A natural piece of wood comes with its fair share of imperfections and cracks. In this video lesson, master woodworker George Vondriska teaches you how to repair cracks and fill uneven areas in your wood to achieve a smooth finish on your woodworking projects.
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I have used the sawdust plus CA glue with some problems. First, it dries much harder than the underlying wood, so when attempting to sand it level, it tends to stay up a bit. Stain over any glues or fillers is often a problem but with CA glue, it seems to be less so, perhaps because it dries so hard that tiny sanding scratches allow the stain to settle in them. Work with walnut and sapele, I have found that CA tends to stain a lot better than the 2-part wood fillers or the colored plastic wood fillers. On the lathe, when small pieces chip out, rather than sand it down to a smaller diameter, I have achieved pretty good results when I fill the crevasses with the plastic wood filler (of appropriate color) and then apply the CA glue on top of it. Adding wood particles isn’t necessary for that and often isn’t hard enough. Humidity activates the CA glue. The acetone and MEK in the plastic wood filler helps to dissolve the CA glue a little bit and that helps the CA penetrate into the filler. After it totally dries, it can be turned again on the lathe, sanded and when stained, it usually doesn’t appear as a repaired defect.
Years ago when I worked at a factory that made custom wood doors & windows, we used a very similar technique to fill small cracks or gaps in a door or window frame. We would use the same technique you describe below with the sanding dust and then sanding over it, but we used a little yellow wood glue. CA glue was not as readily available or cheap back then, but the yellow glue worked well and the results stained beautifully. Might prove handy if someone is caught with their glue pants down.
Being deaf, captions would sure help here, I had no idea what liquid he was using until I read the comments.
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Any tips for coloring the baking soda – e.g., to patch/fill walnut?
Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-
This fix is designed for painted surfaces. If you want a color matched patch I’d suggest mixing sanding dust from the wood that you are patching, and mixing it with CA glue directly in the crack itself. This works great for small repairs. For larger repairs mix sanding dust with quick set epoxy.
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This looks a very neat idea. Is there a chemical reason for using baking soda?
how to fix a crack in wood whats the name of the glue that is used
Hi Charles. You can use CA glue for this. Here’s a video that demonstrates the process:
I’m sorry please repeat……what is CA glue……. it looked like a super glue…..is it something like that?
Hi Jenny. CA = Cyanoacrylate Super Glue is a brand name for CA glue.
Will this work with a vertical crack in a doorframe? If not, dwe you have any suggestions on how to repair it short of replacing the entire frame?
Hi Bill. If the crack is causing functional problems with the door, I would replace the frame or at least the cracked frame member. If the door frame is painted, then I would suggest using caulk. Caulk is flexible and works well when there is a lot of stress on a piece. It also makes for a very simple repair job. If the door is stained, I would suggest using furniture repair wax such as this: https://amzn.to/2NLSJ4c.
Gorge what if you have a crack or a void in oak and a person wants to stain it? Bob
For a stained or clear finish you can follow the same procedure, but use sanding dust as a filler rather than baking soda. Generally I will hand sand with 220 grit sandpaper over the defect, filling the void with sanding dust, then soak it with CA glue, and then immediately sand over the top of the CA glue. Repeat this as needed until the void is filled flush to the wood’s surface
Can this method be used on a item that will be stained?
Thanks for the question. The approach described here works great for painted surfaces, but or a stained piece I’d suggest mixing the CA glue with sanding dust from the project itself, rather than using baking soda. It takes little more time but gives you a better match. To do this, sand using 150 grit paper on a sanding block until the crack is filled flush with dust. Then put CA glue on the dust, letting it the dust soak up as much glue as possible. Let it sit for a minute or so, then sand flush. It will likely need 2-3 applications of this approach to get it flush. Sand it very thoroughly on the last one to get any residual glue off of the surface. This produces a good surface for staining. Good luck!