Securing cracks and sealing bark for live edge walnut

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Sirius posted 03-18-2019 02:15 AM 665 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sirius's profile


2 posts in 382 days

03-18-2019 02:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut live edge bark bow ties table

Hey everyone, first time posting here and I’m not entirely sure if this is the correct forum to post on but I figured this would be a good place to start.

So I’m building an entry table and got some really beautiful live edge slabs of walnut I’d like to use. Some will be milled down for drawers and such but I’d like to keep the live edge for the surface.

The piece I like the most for the surface has a split in it. It’s not too much, only about 10 inches long and maybe 1/8” thick, so normally I would do bow ties to secure it. Personally I love the crack and bow ties, I think it adds a certain level of character.

However like all men, the woman in my life has to put in her two cents and she doesn’t like the bow ties. Despite my assurance in using the same material to blend them in perfectly. However she’s still not big on the idea of keeping the crack. And of course the crack is right in the middle of the section I would like to use. Was considering a clear epoxy to fill the crack (for her sake) but I’m normally not big on epoxy.

So my question is, what would be another good method to secure the crack and fill it in?

Also looking for thoughts on keeping the bark. I’ve done plenty of projects with live edge but have never kept the bark on and I’m considering stripping it off. Wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on the pros and cons, and how to properly clean and lacquer the bark if I decide to keep it.

6 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


2781 posts in 2474 days

#1 posted 03-18-2019 02:41 AM

Dont leave the bark on.
It might attract bugs or fluffy Christmas sweaters I also don’t like bow ties.
I also don’t like cracks in tabletops I cut them out or the board is not considered.
Of course this just my single point of view.

-- Aj

View WoodenDreams's profile


959 posts in 587 days

#2 posted 03-18-2019 03:01 AM

I would use bow ties and epoxy, and not give the option of not using bow ties. If not using bow ties to stabilize or secure the crack, I’d say a different slab has to be used… If the bark will peal off, peal it off. If the bark does not want to peal off, you should be ok leaving the bark if you using epoxy. Use sealer to minimize the bubbles.

View bruc101's profile


1381 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 03-18-2019 06:23 AM

I always take the bark off.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View LittleShaver's profile


638 posts in 1296 days

#4 posted 03-18-2019 02:33 PM

Just getting a bit creative, but…
Instead of bow ties, how about metal? I’m thinking of a zig-zag or a sine wave criss-crossing the crack then filled with epoxy.
Could work and impress SWMBO.

+1 on no bark.

Also, I’ve placed polished stones in cracks before filling with epoxy. Cuts down on the epoxy needed and is approved by my SWMBO.

-- Sawdust Maker

View SMP's profile


1885 posts in 582 days

#5 posted 03-18-2019 02:55 PM

Seems most of the designer women i know the current trend is black epoxy to fill walnut. You could see how she likes this.

View Sirius's profile


2 posts in 382 days

#6 posted 03-22-2019 01:54 AM

Will the epoxy be strong enough to stop the crack from splitting more over time?

I really don’t like using epoxy but if it will secure the crack without bow ties I’ll probably end up going with that.

Of course she has to hate bow ties. Though I’m thinking I should just do them on the underside for extra security. Ughh, would be nice if she would let me bow tie the face!

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