Panel Cracked (help)

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Forum topic by swimbill posted 04-10-2018 12:51 PM 809 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 1055 days

04-10-2018 12:51 PM

Hi I built a crib for my new grandson following the Wood 3 in 1 design. I made the side panels out of solid wood. One of the sides just cracked, I think the mistake is mine as I glued the panel in and left no expansion possibility. My question is how do I fix this or is remaking the panel the only option? Any advise would be appreciated.

7 replies so far

View Jeff's profile


524 posts in 3969 days

#1 posted 04-10-2018 01:17 PM

On a crib that has to be fixed. My first choice would be to completely remove it and reassemble allowing for expansion/contraction. If that’s too difficult you could cover it with either a thin plywood panel or some kind of vinyl sticky type piece. You could fill it with epoxy but movement will probably split the panel somewhere else. Any of the latter will look terrible. Take it apart and fix it.

View Redoak49's profile


4743 posts in 2764 days

#2 posted 04-10-2018 01:26 PM

I would make decorative strip out of the same would an finish..maybe 3/4- 1-1/2” wide. I would center put it over the crack and fasten on just one side of the crack. You can not stop the crack from opening and closing with the weather and probably do not want to take the panel out.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7570 posts in 1487 days

#3 posted 04-10-2018 02:36 PM

cut a new panel and never glue them in and always make sure you leave expansion space :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Rich's profile


5619 posts in 1364 days

#4 posted 04-10-2018 04:27 PM

I’ll start with a shameless plug for hide glue, whether hot or liquid. If you had used it, you would have no problem heating the joint with an iron or heat gun and a damp cloth and separating it. You’d also be able to clean off all of the glue with warm water and then re-glue it correctly.

Since you probably used PVA glue, disassembly will be more difficult and could even damage the wood. If you search around you’ll find tips about using acetone, hot water, vinegar and mechanical methods. Hopefully one of them does the trick for you. It’s also another reason not to use Titebond III for indoor projects. It costs more, the waterproofing is unnecessary and it’s harder to reverse.

Regardless of whether you can disassemble it, or wind up using more drastic measures, when you glue it back up, just glue the front quarter or so and let the back end move. That way you don’t affect your reveal where it shows. A dado in the top for the panel to fit into, or better yet a sliding dovetail, will hold it together.

Finally, another option is to leave it alone and perhaps place it so that side is against a wall, or add a runner across the top that hangs down far enough to hide it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3842 days

#5 posted 04-10-2018 04:32 PM

You could disassemple do some work and fix and reassemble, but found in my years, it’s never cheaper and never looks as good as you want.

Remake the panel, and learn from the experience.

Only one thing you can count on and that is wood moves. If you want to glue in the panel, only do it in one small spot in the center so the outside can move. Or, as I’ve started doing is pinning the panel in. Keeps it from rattling and no glue issue.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View tbone's profile


306 posts in 4459 days

#6 posted 04-24-2018 06:35 PM

If you decide to rebuild the panel, don’t forget to stain and finish it BEFORE you re-assemble. That will eliminate the unsightly unfinished line that appears when/if the panel shrinks a little.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1695 days

#7 posted 04-25-2018 03:22 AM


Remaking the frame and panel may be the best, easiest, and fastest solution. But if you wish to undertake an effort to salvage the panels and do not mind changing the look of the crib, then here are three ideas…

Perhaps with a long enough straight router bit and a carefully designed and executed setup, the solid panel could be converted into a series of slats. A series of parallel straight line cuts made parallel to the grain of the panel would define the edges of the slats. The solid wood between every-other cut could be either cut or routed away. The router with the straight bit could clean up the edges at the top and bottom rails. When establishing the edges of the slats, the router could be set up to make multiple passes with progressively increasing depth of cut until the panel is cut all the through. With careful layout, the spit may be removed and the emergent slats equally spaced.

While a long enough straight router bit may be found, is suspect that rounding and smoothing the edges of the newly formed slats would probably require a lot of handwork with a rasp and sandpaper. There may be some tear out on one face of the panel. I doubt a long enough roundover router bit can be found.

With this method, the portion of the panel glued into the rails would remain as one piece. I would worry that if the remaining portion of the panel glued into the grooves in the top and bottom rails were to contract, a new crack that would transmit into a slat could occur. A pair of relief holes equally spaced along the length of the rail could be drilled into the panel where still glued into the top and bottom rails. The holes could be a little smaller in diameter than the rails to prevent damage to the rails. The relief holes could be filled with a silicone/latex colored caulk or some other material that can expand and contract.

The open space between the slats should be less than 4” for safety.

As a second idea, perhaps an oscillating multi-tool could be used to cut the sides of the panel free from the top and bottom rails. The idea would be to plunge the blade into the panel/rail joint line and cut along the length of the rails thereby releasing the panel. This would likely damage the panel and perhaps the rails, so some finish repair is likely. Even if successful, the freed panel could rattle, but some space balls or a dab or two of silicone caulk worked into the saw’s kerf could eliminate the rattle. The panel may still be locked in place by glue on the end grain of the panel. If so, this tends to be a weak joint and may not be a problem; but I cannot say for sure. Once the panel is released, it may be possible to work some glue into the panel crack and clamp the panel crack closed.

The last idea would be to cut the panel free, leaving about 1” of the panel extending beyond the rails and still glued in place. Thinly cut strips about 1-1/2” wide could then be glued or nailed to the portion of the panel left proud of the rails on each side of the residual panel, forming a frame on each side of the rails. Once the cut-away panel is repaired and squared up, it can be set as a free-floating panel between the thinly cut strips. Even if the left-glued-in-place portion of the panel cracks again, the thinly cut strips would conceal the cracking.

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