Ask WWGOA: Timber Splitting


How can I prevent my timber from splitting open? We manufacture furniture in South Africa – Cape Town – then transport it to the country as soon as it is delivered. A month after that, our turned legs craps open. We use a glue called Balcotan 100 which is the best glue here in Cape Town. What can we do to prevent it from happening?

Submitted by Clinton


Having spent time in Africa (I lived in Swaziland for three years), you have a humidity problem. The humidity at the Cape is high. If your products go up toward Jo-Burg or Pretoria, the humidity is lower, and the wood reacts. It’s hard to overcome wood movement. If it wants to move, it’s going to move. You’d have to deal with this by controlling the environment where you’re manufacturing the furniture. Can you lower the humidity in that environment to match the humidity where the product is ending up?

– George

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2 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Timber Splitting”

  1. Phillip

    TWO COMMENTS: I just watched the video with Tom and his knives. George mentioned in that video that he would like to forge his own damascus blade. There is a great video on on forging damascus knives. Note the handle making techniques as well. Secondly, I was watching the
    video on turning the large butternut bowl. One critical aspect is how to mount such a piece of wood on the head stock. What was used and how was it done?

    • Customer Service

      Hi Phillip. Thanks for the tip on forging damascus blades. For turning bowls, George starts out by creating a recess in the blank using a forstner bit. Then he mounts on a four jaw chuck. Be sure to support the piece with the tailstock while you are roughing it out so that it doesn’t come off the chuck.