Timber repairs #1: Reparing Splits/Checks in slabs

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 04-01-2016 06:53 AM 2010 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Timber repairs series no next part

Splits or AKA Checks are non continous splits in the ends of timber created by the timber drying as the seasoning routine and the ends being the lowest in moisture content as the wood seasons are most susceptible to spliting Cracking and Checks forming.

After reading about all the methods to repair Splits and Checks, I saw:
Bandsaw them out.
Epoxy and Inlay
Car body filler and toner.

I guess as with death and axes we all know Splits, Checks and Cracks dont get any smaller.

I wanted to use this slab of European Walnut for a project, its a bit manky but I know there are beautiful features lurking beneath the surface of it, and I could get it in one piece as opposed to the last glue up.
Requirements: overall dimensions of 450mm x 400mm min thickness approx 25 to 30mm

Have a look at my marking out, at the top right there is a chunk preventing me from moving up any further and there are six checks L to R at the opposite end, all but No 4 I can bandsaw out when I cut the radius so it presented the challenge to fix.

My first choice of repair was to bandsaw it out but I could not tilt the table to be able to follow the diagonal Split Check line in the slab with my bandsaw, and I was not risking coming from the opposite end so that fix was out.

So I thought I would make a close fitting insert from the off cut.
I used a panel saw to enlarge the check to a workable size and made the wedge, a bit of hollowing out of the centers and it fitted well.

A bit of dirgression I do not know whats the focus issue with my iphone camera, everything but the subject of interest is in focus, so bear with me please on my photo skills or lack of!

After the glue set I profiled the slab best I could with its existing shape

It was now I noticed check No 3 was a bit more obvious a bit annoying to say the least, so working away I tried to igore it.

After sanding I applied wood filler to the spots needing filling including rubbing some into check No3 I then applied sealing the slab, To my surprise it was not as noticable and the wedge is at the back of the base so its not too obvious

Here is a fit up shot of what its for

Its only just making the dimensions including the scallops in the sides.

So what are your thoughts will the crack repair method provide a satisfactory fix?

What the bases should really look like, this one is two pieces glued together.

An amazing transformation from gnarly old slab to the final product regardless of the split results

Acknowledgements: LLWW AKA degoose for the supply of the timber slab.

-- Regards Rob

5 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2931 posts in 2146 days

#1 posted 04-01-2016 07:16 AM

Fantastic wood, Rob, even if I haven’t a clue what that chrome thing is.
On following the angle of a crack: Do you have a jig saw? Infinitely adjustable.
On Bondo: That’s for metal. I’ve never used it, but, I’ve been told that it will come out, over time, because it doesn’t bond with wood.
On your photos: The answer to the non-focus issue is in your statement itself. Phone camera. There is a wide variety of superbly gifted digital pocket cameras available at low cost, if you don’t already have one. Beware, though. It may take you down a road of creativity from which there is no escape. (I recommend GIMP, for editing).

-- Mark

View robscastle's profile


7878 posts in 3287 days

#2 posted 04-01-2016 09:03 AM

Thanks Mark.
Oh yes the jigsaw completley forgot about the understimated little machine.
The kitchen appliance is a Salad Master Machine its for preparing Vegies and obviously the other food productss used in making salads.

Now I know why my son has been suggesting a GoPro

-- Regards Rob

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3090 days

#3 posted 04-01-2016 12:56 PM

I’m prone to liking your version, with the cutout edges. Gives the grinder stand a bit of an “Artsy” feel. Looks great !
I also think that if you dont point that wedge out to everyone, more than likely they’ll never even notice it.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Boxguy's profile


2897 posts in 3351 days

#4 posted 04-01-2016 01:44 PM

Robert, the concept of an artsy grinder stand is fun. This is an “only time will tell” project. Let us know how this patch holds up over time. I do like the look of it. Thanks for taking us along on your adventure again.

And yeah, buying a camera and editing photos on your computer has made a big difference in what I can do with images. Think of it as another tool you get to play with.

-- Big Al in IN

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5135 days

#5 posted 04-02-2016 04:18 AM

COOL wood!

COOL Fixes…


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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