Next Step of the “Letterbox” Restoration

The large “letterbox” shaped hole has now been covered.

When I have done these kind of through-patches in the past, I have used one layer of shavings that can leave the area looking like a puzzle and quite uneven. It would therefore make the patch fitting quite hard and the grainlines from the patch may become visible through that thin layer of shavings.

Therefore I always back up the area with another pine slab-cut shaving to stabilise it and to be able to make the patch bed more even to ease the fitting of the patch afterwards.

This time, on the recommendation of a friend, I have used willow instead for my slab cut shaving as it’s less reflective and has a darker and very even colour:

Preparing the slab cut shaving from a piece of willow.
Sawing off as thin a shaving as possible.

Reducing the thickness to around 0.5mm, thinning out a bit towards the edges to ease the bending of the shaving along the edges of the patch bed:

Positioning the shaving in the patch bed, ready for gluing.
Before and after the gluing of the willow shaving. I now have a thickness of 0.7-1mm throughout that patch area.
Before and after the final preparation of the patch bed.
The patch is prepared and ready for fitting.
Current view from the outside.

The patch bed area is slightly springy at the moment which will make the fitting of the patch difficult, so I’m now pressing the whole area with a warm sandbag to encourage it to sit better in the cast.

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