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fixing a crack

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Forum topic by dbw posted 01-23-2020 01:33 PM 829 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dbw

359 posts in 2267 days


01-23-2020 01:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: crack cherry stain repair

I just stained a project made of cherry with warm cherry stain. I know this is sacrilegeous but this is what the customer wants. While wiping away the excess I noticed the crack you see in the attached pics. I knew the crack was there but I didn’t think it would be a big deal. As soon as I wiped away the excess stain it stuck out like a sore thumb. The crack is approximately 1/64” deep X 1/32” wide X 1/4” long. How do I fix it? I was thinking of widening it, cutting matching “cracks” on some or all of the bridges and doing an inlay of some sort. What do y’all think of this idea? I prefer to just fix it. BTW I can live with the little crack next to it.

-- measure 3 times, cut once


26 replies so far

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2804 posts in 3514 days


#1 posted 01-23-2020 01:57 PM

My usual go-to for fixing cracks is mixing sawdust with glue; usually fills the crack well and will take stain. Might be difficult for this though as it is in a very conspicuous location and for a customer.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View TechTeacher04's profile

TechTeacher04

425 posts in 2162 days


#2 posted 01-23-2020 02:28 PM

Tinted epoxy could fill and stabilize the cracks

View Robert's profile

Robert

3626 posts in 2111 days


#3 posted 01-23-2020 02:41 PM

That’s a tough one. You’ll never totally hide it with fillers.

Inlay will also be tough due to the geometry and you’ll have to symmetrically inlay other corners.

Sorry to day but I’d start over.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

560 posts in 357 days


#4 posted 01-23-2020 03:54 PM

Can’t you just sand it down until it goes away?
I have a wide belt so for me it would be easy, but you could use a belt sander if your careful or a ROS with some heavy grit. Just make sure you float the whole top level as you go.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1516 posts in 3480 days


#5 posted 01-23-2020 04:33 PM

Kind of looks like your stock is near the pith or sapwood, I’d try to cut a dado through the crack with a router bit slightly larger and then try to find a piece of scrap with similar color and grain to “patch” the dado. If that is still looking like crap,you can try a contrasting woods and repeat the pattern on each corner…. if it’s still looking bad… keep this one for yourself or a family gift and start over…

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View pottz's profile

pottz

7907 posts in 1615 days


#6 posted 01-23-2020 04:43 PM



Kind of looks like your stock is near the pith or sapwood, I d try to cut a dado through the crack with a router bit slightly larger and then try to find a piece of scrap with similar color and grain to “patch” the dado. If that is still looking like crap,you can try a contrasting woos and repeat the pattern on each corner…. if it s still looking bad… keep this one for yourself or a family gift and start over…

- ChefHDAN

+1 if you can find a piece to match the grain it should dissapear.

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

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LesB

2350 posts in 4074 days


#7 posted 01-23-2020 07:14 PM

I’m seeing what appears to be a tool mark (possibly a saw) and a small crack in the pictures. You description seems to match the small crack (1/4” long) which I would just fill with some medium CA glue and it will hardly be noticeable. The “tool mark” groove is something else.
First fill the “groove” with a mixture of very fine matching sawdust and medium CA glue, over fill and sand down. Pack the sawdust in and soak with the glue….or premix the two and push the mix in, but work fast before the slue sets. If that doesn’t work you could go with the idea ChiefHDAN had of cutting it out and gluing in a matching veneer strip of wood. You might go all the way to the outside edge to get rid of that small crack too. Third if still unsatisfied I would run the whole tray through a drum sander and reduce the whole trays height by the depth of the groove. If you don’t have a drum sander careful use of a belt sander would work.

If it were mine I would try a couple of things in this order.

-- Les B, Oregon

View MPython's profile

MPython

220 posts in 443 days


#8 posted 01-23-2020 07:33 PM

The cracks in that corner look like wind shake – flaws in the lignin caused by some kind of the trauma to the tree before it was milled into lumber. If it were my piece, something my family would use, I’d ignore it. But since it’s for a paying customer, I’d start over. The customer isn’t going to like paying for a flawed piece.

View dbw's profile

dbw

359 posts in 2267 days


#9 posted 01-23-2020 07:46 PM

My apologies. The crack is 1 1/4” long and not 1/4”. It is not a tool mark. It was there all the time. I chose to ignore it. My bad.

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View LesB's profile

LesB

2350 posts in 4074 days


#10 posted 01-23-2020 08:53 PM

I would fix it even if you make a new one for the customer. You could possibly sell or give it to someone else with the small repaired defect. The repair work would be good practice for similar problems.

-- Les B, Oregon

View dbw's profile

dbw

359 posts in 2267 days


#11 posted 01-23-2020 09:52 PM

does anyone make a stainable filler?

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View Rich's profile

Rich

5203 posts in 1220 days


#12 posted 01-24-2020 12:08 AM

Now would be a good time to learn some burn-in fill techniques. A flaw that small can be filled so perfectly that even you won’t be able to find it when it’s done. It’s a critical skill that will save your butt time and time again, whether the flaw is in the wood or one you caused.

Mohawk has an extensive collection of youtube videos showing in detail how to use their products. For yours, I’d go with either Hard Fill or Plane Stick.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MohawkFinish/videos

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

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

730 posts in 2092 days


#13 posted 01-24-2020 12:15 AM



I would fix it even if you make a new one for the customer. You could possibly sell or give it to someone else with the small repaired defect. The repair work would be good practice for similar problems.

- LesB

+1, I would fix it for practice. Flaws like that don’t go to paying customers. So I would make a new one for the customer. If the repair comes out well, maybe gift it to a friend. Worst case, burn barrel.

-- John

View pottz's profile

pottz

7907 posts in 1615 days


#14 posted 01-24-2020 12:23 AM



Now might be a good time to learn some burn-in fill techniques. A flaw that small can be filled so perfectly that even you won t be able to find it when it s done. It s a critical skill that will save your butt time and time again, whether the flaw is in the wood or one you caused.

Mohawk has an extensive collection of youtube videos showing in detail how to use their products. For yours, I d go with either Hard Fill or Plane Stick.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MohawkFinish/videos

- Rich


i just checked a few out,great products for repairing woodwork,thanks rich.

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

View Rich's profile

Rich

5203 posts in 1220 days


#15 posted 01-24-2020 01:20 AM


Flaws like that don t go to paying customers. So I would make a new one for the customer. If the repair comes out well, maybe gift it to a friend. Worst case, burn barrel.

- bigJohninvegas

It’s not flawed if you do a flawless fix. If it were splitting and obviously going to get worse or come completely apart, that’s different, but this looks purely cosmetic and the sort of imperfection in the wood that I repair all the time. I can’t afford to throw away premium hardwoods just because there’s a cosmetic imperfection. Sure, I select the best pieces at the lumber yard, but sometimes you don’t find out there is a flaw until you start cutting into it.

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

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