Purpleheart Cracking in Cutting Board

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Forum topic by WillieIV posted 12-12-2011 05:55 PM 3338 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 1780 days

12-12-2011 05:55 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.

8 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#1 posted 12-12-2011 06:35 PM

If you want to salvage these cutting boards, you might be able to fill the cracks. I doubt that you can buy purple heart wood filler but you can make your own with glue and fine saw dust (messy). You really need to capture the sawdust from a sander (not a saw).

You may not want this information but I will advise you that purple heart fades over time. Eventually, it becomes “brown heart” and it is pretty dull looking. You can slow the fading down – but you cannot stop it.

For all intents and purposes, I have stopped using purpleheart because of this fading problem.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

178 posts in 2740 days

#2 posted 12-12-2011 06:36 PM

Unfortunately, I don’t really have a fix for you, maybe just a theory. It looks like the growth rings of the purple heart are 90 degrees rotated from those of the maple. If the maple expanded with its growth rings then it would put pressure on the purple heart in such a way that would cause the cracks you are seeing. Maybe it’s best for the rings of all the wood to be oriented the same way? Sorry I don’t have a solution.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 2964 days

#3 posted 12-12-2011 07:01 PM

Just goop them up with some beeswax. Melt pure beeswax into the cracks and then keep the board waxed with a creme made from beeswax/mineral oil. The board is still functional! Come summertime, these will close up and you will never notice them…

-- Childress Woodworks

View WillieIV's profile


11 posts in 1780 days

#4 posted 12-12-2011 08:34 PM

I think I’ll give the saw dust and glue a shot. Woud hate to scrap the project this far into it!

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2717 days

#5 posted 12-12-2011 11:37 PM

I have filled cracks like this with CA glue, let dry, and scrape flush.
It isn’t noticeable and it seals the crack from food getting in and growing bacteria.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3380 days

#6 posted 12-13-2011 12:11 AM

Thats a great idea Lisa..I gota remember that one..


View WillieIV's profile


11 posts in 1780 days

#7 posted 12-13-2011 12:30 AM

I’m a newbie…... What’s CA glue?

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2717 days

#8 posted 12-13-2011 12:41 AM

CA glue is Cyanoacrylate. It is more commonly known as super glue.
It can be purchased in different viscosities thin or thick depending on the purpose
of use.

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

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