Purpleheart Cracking in Cutting Board

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Forum topic by WillieIV posted 12-12-2011 05:37 PM 1349 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 2355 days

12-12-2011 05:37 PM

Doing several cutting boards for Christmas presents and have a couple purpleheart/maple boards where the purpleheart is cracking. No cracks were present during the final glue up but I left them in our basement on some cold tile while the glue was curing (very dry – low humidity basement). I went to grab them last night and my heart sank. I brought them upstairs and left them in the kitchen overnight and it appears that some of the cracks were closing up a little. After the final sanding will mineral oil close these cracks back up or what other options other than scrapping them do I have? It does not appear that any of the cracks are thru the entire section. The maple is not showing any signs of cracking – just the purpleheart.

4 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2956 days

#1 posted 12-14-2011 12:24 AM

Tough break (no pun intended). It seems the low humidity took enough moisture to crack the ph while the maple was able to withstand it. I’d keep the rest of them in a more suitable environment if they haven’t cracked yet. I can’t think of any way to really fix it, but you might be able to cut two bad ones up to reassemble one good one.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View peterrum's profile


153 posts in 2677 days

#2 posted 12-16-2011 06:45 AM

If the cracks are going right through from top to bottom, put some tape on the bottom as a dam and pour or drip some slow setting epoxy into the crack. That will solve your problem. You can leave the epoxy clear or use some dye to colour it to the purpleheart colour or any colour if you like. Good luck

-- Carpe Diem

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2353 days

#3 posted 12-16-2011 07:26 AM

Well the low humidity could be pulling the moisture out of the wood, if the wood is not dry enough to begin with. Usually your target range for moisture content is approximately the 12-15% range. You can pick up an inexpensive moisture meter from somewhere like harborfreight.

It sounds to me as if your wood is drying out after the fact, the maple is at the proper moisture content, so it isn’t shrinking or expanding, but your purple heart is not. Or it could just be the different rates of those two woods combined.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View WillieIV's profile


11 posts in 2355 days

#4 posted 12-16-2011 10:39 PM

After the final sand I will see what we have left. May just saturate those areas with mineral oil and see what happens. It’s getting down to crunch time though! All these boards must be delivered by next Tuesday…

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