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How to Patch Wood

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows how to make an undetectable repair in rotted wood

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva makes an undetectable repair in rotted wood.

Steps:

1. Use end nippers to extract any nails or screws from the damaged wood area.

2. Nail 1x3 boards around the area to act as fences for guiding the router.

3. Use a router equipped with a straight bit and guide bushing to remove the old wood from the damaged area. Hold the guide bushing against the 1x3 fences to produce straight, accurate cuts.

4. Remove the 1x3s and square up the corners of the routed recess using a hammer and chisel.

5. Mark the poplar patch to fit the routed recess. Cut the patch using a miter box and backsaw.

6. Spread carpenter's glue to the back of the patch, then nail it into the recess using 1½-inch finishing nails.

7. Set the nails and fill the holes with wood putty.

8. Once the wood putty dries, sand the patch smooth with a random orbit sander fitted with 100-grit abrasive.

9. Apply one coat of primer and two topcoats of paint to the entire area.