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Split rocker leg from dowel

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Forum topic by jonsprague0000 posted 03-28-2015 11:51 PM 677 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jonsprague0000

94 posts in 1049 days


03-28-2015 11:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: split wood crack crack dowel maloof rocker chair walnut repair epoxy

I’m building a maloof rocker and when attaching the arms with a dowel I split the top of the front leg. I’m using a 3 inch long 1/2 dowel to connect the bottom of the arm to the top of the front leg. It was a tight fit so I hit it with a mallet and then noticed 2 splits on either side.

What can I do to fix this or minimize any further splitting. It’s glued in now so I won’t be able to pull it apart.


6 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#1 posted 03-29-2015 12:23 AM

Filling that split with epoxy is probably your best option (short of making a new leg). Use a good quality (like West Systems) and not the 5 minute stuff from HD.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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runswithscissors

2176 posts in 1485 days


#2 posted 03-29-2015 01:14 AM

It should be possible, with a very thin, fine toothed saw, to saw that joint apart. Then drill out the dowel from both pieces, epoxy the cracks and clamp together, then try again with a better fitting dowel. Dowels not only are not precision machined, they also can swell from humid conditions. I’ve even made repairs where the dowel was (intentionally) significantly smaller than the hole, and filled the void with thickened epoxy. Gives you lots of flexibility in positioning the joined parts.

The saw should be able to make a 1/32” kerf, which will be unnoticeable, but will leave some scratches on the arm to sand out. Being underneath the arm, they won’t show too much anyhow.

Actually, I have no problem with the 5 minute epoxy. Mix it with a little walnut dust from your sander to improve the strength and coloration.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#3 posted 03-29-2015 02:02 AM

My issue with the 5 minute epoxy that comes in those double syringe thingys is that they don’t ever dispense equal parts of materiel like they are supposed to. Then it may take forever to cure or even remain slightly soft which creates problems when you go to sand it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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runswithscissors

2176 posts in 1485 days


#4 posted 03-29-2015 07:40 AM

I never buy epoxy that way. A decent hardware store or hobby store should have it in 4 oz. (I think) bottles). Those little dispenser gizmos are for people who don’t know how to squeeze out equal amounts of stuff. If you have curing problems, it’s probably because the mix is off. Epoxies all have their specified mis ratios, but often 50-50. You don’t want to hurry things up with extra hardener. Has the opposite effect, and may not cure properly (epoxy doesn’t “dry”, which is solvent evaporating, but it cures, which is a chemical reaction. Though 5 minute stuff will set within 5 minutes, it needs an hour or 2 to get really hard.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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jonsprague0000

94 posts in 1049 days


#5 posted 04-01-2015 01:49 PM

I like the idea of cutting the arm out and completely fixing the mistake, but I’m afraid that I may cause more damage.

Would it make more sense to only fill with epoxy or to cut walnut wedges and put them in the crack. That way I could fill it with solid wood.

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Gene Howe

8236 posts in 2888 days


#6 posted 04-01-2015 02:08 PM

A mixture of walnut dust and epoxy would be my fix. You’d be surprised at how well it will blend.

BTW,

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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