August 16, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

Split Wood Repair from Wood Movement | Furniture Restoration

2 min read

Learn how to repair split wood and the wood movement that may be causing it for furniture repairs. It’s important to understand wood moves with seasonal humidity changes. If a piece of furniture is modified that doesn’t allow wood movement, it will crack and split as show in this cabinet.

The root cause of this cabinet breaking apart is that someone repaired this cabinet and added in bracing across the grain on one side. The bracing didn’t allow the wood to move, so when it shrunk I the winter, when humidity levels are lower, it strained the wood. Over a period of years, this eventually broke.

To repair this cabinet, I took the bracing off the side and also removed the bottom as it was also modified and nailed down. I glued up the cracks using one of my favourite tricks – using dental floss to work the glue into the thin split. After aligning the parts with a board and spring clamps, I clamped the crack closed. I use a plastic report cover between the cabinet and the board to prevent the board from sticking.

Once the glue was dried on the repaired cracks, I moved on to the broken cabinet parts. The wood broke on the old glue line. I carefully sanded the wood on both sides of the break, making sure I didn’t touch the outside corner of the break. This is a critical spot that would show if I touched that edge at all with sandpaper.

I re-centered the plywood base in the cabinet so it was allowed to float properly and glued up the split cabinet. I applied glue to both sides to ensure there wasn’t any chance of not having enough glue on the joint and clamped it up for 24 hours so the glue would come to full strength.

When the glue is wet, I clean it up with a wet rag. After I take the clamps off, I wipe it down again with a wet rag to clean off any remaining glue. For this repair I used PVA glue on all the parts except for the bottom glue blocks where I used hide glue as I couldn’t clamp those in place.

If you’re looking learn about how to repair wood that’s broken on the grain instead of the glue line like this cabinet, see "How to Repair Broken and Cracked Wood" –

Plastic Razor Blades –
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TOOLS – See the tools we use in our workshop and the tools we recommend:
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This video is hosted by Scott Bennett, Owner of Wooden It Be Nice – Furniture Repair in Brooklin, Ontario, Canada.

#split #wood #furniture

Woodworking News Source: Fixing Furniture

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