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Moisture, shrinkage, and aging cause wood to crack over time. But no matter how your wood cracks, it does not require you to discard it. In a survey, 43.7% of respondents were satisfied with using wooden products at home since they are natural and organic.
When you notice wood cracks, take preventive measures, and you do not have to be an expert to seal them up. Just read this article on how to stop a crack in wood from spreading, and you are good to go!
How To Stop a Crack in Wood From Spreading
Follow the outlined steps, and your wood will look and feel as good as new. All you need to do is identify the type of crack present in your wood, identify the best method to use, and you’re done!
1. Remove Cracked Edges
Regardless of how cautious you are, wood will crack. Cracks on the edges are best solved by removing the cracked portion.
1. Draw a straight line that is parallel to the crack.
2. Cut carefully along the mark you’ve marked with a miter saw or table saw equipped with a crosscut sled.
3. Some cracks may extend several inches beyond what is visible on the surface of the wall. Insert something thin and narrow inside the plank or board to test the depth of the wood crack.
4. You can use sandpaper to give a smoother finish to the ends.
2. Repair Small Cracks
It is common to fill cracks in wood to mask indentations when repairing cracked wooden articles. Although, it is possible to find commercial fillers in several tones. But it’s much easier to match the color of your wood filler to the wood you’re working with by making it yourself.
1. Collect the sand dust. Use a sander with a storage bag to collect sawdust from the stock. Hand sanding is another option. You can use a newspaper to catch the sawdust and prevent it from mixing with dirt or dust.
2. Now grab a clean container and add the glue to the sawdust in it. Color matching is best achieved with white wood glue. Thoroughly mix the mixture with a wooden craft stick. The mixture may become runny if not enough sawdust is added.
3. If the wood glue and sawdust are mixed thoroughly, you will see the paste dough similar to flour dough that can be made into shapes by hand.
4. Knead the dough and make a cylinder shape out of it. Fill the crack with this dough. Hardening of wood glue takes ten minutes or less, which means you must work quickly. Scrape off excess wood glue and sawdust mixture using a putty knife.
5. Let the glue dry. While the glue will start to harden in about ten minutes, it takes almost 6 and 24 hours to fully cure. You can check your packaging to see the estimated curing time for glue.
6. You can use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the filled cracks without applying excessive pressure. Unlike the surrounding wood, fillers are softer and are more susceptible to denting.
3. Filling Large Cracks with Epoxy Resin
Unlike regular polymers, epoxy resins exhibit greater thermal resistance and mechanical sturdiness. Fill the crack in the wood piece with epoxy resin to prevent them from getting wider. In addition to its filling capabilities, the epoxy resin also acts as an adhesive. That means it will hold the crack sides together to prevent further damage of the wood.
1. First, prepare your work area. The average cure time of epoxy resin is 24 hours and before that, it has a liquid flowy consistency. You might make a mess with it during this time. Tape your cracks and the bottom of the board with masking tape to prevent epoxy resin from leaking out. You can put down newspapers below your workspace to protect the floor in case of a spill.
2. Epoxy resin congeals into a gel-like mass before it is fully hardened. This period from gel to hardening is referred to as the open period. Packages should include the opening time, which can range from 5 to 60 minutes. Use it within this time frame before it hardens.
3. Mix one part resin with one part hardener in a clean container. You should not mix more epoxy resin than you will need in one session. It is advised to mix the epoxy resin in smaller batches as you can’t store it after mixing. Maybe divide the application into two phases.
4. The final product can be colored using powdered pigments mixed into the epoxy resin. When choosing a tint for your wood, pick one that is close to its natural wood color. You can transform your piece into art by adding another color that will highlight the undertones of the crack.
5. Crack is filled with epoxy resin, and the resin is allowed to fill in any empty spaces. Don’t stop filling the crack until the top. Overfilling is better than underfilling. Sand away excess epoxy resin after it cures.
6. It usually takes 24 hours for the epoxy resin to cure completely. A temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for curing epoxy resin. To achieve the best cure, you should keep your workpiece in a temperature-controlled environment the entire time it is curing.
7. Be careful not to overcomplicate the application process. In any case, it would be best to overuse epoxy. If the epoxy resin is not level, use a sanding block and 60 to 80-grit sandpaper. To smooth the surface with a professional finish, use sandpaper with 180 to 220 grit sandpaper.
8. You can use a clean, lint-free cloth to apply oil or a polishing wax to the resin and the wood. Additionally, you can apply varnish to protect your surfaces.
4. Conceal the Crack with Bow tie Inlays
A butterfly or a bow tie joint is a template that can be used to fortify cracks between wood, picture frames, and drawers. Templates simplify a fairly complex process. The use of wood inlays in the form of bow ties can be a visually appealing and efficient way to reinforce cracks if it is in the middle of the wood.
1. Rout the mortise by attaching the template to the wood with double-sided tape. Following the lines of the template, set the depth you desire. Then remove more wood until you have a bow tie-shaped depression in a direction perpendicular to the crack.
2. Now rout the bowtie and disconnect the guide bushing. Use the same template for your inlay. The thickness of your mortise must be the same as, or slightly greater than, the thickness of the wood. Run your cutting machine along the outer edge of the template. You should place the narrowest part of the bowtie over the crack.
3. Attach the inlay by gluing all exposed surfaces to the wood. Remove any excess glue from the inlay after it has been inserted into the mortise. Once the glue has dried, remove any excess with sandpaper.
How to choose the right method
|Remove cracked edges|
|Quick and prevent warping.||Some materials may be lost.|
|Repair small cracks|
|Fill large cracks with epoxy resin|
|Cheap, fast application, longevity with multiple color options.||Only a cosmetic approach to hide the wood crack.|
|Conceal the crack with bow tie inlays|
|Looks impressive.||Expensive tools, technical understanding is required.|
FAQs About How To Stop a Crack in Wood from Spreading
Can I Use Wood Putty to Stop The Cracks from Spreading More?
No, it is not advised to use wood putty to stop cracks from spreading as it has no adhesive action. You can use it to fill the small cracks or gaps where filling with sand dust, or epoxy resin is not convenient. Using it is one of the most effective methods of hiding a small wooden crack because it can be precisely color-matched.
Will Linseed Oil Stop Wood from Cracking?
Yes! Boiled linseed oil guards the wood against cracks and splits if the wood quality is good. It can be used to seal wood. Follow these steps:
1. Sand it in the direction of the wood grain.
2. After sanding, clean all the spots.
3. Apply generous amounts of boiled linseed oil.
4. Let the linseed seal the wood in a shady spot is best to avoid rapid, vigorous drying of the wood.
Use one of the four solutions provided above to prevent cracks from spreading in wood. Before you begin your project, remove cracked wood ends. You can patch small cracks using wood glue combined with sawdust. Or use inlay bow ties to reinforce split wood or fill large cracks with epoxy resin.