Cedar board splitting. Please help!! - Router Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default Cedar board splitting. Please help!!

I have a 2'x2'x3/4" piece of cedar that I have glued and clamped and made a marble board out of. I usually use pine wood for my boards but was given this wood by a friend. I always put some carpet feet on the bottom of the boards (like on chairs and tables) that I install by predrilling then hammering in. I did this to the cedar board and I ended up getting two hairline cracks in the board. Both cracks go from the edge of the board along the wood grain to where to carpet foot is put in to board. I haven't had any problems with it as far as feeling like its about to break but since it is for a customer I don't want it to break. Any help on how I can fix these cracks?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 07:37 PM
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I just bought some "Elmer's" Structural Wood Repair Epoxy at my local HD.

This stuff is NOT cheap. It cost me $ 15.00 for 2, 3 ounce plastic containers. This has the consistency of a very thick tooth paste. The instructions say let it dry overnight. Once hardened I sanded the crack and then stained the wood. (Redwood-end grain exposed)

I will try and 'scan' the box and post a picture of the box.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 07:48 PM
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You have to be very careful with red cedar. It is very prone to splitting along grain lines if you wedge anything into it. If the foot went in tight you may need to pull it out and shave it down to a comfort fit.
To repair the damage you can try pulling the cracks back together and if you can they may stay closed with glue; you can fill the crack with colored filler; saw thru the crack the length of the board and glue it back together; or you can drill a long dowel in from the side for reinforcement and that might help keep the crack closed up with glue. If you have some tapered plug cutters like the ones that Lee Valley sells you can cover the dowel almost invisibly.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 06:41 AM
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Charles nailed it dowel and plug

Learning is an exciting adventure
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 07:05 AM
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Charlie ~ Thanks for posting this question and including a photo. This is instructive for the rest of us. Charles provided some good info. Please come back and post your solution for fixing your cracked cedar. A photo or two would be nice for comparison. Good luck.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 07:09 AM
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I would also go the route of dowel, glue and plug and try to stay off the surface.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 07:57 AM
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If I were going to use a plug anyway , why not use a screw instead of a dowel?It would be hard to get glue to a dowel in such a deep hole as you would have to drill for it.I would get a long enough screw , then drill a hole deep enough for it and the plug , clamp it and screw it.
Whatever you do , good luck with the cedar wood. It can be finnicky.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 08:45 AM
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Or, you could do what I've done and just resign to never use cedar again. In the early 1980's Joy and I bought a cedar-sided house. It was a great house, except for the siding. We vowed to each other after that house was sold and agreed to NEVER buy another cedar-sided house again! I am convinced that red cedar is best left as a tree!..And have you ever seen it burn? It is very scarey - no other dry wood that I am familiar with burns so rapidly. Brick or rock veneer from now on - for me..

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 10:09 AM
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All of the posters gave good advice, especially Chuck. Cedar is more prone to cracking than most other species. Try to get the clearest cedar you can if you want to use it. Kiln dried if possible. To fix cracks I like to mix sawdust from the board with glue or epoxy to get a good color match. Most big box fillers won't match. If you want store bought fillers buy from a woodworking supply store. They usually have a better grade of filler (especially if they build things). Best I have found comes from a cabinet shop. As Chuck said the art of woodworking is covering up the goofs so no one else knows they were ever there.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 10:19 AM
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Default How about "Super Glue"?

I have used so-called "super glue" for similar cracks, a trick I learned from the wood turning community. Glue and clamp. The glue gets into the smallest cracks and if you have an acetone wetted rag handy you can remove it from the surface so it does not show. Not as elegant as a dowel and plug but it does work.
Be sure to have good ventilation, both super glue and acetone have strong fumes.
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