Repairing split wood

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Old 12-27-11, 02:39 PM
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Repairing split wood

Hey folks,

Hopefully this is the right place for this question...

A while back I built an insert to go between my range and countertop, since the cut-out on the countertop was bigger than the range.

During the building process, one of the boards cracked a bit (from being dropped. Oooooops.) It was already joined to the other boards and the perfect length (which, for me, is a feat), so I didn't replace it.

After install, the crack widened a little bit. Using a syringe (that's how small the crack was - maybe 1/16"), I pumped some Gorilla wood glue in, and thought it was happily repaired. It lasted for about 9 months, until...

I noticed the other day, it had cracked open again, and worse than before. (Pics below.) I'm assuming that there was exposed, unsealed wood within the crack that, with fluctuating temperatures & humidity here in AZ, allowed the wood to expand/contract enough to pop the crack again.

I'm getting ready to try & repair it again, but wanted to bounce my plan off the pros to get feedback. I >really< don't want to try & remake this thing & am hoping it is repairable.

So... the plan is to re-glue the crack again. But, after its cured, I hit the insert with another coat or two of varnish to hopefully seal it more effectively against this happening again.

Does that sound like it may work?

Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!!



 
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Old 12-27-11, 03:00 PM
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How is the board attached to the sides? What I'm getting at is can you attach a piece of plywood underneath without having to mess with to much stuff, if so I would reverse the board(having the crack face the back) and attach a piece of 3/ 4 inch plywood to the bottom using wood glue and quite a few wood screws. At the same time I would glue in the crack with the same wood glue and use a Jorgenson clamp overnight.

or..... suck it up, crack the board the rest of the way and find a friend with a biscut jointer or a dowling jig. It is ashame though, you did a nice job on the finish.
Good Luck
 
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Old 12-27-11, 03:47 PM
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First off, thank you so much for responding and for your input! It's very much appreciated!

Let's see... the crack is actually already towards the back. In the attached pic, it'd be to the right of the pot filler.



I certainly couldn't put 3/4" plywood under it, since the insert sits right on the countertop. But I probably could manage some other, thinner form of support... what do you think about metal mending plates? Like these or these? I could put... maybe 4? of them along the crack as "stitches", and maybe another one or 2 along beyond where the crack ends to add extra support.

Thanks for the compliment on the finish. I love doing that work - it's where I started w/ woodworking. I've only recently started designing & building my own things from scratch, so that can still be quite frustrating, but once it's together there's not much that beats, for me, trying to get it perfectly sanded, stained, and varnished.
 
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Old 12-27-11, 03:51 PM
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Those steel plates should work but you'd probably need to route out where they go so they won't make the wood set on the top unevenly.
 
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Old 12-28-11, 09:55 AM
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Hmmm... good advice. That's something I haven't done with a router before. I'llhave to practice a bit & see if I can make it happen without too much risk of irreparable damage. Thank you!
 
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Old 12-29-11, 05:09 AM
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If you go the route of the metal bridges, do it on both ends, clamping them until the glue dries. Biscuits or dowels would be my choice as Brant mentioned. The reason for using them on both ends is once you close the gap on the offending end, the other end will open up. It is the nature of wood. Good job, BTW.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
If you go the route of the metal bridges, do it on both ends, clamping them until the glue dries. Biscuits or dowels would be my choice as Brant mentioned. The reason for using them on both ends is once you close the gap on the offending end, the other end will open up. It is the nature of wood. Good job, BTW.
Hey Chandler - thanks for the input.

I'm not 100% sure I get what you mean when you say 'do it on both ends'. I think you're saying to put a mending plate on the widest part of the crack, and then either do a 2nd one where the crack ends or at the far edge of the board. Sort of like in this muy-pathetico drawing (red line is the crack, the grey ones are proposed mending plate positions):



Here's a pic of what I was planning on doing, which I think is similar to what you're suggesting. In the pic, the crack ended about 1.5" before the farthest mending plate (and about .5" after the 2nd farthest one):



I'm going to see how it sits w/o routing out space for the embedding plates, first. If necessary, I'll go back and do them.

I have two reasons for not doing the tear-all-the-way and fix-with-biscuits-or-dowels approach: 1) I'm afraid of it not tearing cleanly and ending up splintered. 2) I don't have a biscuit joiner, and the only person I know w/ one (and the knowledge to use it) is mi padre ... who is 2300 miles away in NC.
 
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Old 01-09-12, 11:12 AM
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If you are going to to use the steel plates, I would also countersink some 1 1/4 wood screws at a 45 degree angle just before and right after the end of the crack. Odviously, you would have the board glued and clamped at the time.

What is the counter top made of, cement, soapstone? Looks like a great project you got going there.
 
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Old 01-17-12, 06:20 PM
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Sorry to abandon the thread for a few days. I need a router table for my next project (attempted cabinet-door making), so have been focusing on modding a design I found & buying new toys. (And playing with said new toys... a Triton TRC001 router. What every girl needs in her toolbox.)

The countertop is cement.

So... I sent my dad (an enginerd) an email asking what he thought of the metal plate idea. He pointed out that the steel will expand & contract differently w/ the heat than the wood, and would "cause bad things to happen". Touche, Dadoo, touche. He suggested a piece of wood like you, bish, originally did.

I countered with 'what about veneer...' which met with paternal approval. So, here's the band-aided insert; went with red oak since, for some odd reason, they don't make poplar veneer. Decided to lay the veneer across the grain, instead of with it, since I figure any force capable of cracking the board itself would easily tear the veneer along the grain...



Now to stain the veneer & put a couple layers of varnish over the whole thing and see how long it lasts...
 
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