wood rot repair

Wood Rot Repair: A Step-by-Step Guide

Having rotted wood in your home can be extremely frustrating and dangerous at the same time. Whether it’s in window sills or floor beams, rotten wood can be a safety issue and liability if not repaired or replaced in time. It can affect the well-being of your family, friends, and loved ones and can be dangerous as well. The last thing you want is to see any rotten wood on your patio, porch, home interiors, or the siding of your house. This guide is designed to show homeowners and DIY-ers how to spot and fix rotted wood.

Can rotted or damaged wood be repaired?

Yes! You can repair rotten wood by first removing the rotting from the original board or joists. You can then fill the surrounding area with a soft wood polyester filler or wood patch using a plastic putty knife. This material fills the area and cures to ensure strength and resilience.

It is essential to find out when rotten wood should be replaced or repaired. If the wood is too rotten, the repair won’t help much. In this case, it is recommended to get the piece replaced. But otherwise, there is ample opportunity to repair rotten wood. Let’s find out how:

How to determine if rotten wood needs to be repaired or replaced?

A well-established way to determine if wood needs to be repaired or replaced is – If a piece of wood is too rotten, the durability and stability of the beam will be compromised. The most prominent telltale signs of rotten wood are:

  • Deep cracks across the grain
  • Off-white fibers of the fungus
  • Growth of mushroom-like substances on the surface
  • Off-white or yellow tinge on the brickwork

It is better to replace rotten wood in such cases.

However, replacement is not always the only way out. Wooden beams can sometimes rot in some areas, but are still stable and strongly supported. This condition can be easily repaired.

The best way to test rotten wood is to use a knife/screw diver to poke in it. Rotten wood is generally soft and tender. If the knife sinks in more than 1/8″, the chances are that wood needs to be replaced.

It is important to understand when the wood is rotten so that you can make the right decision regarding the repair or replacement of wooden beams.

termite damage

Types of Rotting Wood – Wood rot and Termite damage

Wood destroying fungi or termite damage is called dry rot and can cause significant structural damage to wood. Similarly, wood rot is potentially disastrous, too, and both the problems can be confusing. The two types of damages are similar and may not be instantaneous. To handle potentially catastrophic problems, the ability to distinguish between the two is important.

Natural wood rot can be difficult to control, but you must take the necessary steps to eliminate dry rot in your homes.

How do you recognize dry rot?

Dry rot is a fungus that causes most of the wood damage you see. To determine if rotten wood needs to be repaired or replaced, you must identify dry rot and identify damaged areas of weakened wood.

When dry rot infects wood, it may appear to be rotten, and the wood field damp and soft when you touch it. If you poke it with a screwdriver, the wood may feel muddy. You can easily remove a piece of wood with a screwdriver. There are deep cracks in the wood around the affected area, and there may be visible fungal growth. Wood affected by dry rot becomes brittle and liable to crumble when pressure is applied.

Getting rid of dry rot

If your structure is heavily infected with dry rot and has wooden beams that can easily break in half, you will need to replace the board. You can repair the beam if you still have a sturdy piece of wood with a few small spots of dry rot. Dry rot is a fungus, which can spread maliciously. Removing dry rot is imperative for preserving the remaining wooden beams.

You must immediately discard the damaged wood and dry rot from the joists. Remove the infected pieces of wood by scraping off soft or weakened pieces of wood with a screwdriver. Then follow an appropriate method to curb the dry rot and effectively eliminate it.

caulking around edges of window or door

How to prevent dry rot

You must take necessary precautions to protect the wooden features and structures in your homes. This will make the wood last longer and protect it from the effects of dry rot. Here is what you can do:

  1. Remove excess water sources that can affect the structure of the tree. The fungus grows in a humid environment
  2. When repairing wood plastic or dry rot wood, the joists can be treated with a fungicide to remove other traces of dry rot that may come back and further damage the board.
  3. Check your house and gutter system for leaks. Ensure all drains are clean and make the necessary provisions to irrigate and remove water from your home. Be careful to caulk around surfaces that may get wet
  4. Pieces of wood can be painted with a polyurethane coating to protect the wood from water damage. This will greatly help protect the wooden structures in your home and prevent dry rot

These precautions can save you the hassle of dry rot.

How to repair rotted wood – a step-by-step guide

What you need to repair rotten wood

Before repairing rotten wood, it is important to possess the appropriate pre-requisites and the right tools. The following is a basic list of tools needed to effectively repair wooden beams

  1. Knife
  2. Wood filler
  3. Spatula or Putty Knife
  4. Wood grinder or wood sander
  5. Wood primer
  6. Paint

These tools are essential for the effective repair of rotten wood.

Which wood filler to use?

A variety of wood filler products are available in the offline and online markets for repairing pieces of wood. You can go for softwood polyester fillers or epoxies. These materials are known to be durable, robust, and ideal for combination with pieces of wood.

Most of these products can be found in grocery stores. If you have a house with large wooden fixtures such as a porch or siding, it’s recommended to have a wooden repair putty or filler handy, so you can use it as needed.

5 Ways to Repair Rotted Wood

With time, the wood begins to rot when exposed to moisture. Not only does it become an eyesore, but it can also damage your home if left unattended. Fortunately, wood rot can be easily repaired. You can make your home look new by fixing the rotten parts using any of the methods discussed below.

Here we will discuss 5 methods that you can use to repair rotten wood. You can choose any method according to your ease and comfort:

Method 1 – Remove the rotten part of the wood

Step 1 – Scratch the rotten wood and dig up loose rot using a claw hammer. Place the hammer claws at the root of the rot. Apply pressure when pulling the nail back toward you. Remove as much rotten wood as possible without causing any damage to the good wood. Simply remove the soft and rotten wood only.

Step 2 – Remove the remaining rotten wood using a router with a V-shaped bit and hold it while keeping the drill bit 3.2 mm or 1⁄8 inch from the wood’s back edge. Use short back and forth movements to remove rot that the hammer did not reach. Keep grinding the wood until you have a healthy, solid wood because any it of rotting is left behind, it will cause damage again. Hardwood is more difficult for routers to cut. Wooden beam.

Step 3 – Remove the paint and surface rot as several touch-up solutions do not adhere to existing paint and must be removed. Use a paint scraper or coarse 60 grit sandpaper to remove any residue or dirt, rust, or primer on the wood surface. Apply equivalent pressure when working in a circular motion.

Step 4 – Apply 4-6 coats of wood repair agent to the area. Use the included brush to paint the entire surface of the restorer. Work the restoration between layers for 2 minutes so that it can be immersed in the wood. Allow the repair agent to dry completely for 2 hours before retreating. When using the repair agent, wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with the skin.

epoxy wood repairMethod 2 – How to fix the area with Epoxy

Step 1 – Paint the wood with a binder or binding agent.

Step 2 – Mix the two-part epoxy consolidant with a putty knife on a non-porous surface.

Step 3 – Use the putty knife to mold the epoxy filler into the wood

Step 4 – Scrape off excess epoxy filler with a clean putty knife

Step 5 – Allow the epoxy filler to set overnight.

cutting a wood patchMethod 3 – Creating a Wood Patch

Step 1 – Use a Japanese hand saw to cut the wood smoothly and straight.

Step 2 – Cut a piece of cedar to the size of the hole you want to fill.

Step 3 – Wet the exposed wood with a damp cloth

Step 4 – Apply polyurethane glue to the wood and place the patch

Step 5 – Drill two screws on each side of the patch to hold the patch in place

Step 6 – Remove excess glue from the patch after 6 hours

applying a wood fillerMethod 4 – Use a wood filler to fix and patch

Step 1 – Pour a 3-inch diameter wood filler circle onto a non-porous surface

Step 2 – Push the filler wood hardener tube with the cap on

Step 3 – Place a 3-inch strip of hardener and apply wood hardener on the putty, and mix

Step 4 – Apply filler with a putty knife while applying firm pressure to the wood.

Step 5 – Allow the filler to dry for 30 minutes

Method 5 – Wood repaired with sand, patch, and varnish

Step 1 – Smooth the patch with sandpaper

Step 2 – If the original wood is dirty, use the appropriate stain

Step 3 – Once the wood is painted, apply the primer at least twice

 Step 4 – Once the primer is dry, apply the paint once

How to Care for Wood

Proper care of the wooden furniture in the home can prevent wood rot. You can seal wooden fixtures with wood stains, paint, or a clear sealer and protect them from fungus, water damage, termites, and other damage.

This is what you can do:

  1. Paintbrush or repaint your house every 5 years to protect the wood.
  2. Keep your wood fixtures and accessories clean every year, removing mildew that can eventually lead to mold.
  3. Clean wood using warm soapy water and a scrubbing brush to scrape dirt and other debris off


The above methods are safe when it comes to rotten wood repair in your home. Whether it is about wood repair or replacement, you must take precautions and necessary steps to ensure that your home remains safe for everyone who lives there – This is an integral part of owning a home.   Your perfectly optimized content goes here!

About Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs is the Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters, a leading supplier of CNC mills, milling machines, and CNC lathes. He is actively involved in manufacturing processes and regularly contributes his insights for various blogs in CNC machining, 3D printing, rapid tooling, injection molding, metal casting, and manufacturing in general. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

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29. Create a Peck Drilling Program in Circular or Rectangular Patterns
Using the Circular or Rectangular Drilling Wizards, you can program the machine to drill an un-limited series of holes along the X and Y planes. Program it to drill straight through to your total depth, use a high-speed pecking cycle, or deep hole pecking cycle. You can program the cut-in depth and return point for a controlled peck drill application to maximize chip clearance.

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20. Change up to 30 tools with compensation, and store your tool offsets for other programs
The MX supports…

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21. Use the optional ATC rack up to 8 tools for milling, drilling, and rigid tapping applications
The CNC Masters Automatic Tool Changer Rack and Tools (US Patent 9,827,640B2) can be added to any CNC Masters Milling Machine built with the rigid tapping encoder option. The tutorial will guide you through the set-up procedure using the ATC tools.

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22. Use the optional Rigid Tapping Wizard without the need for tapping head attachments
When you order your CNC Masters machine, have it built with the optional rigid tapping encoder. You can take any drill cycle program and replace the top line with a tapping code created by the wizard to tap your series of holes up to 1/2” in diameter.

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23. Use the optional Digital Probe to scan the profile and/or pockets of your fun/hobby type designs to write your tool path program and machine out a duplicate of your original design To “surface” scan an object, you can program the probe along the X or Y plane. The stylus will travel over the part starting on the left side front corner of the object and work its way to the end of the part on the right side. Depending on how the stylus moves, it will record linear and interpolated movements along the X, Y, and Z planes directly on the MX Editor.
To “pocket” scan an object containing a closed pocket such as circles or squares, the scan will start from the top front, work its way inside of the pocket, and scan the entire perimeter of the pocket.
Under the Setup of the MX software you will find the Probe Tab which will allow you to calibrate and program your probe. Your “Probe Step”, “Feed”, and “Data Filter” can also be changed on the fly while the probe is in the middle of scanning your object.

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24. Use work offsets G54-G59 for nesting applications
The work offsets offer you a way to program up to six different machining locations. It’s like having multiple 0.0 locations for different parts. This is very useful especially when using sub-routines/nesting applications.

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25. Create a Rectangular Pocket / Slot with our selection of Wizards to help you build a tool path program
The Cycle Wizards for the mill or lathe makes it easy to create a simple tool path without needing to use a CAD and CAM software.
On this Wizard, the Rectangular Pocket / Slots, can be used to form a deep rectangular pocket into your material or machine a slot duplicating as many passes needed to its total depth.

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26. Create a Circular Pocket Wizard
Input the total diameter, the step down, and total depth and the code will be generated.

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27. Do Thread Milling using a single point cutter Wizard

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28. Cut a gear out using the Cut Gear Wizard with the optional Fourth Axis

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19. Disable the axis motors to manually hand crank each axis into place
Easily de-energize the axis motors by clicking [Disable Motors] to crank each axis by hand, and then press [Reset Control] to re-energize the axis motors.

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30. The MX interface can easily be interchanged from Mill Mode to Lathe Mode
Use this interface for your CNC Masters Lathe. It contains all the same user-friendly features and functions that comes in Mill Mode. Simply go to the Setup page and change the interface.

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31. Use Tool Change Compensation or the optional Auto Tool Changer Turret if your application requires more than one tool in a single program
You can offset the length and angle of each tool and record it under Tools in your Setup. The program will automatically pause the lathe’s movement and spindle allowing you to change out your tool, or allowing the optional ATC Turret to quickly turn to its next tool and continue machining.
On the MX interface, you also have four Tool Position buttons. Select your desired T position, and the auto tool post will quickly turn and lock itself to that position.

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32. Use the Lathe Wizard Threading Cycle to help you program your lathe’s internal or external threads in inches or metric

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33. Use the Lathe Wizard Turning / Boring Cycle to help you program simple turning and boring cycles without having to go through a CAM or writing a long program with multiple passes

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34. Use the Lathe Wizard Peck Drilling Cycle to help you program your drill applications or for face grooving

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35. Facing / Grooving / Part Off Cycle Wizards – with Constant Surface Speed
These cycles can be used with Constant Surface Speed allowing the spindle speed to increase automatically as the diameter of the part decreases giving your application a consistent workpiece finish. With CSS built into the wizard, there is no need to break down the cycle into multiple paths and multiple spindle speed changes.

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36. This is our list of supported G and M codes which can be found under Tools > G Code/ M Code List in the MX
If you plan to use a third-party CAM software to generate your tool path program, use a generic FANUC post processor and edit it to match our list of codes. As an option, we also sell Visual mill/turn CAM software which comes with a guaranteed post processor for our machines to easily generate your tool path programs based on your CAD drawings.

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37. Our pledge to you…

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10. Run each tool path independently to study its movement
1. Run the machine on Trace mode. You can run each tool path independently, one line at a time to study the tool path movement on the machine to verify the position of the application and if any fixture/vise is in the way of the cutter’s path.

2. You can also verify your program by clicking on the Trace and Draw buttons together. This will allow you to view each tool path independently one line at a time in the Draw Window.

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2. Clutter Free Interface
The MX is engineered for the CNC MASTERS machine so you do not have to fiddle with a detailed complicated configuration that can be overwhelming. Just load in the MX and start machining!2. Clutter Free Interface
The MX is engineered for the CNC MASTERS machine so you do not have to fiddle with a detailed complicated configuration that can be overwhelming. Just load in the MX and start machining!

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3. Features Tour and Tutorials Included
The Features Tour will give you a quick run-down on all the features the MX can do for you. The Tutorials are easy to follow even for the first time CNC machinist.
Feel free to download the MX on any of your computers. We recommend downloading the MX along with your CAD and CAM software there at the comfort of your office computer to generate your tool path programs. You don’t need to be hooked up to the machine either to test your program in simulation mode.

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4. Navigate and Edit Your Program through the MX interface with Ease
With a few clicks of the mouse or using touch screen technology, you can easily navigate through the MX interface importing saved programs into the Editor from the File drop down menu. Using standard windows features to edit your program you can then lock the Editor Screen to avoid accidental editing, and if you need to insert a line in the middle of a program, just click on [ReNum] to re-number your tool path list.
You can create a program or import CAM generated G-code tool paths into the Editor
The X Y and Z W arrow jog buttons are displayed from the point of view of the cutter to avoid confusion when the table and saddle are moving. You can also adjust your spindle speed and coolant control while jogging each axis.

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5. Feed Hold – Pause in the Middle of your Program
Feed Hold lets you pause in the middle of a program. From there you can step through your program one line at time while opting to shut the spindle off and then resume your program.
You can also write PAUSE in the middle of your program and jog each axis independently while your program is in pause mode.

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6. Hot Keys
Hot Keys is an alternative method to easily control your machine using your hard or touch screen keyboard. One can press P to pause a program, press S to turn Spindle On, G to run a program, Space Bar to Stop, J to record your individual movements one line at a time to create a program in teach mode.

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7. Pick Menu – for conversational mode programming
Write FANUC style G-codes directly into the Editor or select commands off the [Pick] menu and write your tool path program in conversational mode such as what is written in the Editor box. You can even mix between conversation commands and G-codes in the same program.

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8. Pick Menu List of Options
Use commands such as MOVE, SPINDLE ON/OFF, COOLANT ON/OFF, PAUSE, DELAY, GO HOME…. to write your tool path programs in conversational mode.

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9. Draw the Tool Path to verify it before pressing Go
Hit Draw to view your tool path program drawing, check out its run time, or even simulate the tool path in 3D mode. This can be helpful to quickly verify your program before running it. You can also slow down or speed up the drawing or simulation process.
You can also hit Go within the Draw Window itself to verify the cutter’s position on the machine. The current tool path will be highlighted and simultaneously draw out the next path so you can verify what the cutter will be doing next on the program.

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MX Software – Easy to Use, Easy to Learn – Included with your machine purchase
The MX software is designed to work seamlessly with your CNC Masters machine. It is made to work with Windows PC – desktop, laptop, or an all in one – on standard USB. Use it on Windows 8 or 10 64-bit operating systems.
No internal conversion printer/serial port to USB software or additional conversion hardware is used with the MX.

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11. Counters display in Inches or Millimeters – Continuous Feed
1. When running a program, the counters will display a “real-time” readout while the machine is in CNC operation without counting ahead of the movement.
2. The current tool path is highlighted while the machine is in operation without causing slight interruptions/pauses as the software feeds the tool path to the machine. The MX internally interprets a program ten lines ahead to allow for “continuous machining” avoiding slight interruptions as the machine waits for its next tool path command.
3. “Run Time” tells you how long it takes to run your tool path program.

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12. Use the “Go From Line” command to start in the middle of your program
If you ever need to begin your program from somewhere in the middle of it, use [Go From Line] which you can find under Tools. The Help guide will walk you through how to position the cutter without losing its position on the machine.

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13. Exact Motion Distance without over-stepping on an axis while jogging
Use “Relative ON” to enter a specific coordinate to jog any of your axes to an exact location without having to write a program. It’s like using “power feed” but easier. You can jog an exact distance on any of the axes without needing to keep the key pressed down and mistakenly over-step the movement releasing your finger too slowly off the jog button.
Let’s say you need to drill a hole exactly 0.525” using the Z. So you enter 0.525 in the Z box. Next, adjust the JOG FEED RATE slider for the desired feed rate. Then “click once” on the +Z or -Z button to activate the travel. In this case you click once the -Z button first to drill the hole exactly 0.525”. Then click once on the +Z button to drive the axis back up 0.525”.

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14. Teach Mode – Jog Input
You can create a tool path program by storing each point-to-point movement by simply jogging an axis one at a time. Click on either of the Jog Input buttons to store each movement on the Editor Screen. You can then add Spindle ON, feed commands, and press GO to run the new program as needed. This is a great feature to help you learn to create a program by the movements you make on the machine without necessarily writing out an entire program first.

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15. Override on the fly to adjust the Jog Feed to Rapid or the Spindle Speed during the middle of a program
1. Jog Feed and Rapid with Override: You can adjust feeds using the slider from slow minimum 0.1″ per minute to a rapid of 100″ per minute of travel. You can even micro-step your jog as low as 0.01”/min. The [-][+] buttons allow you to fine tune feeds in 5% increments while the program is in motion.
2. Spindle Speed with Override: You can adjust speeds using the slider from a slow minimum RPM to the max RPM according to the machine setup. The [-][+] buttons allow you to fine tune feeds in 5% increments while the program is in motion.

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16. Adjust Counters using Pre-Set if you cannot begin the program from 0.00
In a situation where you cannot begin your cutter at it’s 0.00 location, you can “Pre-Set” directly into the counters by typing in your beginning coordinate. You can press Go from here to run your program. You can also “zero all” or “zero” your counters independently. With one click of the [Return to 0.0] button, all axes will travel back to its respective 0.0 on the machine.

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17. Set and Save your 0.00 position for future runs
Set and save your 0.00 position on the machine. These coordinates will be recorded as the first line of the program in the Editor Screen. Should you desire to return to this program at a later date, you only have to click on the Set Zero Return button. This will command the machine to automatically jog each axis to its saved “set” 0.00 position according to the recorded coordinates at the first line of the program.

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18. Create a “Home” position to clear your application and run multiple times
Let’s say you need to machine one application times 100 pieces. This usually requires a jig to retain that physical 0.00 position. But in this case, you want the program to end with a clearance of the axes to easily switch out the next piece of stock and start again. With Save Home, you have the ability to save this offset (home) position while still retaining your Set Zero position where the machine will mill your part out. Pressing [Save Home] will record this new position under the Set Zero line in your program.
Pressing [Go Home] will jog your axes back to your “saved home” position where you originally pressed the Save Home command. You can also input GO_HOME from the Pick Menu as its own tool path in your program. At the completion of your program the axes will end at your Home position. Replace your part, then press [Return to 0.0] button to allow the axes to return to its zero position, and press Go to start your next run.

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