Saving cracked wood

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Forum topic by cdaniels posted 03-29-2016 04:25 PM 468 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1311 posts in 918 days

03-29-2016 04:25 PM

I have some large slabs of Birdseye maple that I want to cut into bowl blanks but there’s large cracks and voids running through them because the pith was left in them. I know I can epoxy the cracks but it looks like crap in these so does anyone have any ideas what I could do? Or should I just get as much spindle blanks as I can and take the loss?

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

4 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


4020 posts in 1616 days

#1 posted 03-29-2016 04:45 PM

I guess if you don’t like epoxy, you could try filling with glue/sawdust… but I’m not sure how well that would work on large voids. I personally like the contrast of epoxy, particularly when colored. Here are some bowl blanks that I had with some fairly large cracks in them:

I rough turn the blanks first, and then fill with epoxy before finishing – which saves on the amount of epoxy needed:

After it’s cured, they are turned to final shape:

For those, I used black… but almost any color can be used, which will give a different look/contrast depending on what wood is being used. Depending on how you cut your blanks and position the cracks, the amount of filling could be minimised… or could be emphasized… depending on the look you want. A more similar color (such as a light shade of brown) could also be used to color the epoxy, which would minimize the contrast and make it look more like a natural feature of the wood.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View AZWoody's profile


678 posts in 641 days

#2 posted 03-29-2016 05:07 PM

You can even mix brass shavings or other soft metals into it as well as stones.

Epoxy just does a really good job of binding the wood together in the cracks to keep it from cracking more.
You can use trans tint dyes to color the epoxy. 1 or 2 drops is all you need per batch. It goes a long way.

View bigJohninvegas's profile


178 posts in 879 days

#3 posted 03-29-2016 06:40 PM

I agree with filling the voids with color or powdered metal. As you are turning, if it looks like it is going tocome apart. You can use some CA glue to stabilize it. Fill it with the colored powder when finishing it.

-- John

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7668 posts in 1797 days

#4 posted 03-29-2016 08:16 PM

Spindle blanks, it’s pith and will be nothing but problems. Once you cut it into bowl blanks, if it flies apart and beaks your face, it’s all Humpty Dumpty.


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