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

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Forum topic by YIAYIA posted 07-09-2017 08:31 PM 1570 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 834 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.

3 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile


1452 posts in 3274 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.

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View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2809 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 835 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!


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