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Creating cracks on purpose

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Forum topic by coalcracker posted 01-21-2020 02:34 PM 384 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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coalcracker

17 posts in 365 days


01-21-2020 02:34 PM

I’m planning a project in which I want to create the illusion that an object broke through a piece of wood by creating a few cracks emanating outward from the object embedded in the wood surface. I suppose I could just draw them on the surface, but it would certainly look more realistic if I could create actual cracks.

Any ideas how to approach this? Use a small chisel or screwdriver? The wood is 1×6 piece of walnut if that matters.


15 replies so far

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

158 posts in 234 days


#1 posted 01-21-2020 02:49 PM

How big of a crack? Like the wood itself cracked? Or, just the finish?

If you want mostly finish stuff, do a google search for ‘guitar relicing’. Fine cracks in finish to imitate aging are down with everything from rattle can compressed air to razor blades.

If you’re want to do deeper wood stuff, then, yeah, chisels and knives will probably be the way to go.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4660 posts in 2024 days


#2 posted 01-21-2020 02:49 PM

It probably depends upon how ragged and wide you want the crack to look. Carving chisels might be the best hand tools. A V-tool is designed to cut in the way you are describing. Other options would be a Dremel with a cutting disk or some carbide double cut burrs. Wood burner could work too.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View pottz's profile

pottz

7947 posts in 1621 days


#3 posted 01-21-2020 02:51 PM

wow thats an unusual request as woodworkers we all try our best to prevent cracks or stop them and repair,never thought about making wood crack intentionally.i guess you could use a chisel or screwdriver,but you need to be careful and not do more than intended.let us know the results of whatever you do.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View coalcracker's profile

coalcracker

17 posts in 365 days


#4 posted 01-21-2020 02:59 PM



How big of a crack? Like the wood itself cracked? Or, just the finish?

If you want mostly finish stuff, do a google search for guitar relicing . Fine cracks in finish to imitate aging are down with everything from rattle can compressed air to razor blades.

If you re want to do deeper wood stuff, then, yeah, chisels and knives will probably be the way to go.

- Axis39

I do want it in the wood, not just the finish. i suspect the challenge will be making it look “natural” rather then I just slices into the wood (which I did) :)

View coalcracker's profile

coalcracker

17 posts in 365 days


#5 posted 01-21-2020 03:01 PM



It probably depends upon how ragged and wide you want the crack to look. Carving chisels might be the best hand tools. A V-tool is designed to cut in the way you are describing. Other options would be a Dremel with a cutting disk or some carbide double cut burrs. Wood burner could work too.

- Lazyman

Thanks, I’ll check out a few of these. I do have scrap pieces that I will give it a try to see what I can do.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

839 posts in 1225 days


#6 posted 01-21-2020 03:11 PM

Create a REAL crack. Split it. Hand fit it back together and see what & where you need to remove material. Reglue the two halves and if you’re careful the seam will be invisible and strong except where you removed material.

Practice on a piece of scrap first.

M

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View SMP's profile

SMP

1779 posts in 542 days


#7 posted 01-21-2020 04:44 PM

Iā€™d probably either resaw that piece to 1/4ā€ or so plane it down to maybe 1/8ā€, actually crack that piece as its super easy to crack/bust out 1/8ā€, and then glue that back to the thicker part the same grain direction.

View Walker's profile

Walker

231 posts in 1109 days


#8 posted 01-21-2020 06:09 PM

Follow any of my designs, they all seem to crack!

What is the object that is supposed to break through it? Why not just shove that object through the wood? Or a similarly sized drill bit. Drill through the wood piece with a decent sized dull drill bit or hole saw without any backing board. That’s how I always make cracks.

-- ~Walker

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SMP

1779 posts in 542 days


#9 posted 01-21-2020 06:17 PM



Follow any of my designs, they all seem to crack!

Are you making the Anne White stuff?

View coalcracker's profile

coalcracker

17 posts in 365 days


#10 posted 01-21-2020 06:38 PM

Re: actually cracking it, I need to be more delicate with the piece. The “object” cracking through will actually be a partial-thickness layer of epoxy. I had planned to create the cracks after the epoxy is cured so the epoxy does not extend into the cracks.

Should have explained this ahead of time.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

657 posts in 2368 days


#11 posted 01-21-2020 06:46 PM

I think SMP has a good suggestion—> start with a thin enough piece that you can actually crack or penetrate it with an object (e.g. hit it with a hammer, shoot a bullet through it, etc.) and then smooth the back and glue it down like veneer to the same species wood.

I Googled a little to see what I could find and it appears that if your goal was a weathered look with surface cracks, then some folks have found success in soaking the wood in water and then rapidly drying it—may be doing that several times. This might generate surface cracks, but probably not a penetration crack. I would worry that the board would deform (warp, twist, cup) and then you might have a tough time keeping the cracked, weathered look when making it S4S for your project.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

839 posts in 1225 days


#12 posted 01-21-2020 07:01 PM

Try a wire brush wheel on your drill. This will indent the soft areas giving a weathered look. Follow with a grey wash and it’ll look like it’s been outside forever.

M

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Walker's profile

Walker

231 posts in 1109 days


#13 posted 01-21-2020 07:33 PM


Follow any of my designs, they all seem to crack!

Are you making the Anne White stuff?

- SMP

Ha, no. I was just making a joke. I actually thought about throwing Ana White under the bus there, but there is enough of that already. I learned from LJ very early to ignore any of her plans.

However, one of my first large projects was a kitchen cart that I designed myself, and despite knowing about wood movement I still made some design flaws that led to cracking.

-- ~Walker

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

2438 posts in 2131 days


#14 posted 01-21-2020 09:50 PM

Fake it?
Nah….
Find someone with a small black powder cannon, and embed an object in the wood for real?
Take some practice boards, so they can reduce the BP load to embed an object and not destroy it.
or
A sledge hammer works really nice for making holes in wood. Support both sides and make sure you hit the middle.

Real chaos is always better. :-)

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4895 posts in 1211 days


#15 posted 01-23-2020 08:14 AM

I hear an axe works better, cleaves right into wood it does. Sometimes leaves a big ragged hole. :-)

DAMHIKT….

-- Think safe, be safe

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