Wood is Splitting, Help!

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Forum topic by Primitiques posted 03-13-2009 03:42 AM 936 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Primitiques's profile


24 posts in 3386 days

03-13-2009 03:42 AM

Hello all, I make furniture from Eastern White Pine (standard grade). Occasionally, my it may split on the sides when clamped and glued. I have began to tongue and groove the backs, which seems to be working, but how can I keep the sides from splitting, since they have to be clued together? Recently, I have been putting glue at the top and bottom of the pieces, basically rubbing glue on the top and bottom for about inches or so, hoping this will keep any splits from actually starting. Should I seal the intire piece once it is done, then paint it? I use milk-paint, then wax it with a stained beeswax I make, but I may have to seal it before I paint it, then paint it, and then wax it. I need help!!!!! I know predrilling the holes has helped stopped splits from occuring at the screw points, but now I need to stop splits on the ends. I do keep my wood in a basement area, which is pretty dry. Should I put some dehumidifiers down there maybe, or what?

4 replies so far

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3354 days

#1 posted 03-13-2009 07:51 AM

Could you post a picture of the splits you are talking about? I work with a lot of pine, both Southern yellow and Eastern white and I know it can split and chip out easily, being fairly soft between the grain, but I’m not sure exactly what you are talking about. I’ve edge glued plenty of pieces as well as gluing many mortise and tenon joints and haven’t had too much of a problem. I just can’t picture exactly what is happening from your description.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3495 days

#2 posted 03-13-2009 02:50 PM

Yes, pictures would help us out.

Are you talking about large glued up panels? If so, you should try and break up the piece into smaller panels, so there won’t be as much wood movement.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Primitiques's profile


24 posts in 3386 days

#3 posted 03-14-2009 02:23 AM

yes, it is mostly when I have a bunch of wood glued up on the back of pieces, primarily 1 X 12’s..recently i have been tongue and grooving the back. But occasionally, the sides will split since they are glued up. Do you think it would help to smother the sides with titebond glue, just cover it alll up, since we milk-paint over it anyway. I think if it is all glued up, it may never crack or split. I may get a dehumidifier too, to make sure it is around 8% dried. any pointers anyone????

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3330 days

#4 posted 03-14-2009 10:21 PM

your painting your wood.. just make sure you paint all the wood.. backs, bottoms, etc.. i would use sanding sealer, primer, paint then wax.. or poly..

wood splits because it is not drying evenly… if you plane or sand just one side, it will cup, if it can’t cup it will split..

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

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