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Cracked Irregular Shaped Bowl

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Forum topic by TZH posted 09-05-2020 08:34 PM 301 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TZH

586 posts in 4021 days


09-05-2020 08:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine ponderosa pine carving tool clamp sander carving shaping joining sanding arts and crafts rustic

I’ve been working on carving a bowl using very dry beetle kill ponderosa pine. After more than a few hours carving and sanding, the dang thing is showing a crack the entire length of the piece. If it were a crack on one side only, I wouldn’t be as concerned about it breaking off, but this thing goes all the way through.

Don’t know if folks can see the crack in these photos very well, but trust me….it’s there.

I thought about just breaking it off, smoothing things down a bit, and gluing it back together, but, because of the irregular shape of the bowl, clamping it together, or even strapping it using a tie down all the way around the bowl, would not work very well, if at all. A butterfly joint wouldn’t work either because of the irregular shape.

Sinking a dowel, or two, horizontally in from the underside would be risky because it’s kinda thin where most of the crack runs…..not impossible, but risky.

I really don’t want to scrap the piece if there’s even a remote chance it can be saved.

I’m asking for some advice on how I might be able to address this issue.

Thanks.
TZH

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On


9 replies so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5786 posts in 1702 days


#1 posted 09-06-2020 12:32 AM

If it can’t be fixed, “highlight it”... charcoal mixed with CA will fill and somewhat secure it and keep it water tight if needed.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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TZH

586 posts in 4021 days


#2 posted 09-06-2020 04:05 AM

Thanks. I’ll be trying some thin CA glue both top and bottom to see if it wicks deep enough to keep it stable.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1732 posts in 2611 days


#3 posted 09-06-2020 02:08 PM

How thick is the bottom? It looks a like it’s over 1/2”. Dowels would work real well if you don’t mind having the ends exposed. Here is a piece I did several years ago. I don’t drill for dowels until the wood is just over 1/2”, because I never know if the cracks are superficial or the real deal. The pattern is a complete accident, but had I know it was going to have that look, I would have positioned the dowels better.

I use a Kreg pilot drill bit for drilling the dowel holes. ......Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Kazooman

1540 posts in 2833 days


#4 posted 09-06-2020 03:37 PM



Thanks. I ll be trying some thin CA glue both top and bottom to see if it wicks deep enough to keep it stable.

- TZH

You indicated that the crack goes all the way through the piece. If so you can try suction with a shop vac on one side to help draw the glue into the crack and not just rely on wicking.

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Redoak49

4918 posts in 2870 days


#5 posted 09-06-2020 03:38 PM

I would use some thin long set epoxy. I would put it on one side and then use a vacuum on the other side to suck it into the crack. You can use the vacuum trick with most glues. I use a small nozzle on the vacuum to direct where I want to pull the glue.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2620 posts in 4324 days


#6 posted 09-06-2020 05:50 PM

CA glue will do the job but not mentions is you should use the medium or thick variety which sets slower so it will seep into the crack. If you want to accent the crack you can color the glue or there are colored CA clues available….usually black and brown.
I would use masking tape on both sides of the crack to help keep the glue off the surface. Apply the glue, let it seep in and keep applying it until it stops seeping. You may have to apply a bit of tape to the other side of the crack to keep the glue from running out.
For larger cracks I fill them with fine sawdust (usually of the same color wood). Pack it in. Then add thin CA glue followed immediately by the medium variety. The thin glue acts as a wicking agent for the medium glue which would be absorbed too slowly by the sawdust with out it..

-- Les B, Oregon

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TZH

586 posts in 4021 days


#7 posted 09-06-2020 06:10 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your insights and suggestions.

Nubsnstubs, dowels would be a last resort right now. I’ve used them on other pieces, but never into something like this. I’m just not confident enough in my own abilities to be able to be sure I wouldn’t screw things up even worse than they already are.

Kazooman, I hadn’t even thought of that. To be honest, I’ve never used thin CA glue before, so this will be a challenge, for sure.

Redoak49, I thought about epoxy, but am going to try CA mainly because it’s something new for me to try

LesB,some good ideas. I may even carve out a small groove to act as a channel to help with overflow. The crack is very fine, so no room to pack anything into it.

Thanks, again, everyone. I’ll post something later to let y’all know how it worked…..or didn’t work.

TZH

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5786 posts in 1702 days


#8 posted 09-06-2020 11:56 PM

THZ, looks like you’ve surrendered to the CA darkside.

I believe a fair scenario is to start with thin CA to let it wick and then put medium/thick on top which the thin will assist in drawing in… the medium/thick will act as a body filler which thin is not too good at.

I do recommend agains a vac on the reverse side if you use thin CA… or at least take care on how much you apply… I am speaking from experience of the grief you can cause yourself with too much CA.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View TZH's profile

TZH

586 posts in 4021 days


#9 posted 09-07-2020 03:47 AM

LittleBlackDuck, thanks for the advice. Because I have absolutely no experience with CA glue in this type of scenario, I need to take everything with that proverbial grain of salt. Your process sounds very logical. The crack is very thin, so I need to be very careful as to how much CA glue to apply. If I try to open the crack even a little bit, I’m afraid the whole thing will break off, and then I’d be screwed. I’m actually still not ruling out dowels or even deck screws to secure and stabilize it, but that would be a last resort.

TZH

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

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