VERY old wooden bowl has a massive crack??!!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by YIAYIA posted 07-09-2017 08:31 PM 5916 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View YIAYIA's profile


3 posts in 1604 days

07-09-2017 08:31 PM

I have my Great, grandmother’s wooden biscuit bowl. Over the years it has developed a crack – since I honestly am not taking proper care of it. My mother used to soak her wooden churn, also from my Great grandmother in the bath tub for hours?? My bowl has developed at least a 1” crack. What can I do to fix it? Help me, and I promise to take better care of it from now on!! Really want to return it to a round bowl. Thanks for any help you can give me.

9 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile


1559 posts in 4043 days

#1 posted 07-10-2017 02:28 PM

Not much you can do now. What has happened is the wood has lost moisture over time and has shrunk creating the crack. Your mother was right about soaking the wood. You can try soaking the wood for a good while to see if it will close the crack up. If it does close the crack completely, glue the crack using the very thin type of cyanoacrylic glue (Super Glue). Wipe the bowl dry of water after soaking and let it sit for a few hours to dry. Then apply the glue to the crack. Capillary action will draw the glue deep into the crack and the moisture in the wood will act as a catalyst to set the glue. Let it sit over night to make sure the glue has completely hardened, then lightly sand the glued area with fine sandpaper to blend the crack and glue. Truthfully, there is about a 50/50 chance this will work successfully, but what have you got to lose? If it does work, take care of the bowl by soaking it occasionally (the glue is waterproof) and rubbing it occasionally with a food-safe oil like a cooking oil.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3579 days

#2 posted 07-10-2017 03:26 PM

One inch long crack or one inch wide crack? I would do what you can to get moisture back into the wood and think about maybe doing a make-do repair. It is an antique at this point and the repair is just another point along the bowls journey to the next caretaker.

View RangerJay's profile


7 posts in 1605 days

#3 posted 07-10-2017 04:28 PM

1” is a lotta crack!!

I’ve never done anything this size before. But having said that my own instinct suggests to me that moisture should be re-introduced slowly over a period of time – it took a long time for a crack that size to develop and maybe it should take a while to bring it back to normal.

Although it might not happen – the risk I see in re-introducing moisture quickly is that it there is no real chance for the piece to absorb moisture evenly – possibly encouraging warping of a different kind.

What about a rubbermaid tote? – place the bowl in the tote with a bowl of water and allow the humidity in the air within the tote to do its work over time. Think I’d check on it on a fairly regular basis (daily) and see how it is doing – look for how it is coming together – and if it looks like the edges are not going to line up then devise some type of clamping mechanism (early in the game) to encourage the edges to stay lined up as the wood swells.

Once (if) the crack closes then apply glue as above and re-finish.

Good Luck!


View YIAYIA's profile


3 posts in 1604 days

#4 posted 10-20-2021 02:42 AM

Well 4 years later, after asking a neighbor for help and he found the responses to this I had never seen. Well, I put the bowl inside a container with a bowl of water for approx 2-3 months. As the crack lessened he pressed and glued the cracks together, another 3-4 weeks! I am so proud of this bowl and my neighbors help. It is so beautiful. Thanks to you for your help, even if it took me a while!

View mtnwild's profile (online now)


4579 posts in 4809 days

#5 posted 10-20-2021 03:04 AM

That is very interesting…Looking at that old bowl, I never thought you could do what you did…

Glad you showed how you did that…Awesome…Great save…Looks great…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Aj2's profile


4129 posts in 3080 days

#6 posted 10-20-2021 03:34 AM

Very good. Bravo Bravo

-- Aj

View YIAYIA's profile


3 posts in 1604 days

#7 posted 10-20-2021 11:07 PM

Thank you, but as I said I owe it ALL to my neighbor – Kevin He was a woodworker with his father as a young man, I explained my problem and he researched it and found, of all things, my question on your blog and explained what/how to do it. He is incredible. Thank you guys for responding. I am one happy lady. Emoji

View therealSteveN's profile


9208 posts in 1856 days

#8 posted 10-20-2021 11:59 PM

Amazing fix. Wood and moisture have an on and off love affair with each other, but like people, getting close to the perfect balance all the time. leads to longevity.

I’m happy for you, your bowl, and especially your Grandmother, she would be most pleased to see this. I’m sure she’s watching you to keep track of her bowl. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

View MakeThings's profile


85 posts in 856 days

#9 posted 10-25-2021 06:57 AM

I’m so glad you followed up…I’m going to have to remember the container and water trick!

What a beautiful bowl with a history, it’s priceless, I’m sure!

-- Most of my public projects:

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics