Filling cracks from bad glueup

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Forum topic by notdan posted 11-12-2014 02:16 AM 1344 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 1950 days

11-12-2014 02:16 AM

I’m building a workbench out of 2×3s so lots of glued boards for top, legs, and stretchers. I’ve used a hand plane for all boards and most of them were flat enough to glue, but in a few places I have some small gaps where the boards weren’t perfectly flat. These are about 1/64 – 1/32 inch gaps that are anywhere from 1in to 6in long.

I’d like to fill them in a bit with something. I’ve considered just some wood glue, or some wood glue/sawdust slurry, or some wood filler. I’m going to finish the thing with some boiled linseed oil. What would be the best way to fill these cracks? And would it be better to fill them before, or after the BLO?

8 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 3172 days

#1 posted 11-12-2014 02:26 AM

If you want to fill them you will need to do so before putting on BLO. The oil will make glue-ups very difficult.

If these are really 1/32 inch gaps then either yellow glue and re-clamping could work. But I would be tempted to use epoxy and a heat gun. The epoxy will become very loose under a heatgun and will set very quickly. Thus it will get deep into the cracks. You may need multiple applications of epoxy to completely fill it, but you will know relatively quickly.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2053 days

#2 posted 11-12-2014 02:58 AM

Glue and fine sawdust. Use it all the time.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1904 days

#3 posted 11-12-2014 04:53 AM

I also use glue and saw dust. You can turn it into a paste for larger cracks with yellow glue. For tiny cracks i put crazy glue and sand right over it to mix saw dust and crazy glue.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2592 days

#4 posted 11-12-2014 07:47 AM

5 minute poxy and sanding dust. Tougher and able to withstand wood movement through humidity cycles.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View jgt1942's profile


223 posts in 2456 days

#5 posted 11-12-2014 09:18 AM

I’m a big fan of West System epoxy however it is rather expensive. I use the slow setting and it gives me about 10 minutes before it starts to harden. You can use mineral spirits to thin it out. Mix 4 parts epoxy to 1 part MS. A friend of mine makes it much thinner and fills the cracks. You might want to put tape on the bottom of the cracks and prevent the epoxy running all the way through. Since the cracks are so small I’d suggest not adding sawdust.

If you go the West System route I suggest getting the mini-pumps, one pump with each is the correct mixture. If you want smaller quantities get some syringes. When I need to replenish my supply I get one quart of 207 hardener and one gallon of 105 resin. This amount cost about $150 including shipping.

I also use the LOCTITE, see but it does set rather fast. You can also thin it as well.

White/yellow glue will work and you can thin them a bit. When you sand don’t use a high speed otherwise the glue will heat up and gum up the sandpaper. White glue (Elmers) will dry clear whereas the yellow glue or titebond will not dry clear.

-- JohnT

View jeffswildwood's profile


4195 posts in 2545 days

#6 posted 11-12-2014 12:06 PM

+1 titebond dries yellow and elmers clear. elmers and sawdust can even be stained.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3080 days

#7 posted 11-12-2014 03:10 PM

I’m a + for the glue and sawdust.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View ADHDan's profile


800 posts in 2676 days

#8 posted 11-12-2014 03:57 PM

The only way to fix this is to coat the entire benchtop with cement.

(+1 for glue and sawdust.)

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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