veneer and drill from below to just that point. See if you can insert a blunted finish nail into the hole and push gently on the back side of the veneer. If you can move the veneer in this way, I'd drill a hole out, as big as the void, being real careful about the depth, and insert a solid plug, with a little bit of glue on the face.

Tendchoobellymush.
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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What about the old 'steam iron and damp rag' to raise the grain? I just don't know how deep the dent is.
Creamy Goodness wrote:

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What you are proposing is called a "dutchman" and should work. However, to make it as seamless as possible you will want to make the shape irregular. A circular or square dutchman will be very evident..
An elongated diamond shape with the long ends of the diamond orientated in the direction of the grain and closely matching stock would work well.
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Mike G wrote:

Well wish me luck. I'll try this weekend.
Thanks all.
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Ok, good luck, let us know how you make out.
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