Filling a huge gap in a door

Back when I had a cat and a dog, they were firm friends He was a large dog without being massive. The cat tried to scratch his way through the door, and then the dog picked up the project. Difference is, he almost succeeded. I want to fill in the missing wood (shown below) with something like wood putty, but @zacharymarkson doesn’t think wood putty would work, so does anyone have any suggestions as to what might work? It isn’t worth replacing the door over.

I am also having a brain fart. What is the trowel called that is used to smooth spackling on drywall?

Wood filler would work as a top layer but you need to take up a large amount of the missing wood with some sort of backer. You could use saw dust and glue to make a paste or take the easy route and use something like expandable foam, then wood filler over it. I don’t believe the foam would affect the filler but you may test it first. If you painted the door, I doubt someone would notice

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I’d recommend low expanding foam. Then sand down, then wood putty

I’d use the minimally expanding version designed for window frames - it’s more predictable.

That being said, the cheapest approach might be to use automotive Bondo, sand, and then paint the whole door with a semi-gloss enamel. You could use cardboard to provide a backing for the Bondo, or just semi-fill the cavity, let the Bondo cure, and add additional layers til the hole was full.

You could even cut a wood patch to cover the dog door opening and blend with Bondo to hide that patch before painting.

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I have a large shipment of kayak building supplies arriving this week and among them is “wood flour” - basically hyper-fine sawdust used to thicken epoxy for structural filling. The resulting mixture is about as dark as the darkest portion of that door and is sandable.

I can’t spare any epoxy but I’d be happy to share some wood flour. Unfortunately I can’t help with the actual work but don’t mind donating some filler to the cause.

What I’d suggest is pulling the door off the hinges and laying it flat. Attach a piece of wood wrapped in plastic wrap along the edge of the door to act as a dam. Fill the void with epoxy thickened to mustard consistency. It should be mostly self-leveling. Prep, sand and paint the entire door.

mdredmond

(Filling a huge gap in a door)

(Filling a huge gap in a door)

I have a large shipment of kayak building supplies arriving this week and among them is “wood flour” - basically hyper-fine sawdust used to thicken epoxy for structural filling. The resulting mixture is about as dark as the darkest portion of that door and is sandable.

I can’t spare any epoxy but I’d be happy to share some wood flour. Unfortunately I can’t help with the actual work but don’t mind donating some filler to the cause.

What I’d suggest is pulling the door off the hinges and laying it flat. Attach a piece of wood wrapped in plastic wrap along the edge of the door to act as a dam. Fill the void with epoxy thickened to mustard consistency. It should be mostly self-leveling. Prep, sand and paint the entire door

I would be willing to buy some from you. You could drop it off when you drop the shelves off. What is the putty knife called? If I do this job it will have to be with the door in place. While I am finding I am more able than I thought when I have tools, there are still limits to what I can do. I must be realistic.

I am happy to donate the wood flour. I can’t spare the epoxy but regular old West Systems epoxy is great for this application.

Something like Bondo wood filler was suggested. If it was the consistency of clay and dried hard that would be ideal I would think. Opinions? could I handle it without gloves? Putting on a glove one handed is something I have yet to figure out… I’ve tried using my mouth and teeth but just destroys the glove instead.

I would not recommend handling Bondo without gloves.

Another option would be to use “Durham’s Water Putty”. It is basically a wood flour with a binder. Mix with water to the desired working thickness then apply.

  • powder which mixes with water
  • water cleanup
  • fine to work with bare hands
  • long open time (slow curing)
  • no/minimal shrinkage
  • bonds to itself, so you can apply it in layers for faster drying, less chance of cracking
  • dries very hard - durable
  • sandable
  • paintable
  • stainable (but might not match underlying wood)
  • cheap

You can find it in the paint dept in Home Depot and elsewhere. Mix it up in a surplus plastic dish and the excess will pop out once dry. I’d go with a cookie dough consistency to minimize dripping/sagging. If desired, you could apply a painters tape patch over the top to support it while it dried (or just apply several thin layers, allowing each to dry before applying the rest.

Amazon sells a 1 lb package for $11 with Prime delivery. Home Depot sells the same package for $2.05. 4 lbs is about 3X the 1 lb price, but I don’t think you’d need more than 1 lb.

https://smile.amazon.com/Durham-Rock-Hard-Water-Putty/dp/B00U7VRT7Y/ref=sr_1_3

I’d apply it with a broad putty knife to help keep it flat relative to the undamaged door surface and minimize the sanding needed.