Fixing Uneven Wood Joint - Stereo Speaker - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-16-2015, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Fixing Uneven Wood Joint - Stereo Speaker

Hello everyone, my first post here. I wish I had asked for advice on how to make good joints a couple of years ago when I built a pair of speakers, but since I didn't and since I didn't do a very good job, I'm asking for advice on how to fix a mistake.

The speakers are made from 3/4" Baltic Birch ply, they are 40" W x 30" H x 20" D. They are glued and screwed (I used the Kerg product for screwing), and they are very solid and perform great. The problem is the fit and finish.

As you can see in the pic the top is not flush with the front. The same issue pretty much persists throughout the build, but the pic shows the worst of it. I assumed the screws would pull everything tight and flush, but that's not how it works. Dry fit was damn good, especially considering I used a circular saw and a rail. And considering this is the first thing I built out of wood since Mom's spice rack back in High School

So here is my question (I plan to have these professionally painted):
How to get these ready for paint? Plane, epoxy, a combination of plane and epoxy?
I'd love to just start over and do it right, but man that's a lot of work (there's a lot of woodwork inside the speaker as well) and I'm still finding sawdust in my garage from the first time.

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-16-2015, 10:20 AM
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I think your worst problem is you have the edge of the plywood exposed with the face of the other sheet next to it. With painting you could fill it with bondo and sand it and it would paint very well until the weather changed. Then some cracks would show up do to wood movement. I believe if you have a router I would set up a straight edge and make a very shallow rabbet across the plywood edge just enough to insert some iron on veneer tape. It might still crack with wood movement but it would be straight and look normal if that occurred.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-16-2015, 10:52 AM
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I cannot tell anything from your picture. Which piece is the top and which the front? How much space is involved in the two not being flush?

There looks like a groove in one piece. What is that? Is that a dime? What is it showing/high lighting?

Because this is built entirely of plywood you are going to have a naked plywood edge showing regardless of how well it is all assembled. I would have deliberately it built leaving a space at each corner so that a solid wood piece could be inserted. With some time and patience and some skill you could modify the box to accomplish that.

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post #4 of 7 Old 08-16-2015, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve.
I'll do a little research and I'm sure what you wrote will make more sense to me once I get a little educated.
I had actually thought about veneering the entire speaker instead of painting but with beveled edges I think that might add a layer of complexity.

Apologies for the pic. It got turned sideways on me.
Can bare plywood edges be painted, or can they be primed/prepared to accept paint?

Here is a link to a better Hi Rez pic, please take a look (That's a US Quarter on top).

Last edited by HikerMiker; 08-16-2015 at 01:03 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-16-2015, 01:15 PM
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If you go that route keep in mind the veneer tape has hot melt glue on the back side and once you iron it on will be thinner than it is prior.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-11-2017, 08:51 AM
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This is not an uncommon situation. At one of our local woodworking clubs, this happens a lot when our members use plywood to make boxes or cabinets. There is a remedy that works well and does not require disassembly.

1. clean both the edges of both the top and side pieces of plywood. You want to get rid of as much paint/strain and glue as possible. Check for smoothness. Remove any wood, etc.sticking out in the "joint"

2. Cut to length a piece of quality wood that is as long or just "proud" of the length of the joint.

3. Rip the wood to just proud of the two surfaces.

4. Glue the wood to the box. Use clamps if necessary. DO NOT use screws or nails.

5. At this point you have 2 choices -- either to square off the wood or bevel it. Either way you will need a router.

a. to square off -- Use a flush trim router bit. place a wide piece of wood next to the joint on one surface and then place the router on it. Adjust the length of the bit so that the bearing will be on the plywood beneath the wood insert. Now route flush.

b. to bevel off -- Similar process to the above but using a bevel router bit with a bearing. DO NOT use this approach if the wood insert is not square as the bevel may cut into the plywood.


Phil Rasmussen
The Mountain Woodworker
Hendersonville, NC
[email protected]
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-11-2017, 04:33 PM
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I would make the fix as George suggest. All it will take is a router, two router bits and some hardwood.
For the wood I recommend Poplar because itís readily available.
You will first use a rabbet bit to cut back the edge evenly.
Next you glue the Polar tightly in place and allow it to dry.
Then using a flush cutting bit in your router with a roller pilot you trim off any excess for a perfectly flush edge. A little sanding and You will be ready to paint.

The solid hardwood edge will eliminate the plywood edge and look better.
I donít know if you have more than one edge that needs this same fix but I think you may need to do this on every edge of your cabinet.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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