Crack Filling

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Forum topic by Jason King posted 02-07-2015 10:19 PM 618 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jason King

8 posts in 978 days

02-07-2015 10:19 PM

Question about how to best fill a crack (or at all?). I just finished gluing up a cradle for my new baby due in April – it is maple & has compound angled dovetails. Well just had a tail that was a bit too tight and it caused a stress crack in the pin board at the shoulder of the pin. The crack is about 3 inches long, very tight, and goes all the way trough the board.

Seems there is a lot of info about filling/repairing and am looking for suggestions. Should I do major surgery such as cut away & patch, use a butterfly key, or fill with CA, Titebond, epoxy, +/- sawdust, or not at all. I have two questions:

1. If left alone will it definitely be a problem later, e.g. continue to expand.

2. If i need to fill it, what is the best way since the crack is very tight and I fear it might be tough to get a filler in there.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Jason

5 replies so far

View patcollins's profile


1419 posts in 2287 days

#1 posted 02-07-2015 10:32 PM

Jason, what sort of finish are you going to have on your cradle?

I ask because if it is going to be painted I would drill a hole at the end of the crack so that it can’t lengthen and I would fill that with a plug. Or if you think you could match a plug really well I would also do that.

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2239 days

#2 posted 02-07-2015 10:48 PM

I’d say there is some risk that the crack could continue all the way to the curve. My inclination would be to us CA, with the cradle oriented so gravity will help pull it into the crack. And help it by using a shopvac or dust collector on the other side to help pull the CA into the crack.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Jason King's profile

Jason King

8 posts in 978 days

#3 posted 02-07-2015 11:47 PM

Two great ideas, I knew I could count on Jumberjocks to help me out with my screwups. Pat – never thought about stopping the crack with a plug. I am clearcoating with Waterlox but I guess some care with grain orientation could do a decent job of masking any differences. Jeremy – does the shopvac thing actually work? seems like it would suck all the glue out of the crack.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2344 days

#4 posted 02-08-2015 12:53 AM

I would not count on CA holding well over time. I often have this kind of crack in cedar and I fill it by mixing white or yellow glue with sanding dust, of the wood you are filling, from my orbital sander and applying it with a credit card used as a squeegee. Sand very well after it sets in a few minutes. Make sure you have sanded enough by wiping the area with mineral spirits. Any missed glue will show up and you can then sand a bit more if necessary. Then any finish or stain will not be affected.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 644 days

#5 posted 02-08-2015 05:28 AM

I believe as long as the stress is on the joint the pressure will continue along the path of least resistance. It would certainly mean extra work; if it were my project I think I’d use the error and create an embellishment. You could strike a straight line through the error paralleling the top of the side board or dupe the form at the top.

Route out the split, with an 1/8” or 1/4” straight bit, this would relieve the stress on the joint then refill the void with an alternative material, something like mahogany, walnut, PH, or some exotic lumber. Do the same thing to the other side. You could all sorts of inlay on the to sideboards, little moons.

For example I did this jewelry box for a customer last yr. who fancies herself wiccan, the Celtic/Druid symbol represents the stages of life of the woman.

-- I meant to do that!

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