Thin wood wedges, also know as "Dutchmen," are an old woodworkers' trick to hide and permanently seal cracks in wood. The Dutchman method works better than putty because it utilises solid wood to permanently seal the crack. Solid wood wedges can be fabricated in long lengths and then cut down individually to fit any crack in wood. By cutting several different shapes and lengths of wedges, you can mix and match the wedges and find the perfect fit for almost any crack or split.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Stick, 3/4-by-3-by-24 inches
- Band saw
- Plywood, 1/4-by-2-by-24 inches
- Diagonal pliers
Lay the stick flat on the bandsaw with the end of it facing the blade.
Place the piece of plywood underneath the outside edge of the stick so that the stick is tilted up on one side. The plywood should extend under the edge of the stick 1/4 inch.
Turn on the saw. Hold the stick down on the plywood with both hands. Line up the blade with the tilted edge of the stick. Push the stick and the plywood together into the blade, cutting off 1/16 inch of the outside tilted edge of the stick.
Hold the stick and the plywood steady and push them both through the saw past the end of the blade. The wedge-shaped stick 1/16-inch at the top with a sharp edge at the bottom will fall to the left side of the blade.
Cut the wedges off the stick at any length you desire with a pair of diagonal pliers.
Tips and warnings
- The measurements here are for examples. Alter the size of the stick or "dutchman" by sliding the plywood farther under the stick for sharper wedges. Make several different sizes of wedges and keep them handy to patch long splits.
- Always cut your wedges from the same type of wood as the wood you are patching.
- Always wear safety glasses when operating a band saw.