How to Repair Wood Cracks and Splits

It happens to even the most careful and experienced woodworkers every now and then—the lumber splits, and suddenly you’re left wondering if you need to go back to the lumber store in Houston to pick up new wood for your project. However, depending on the level of cracking or splitting, you may still be able to fix that piece of wood and continue to move forward with your project.

For most splits and cracks, you’ll find a polyester resin is the ideal substance for making the repairs. When cured, it is extremely strong, and creates a tight bond. It is also a little flexible, meaning it will move along with the wood as it expands and contracts with humidity.

Here’s some information from a lumber store in Houston about using this resin to repair wood cracks and splits:

  • Do the prep work: We generally recommend you use a black resin coloring, as matching the wood color can be difficult and black will stand out less than poor color matching. Using a small amount of the resin goes a long way. First, tape up the sides and bottom of your wood, to make sure the resin actually stays inside when you pour it in. You might even choose to tape the whole piece inside a plastic bag. Make sure you do the crack or split repair before you make any cuts or do any planing.
  • Remove the excess: Be sure to let the resin thoroughly dry before you move on with the job. You should be able to remove the excess resin with woodworking tools you already have in your shop, such as sandpaper, chisels and scrapers. Once you’re ready to make your cuts, don’t worry—you can safely use power saws, planers and routers with resin, and the block will remain structurally sound.

Preventing wood splits and cracks

Of course, as far as wood splits go, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are a few tips to help prevent you from having to repair wood splits and cracks at all:

  • Choose the right wood: Hardwoods with tight grains that have already been kiln-dried are much less likely to split than softwoods or green woods.
  • Try to avoid cutting against the grain: There are a lot of circumstances in which you’ll simply have to cut across the grain to complete your project to specifications, but you should never do so unnecessarily, as this could result in the wood splitting.
  • Seal the wood: Once you’re done shaping the wood, seal it as soon as possible. This is especially important for lumber used in outdoor applications, as it will help to reduce expansion and contraction of the wood.
  • Careful with screws: When driving screws into wood, make sure it’s not too close to the end of the board—this could result in it splitting the wood right along the edge.

For more tips about preventing and fixing splits and cracks in wood, contact a lumber store in Houston.