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Thread: Article: Steaming out a dent

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State

    Article: Steaming out a dent

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Ken, I just have to tell you that your tutorial came in very handy in my Splay Leg Table project. While working on another aspect of the build, I moved too fast and was not watching what I was doing and whacked the outside corner of one of the legs. This put a very noticeable dent right in the corner of the outside faces. Very upset was I, as planing or scraping it out would mess up the profile of the leg. I decided to try steaming it out as per your tutorial. A complication was that I had lightly shellacked the legs to prevent them from getting dirty. I was worried that it would prevent the steam from working. I should not have worried, as it worked perfectly! I just scraped the affected area to remove the damaged shellacked surface and level the slightly raised surface.

    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    So. Florida
    Steaming out a dent, or a hot iron/wet towel does work in many cases. That method does disperse a moisture penetration for an area larger than the specific dent. A dent represents crushed fibers, whereas a scrape or tearout can leave a void, which will respond somewhat by expanding, but not for a total repair.

    Just a suggestion, for hardwoods and plywoods, using an eyedropper and dripping a drop or two into the dent will raise the area. The applications may have to continue for several applications, but the wetted area will engorge and expand. Once dry, it seems less likely to shrink back as some wet/hot methods can have the propensity to do, when they cool (or dry out).


  4. #4
    Good tip. Charles Neil posted a video tip on this back in Dec. 2007. It is still on his site. He used DNA. Rob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
    Great tutorial, Ken. By the way, when you buy the honey a new iron, get her a Rowenta.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    i ran into a situation where someone was told to do this steam trick on a gun stock, in my opinion a well finished gun stock shouldnt allow the moisture into the wood and that is what makes the dent come back up.. so perhaps dave or frank can give me a solution to fix a dented gun stock that is already finished.. my thoughts would be to just fill the depression will more finish and sand flat till it is the same elevation as the rest of the finish... any ideas?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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