Repairing a crack

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Forum topic by donaldmee posted 05-04-2013 12:31 PM 1229 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 4359 days

05-04-2013 12:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question trick tip refurbishing joining

Hi fellow LJ, I have a quick question. A client sent me a pic of a table I finished recently and a crack opened up in it on one end. There already was a small check but now has opened up about 1/8” more. My question is. Can I use a set of clamps to pull it back closer and put in some bow ties to hold it in place and stop it from cracking more?

-- donald mee

4 replies so far

View SnowyRiver's profile


51502 posts in 4971 days

#1 posted 05-04-2013 12:36 PM

Yes, a bow tie will work to stop the check from opening further You also could try putting epoxy into the crack and if you can pull it together without causing further cracks, it may hold it closed also.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4575 days

#2 posted 05-04-2013 02:43 PM

I think the check became a crack because of the normal drying of the wood. Could be because of the move
from your shop to a house with a different environment, or just the lower moisture of the air during winter
months that is normal. You could try to fill the crack with epoxy, but I would not try to pull the crack shut as
that would cause stress on other parts of the wood and create new problems. Just my opinion, and I have
been known to be wrong.

-- As ever, Gus-the 83 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Timberwerks's profile


450 posts in 4651 days

#3 posted 05-04-2013 02:52 PM

Yes, a butterfly will do the trick. Don’t pull the wood together though, set in a butterfly or two as is. Try to make butterfly 1/2 to 2/3’s the thickness of top.


View J123's profile


363 posts in 3830 days

#4 posted 05-06-2013 01:41 PM

I’m not a professional so I won’t weigh in on the repair, but Fine Woodworking had an interesting trick a few months ago involving a shop vac to suck glue down into cracks. They put the glue on one side of the crack, put the shop vac on the other side, and turned it on. I haven’t tried it yet, but apparently it sucks the glue right down.

Not sure about a 1/8” crack. That seems like a very shallow crack to try to pull together. I would be afraid that the force required to pull the wood back together would be enough to crush the cells, which will cause future checks. I’m for the idea of putting in a butterfly but not repairing the check. If you still have some of the scrap lying around, maybe cut a little wedge and use that to fill the crack. I guess this would require refinishing that area, but it would avoid causing additional stress in the wood. Crap, I weighed in on the repair.

Regardless, I am a big fan of your work.

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