Floor repair (aka:Cabin Sole)

Michael Lewis

Junior Member
The floor of our E26 is in perfect condition except for one small dent (the result of something falling). I would like to repair this ding which is about a 1/4" square and maybe 1/16 to 1/8 deep. Is there a good alternative to cutting it out and inserting a small patch of teak. I am wondering about a clear filler (maybe epoxy?) and then varnishing over it as the surface is not broken and the existing varnish hardly cracked. I am concerned about the color match hence the clear filler idea.

Probably sounds a bit excessive but it is one of those things that jumps out a me whereas most people would not even notice it.

Any suggestions (other than therapy)?


Glyn Judson

Repairing that dent.

Mike, An old furniture repairing trick in such applications is to apply steam heat to the immediate area of the dent. I did this back in the mid 1970's to several dents in our vintage 1880's upright piano. If I recall correctly, I was instructed to apply the steam heat from a selected hole in my steam iron to the dent, separating the wood from the iron with a piece of newspaper. Why not Google it to confirm that my bad memory isn't sending you in the wrong direction with the newspaper. All I can say is that it worked like magic and is a permanent fix given that that piano is down the hall in our living room as I type this. Whoa, look at what I found! http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/22/suction-bucket-offshore-wind Good luck, Glyn Judson, E31 hull #55, Marina del Rey CA

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC

We have a similar small hole created by one of our guests dropping a heavy item--it made an actual hole in the sole, about 1/4" square, right through the sole (how they did this is beyond me!). Glyn's idea is a good one for dents, but won't work for an actual hole.

What I have done so far is buy a wax stain "pencil" from our hardware store in a colour as close to the sole as possible. I have been able to fill the hole with this, using a pocket knife to shave off small slices and pressing them into place, eventually smoothing the top. I then re-varnished the sole over this repair. It has turned out quite well, most people wouldn't notice it, but it's not invisible and I know it's there.

I have heard that one can take some sawdust of a wood similar in colour to the sole, mix it with epoxy and fill with that, but I haven't tried that.

Good luck with the repair. Please let me know what you decide and how it turns out.


Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
When I refinished our cabin sole sections, I had to fill in all of the old countersunk screw holes - I used teak plugs. It worked great and after sanding and refinishing they are almost invisible. Plugs come in sizes down to 1/4 or perhaps even 3/16 inch. I was lucky that no original screws were put into the holly stripe areas.

I still had to patch a couple of small divots with bits of teak.

As noted in the original Cabin Sole thread, I put the sole back down with flush-fit bronze square-drive screws.

For repair advice, refinishing, and bad puns, refer to this thread:


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New Member
Dent, ding and scratch repair

As Glyn indicated, my high school shop teacher trained me to address the problem in 2 ways:
  1. Place a damp cloth over the scratch and iron the immediate damaged area to raise the grain of the raw wood back to a flush surface. Re-wet the cloth as necessary.
  2. Don't monkey with the blemish too much, if at all. Sometimes, the repetitive, incessant playing with a blemish to repair the problem can actually make the problem much worse by drawing more attention to the area.
If the damage is bad enough, the bung repair approach sounds effective. Even if the dent was elongated, you could drill 1 hole, insert a bung, wait till the glue has cured and then drill another hole adjacent to it and add a second bung.
Elongated dent repair with 2 bungs.png

Michael Lewis

Junior Member
Dent repair

Hi all and thank you for your replies. I was a bit concerned about what adding heat (iron) to a wet cloth over the dent might do to the surrounding area as it is all varnished. So I thought I'd try the moisture without the heat. Using an eye dropper I have been putting enough water in the dent to top the water up to almost the surface. I have done this 3-4 times and am happy to say the dent is almost gone. With it being cool and damp here in Vancouver I wasn't worried about it drying out between 'treatments'.

I'll let it dry for a few days and then put a drop or two of varnish on to finish it off for now. Looks like I might have caught a break on this project.

Thanks again, Michael