I am by no means a carpenter, just a woman learning as I go helping out
my Painting, sub-contractor son. My job was to clean up the ancient oak
floors, but the landlord liked my work so much he hired me! On the
stairway, a corner step pieced with 3 boards had a gap running 1/8th to
1/4 in. One piece was higher and globbed with varnish. I scraped and
cleaned out the joint, sanded to level. I used some shingles to fill the
gap as far down as possible, leaving about 1/16 from the top. I wet them
to swell and filled wth wood putty. The next day I sanded and refilled
with putty for a smooth surface. Stained and Poly. Looks nice but do you
think this will last? I appreciate your time, boy this stuff is FUN!!!!!
I would not bet that the repair will last too long. It may if the backing
behind the putty was solid. If it was loose then the repair will fail
Maybe the better way to repair would have been to remove the offending
boards and re-install them w/o the gap. May have involved a little work with
a plane to get them to meet up properly. Re-install, refinish, and away you
go. Wood will expand and contract with changes in temp and humidity. That
gap may not have even been visible in summer.
If removing them was not an option I would have considered an epoxy filler
and left more than 1/16" to fill.
Or, another possible fix would be to use a router to widen the gap to a
consistent 1/4" and then fill in with a new piece of wood.
Anyway - cross your fingers, you may have gotten lucky. If he liked your
work ask him for a generic written referral letter you can use in the
future. Get it now before something goes bad.
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