Preserving a crack

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I cut a slab of Black Walnut I from a small trunk I have and plan to make a small end table. It has a check/crack which I actually want to keep for character, but it may be too wide. Currently, the slab is 1 1/2" thick but I plan to take it down to 1 1/4" or maybe 1". I'm asking for suggestions on how to/what to do in order to seal it and ensure it doesn't worsen over time.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/18223943@N06/27113870456/in/dateposted-public/
Thank you
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Meanie wrote:

Mix up some 5 minute epoxy, add a couple drops of black dye and work it into the crack with a small spatula. After it settles and hardens you may have to add more to fill it level or a little above the sides. Put masking tape on the bottom and end to keep it from running out. That's how I repair/enhance a defect in a nice bowl. Sometimes I add chips of turquoise and brass near the top so when it is sanded down they show off the repair.
--
GW Ross

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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 7:20:56 AM UTC-5, G. Ross wrote:

5 minute epoxy may be too fast of setting, if he's not familiar with its ap plication.
I'd suggest using an epoxy, like G-Flex 650-8 (4 oz kit) http://www.jamesto wndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid†94 , with a longer (4 5 minute) working time. Follow GW's other taping/application instuctions.
For a 2-3 table spoon quantity of mixed epoxy, I use less than 1/4 drop of black dye (the dye from West Systems) to sufficiently blacken the epoxy. I dipped a screw driver tip into a drop of dye and mixed that amount into t he epoxy mix. That amount of dye was sufficient for that amount of mix.
On the underside of your table top, you might consider installing a dutchma n, as well, as I did on this walnut table top: https://www.flickr.com/phot os/43836144@N04/20651292383/in/photostream
Sonny
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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 8:06:10 AM UTC-5, Sonny wrote:

Use epoxy to attach the duchman. Once cured, sand smooth, then do your crack filling.
Sonny
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On 5/21/2016 8:21 AM, G. Ross wrote:

As I asked Sonny, I was wondering about adding some of the walnut chips/sawdust which I planed away. Any benefit to that? Also any benefit to narrowing the crack which I am able to do with a clamp?
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Meanie wrote:

If you add wood dust/chips it - the crack - will wind up looking like particle board. I'd stick to the black dye.
If you draw it together you will definitely want to add dutchmen on the bottom.
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On 5/21/2016 12:42 PM, dadiOH wrote:

Good point. Thank you

Plan on that.
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wrote:

Another option is "gun drill " across the plank and install a threaded rod which allows you to compress the wood more or less permanently, preventing the crack from getting bigger than you want it. Counter-bore and plug the end where the nuts are installed.
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On 5/21/2016 2:40 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Good thought. I'll consider that option.
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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 6:44:55 AM UTC-5, SBH wrote:

Also, you might want the slab to air dry for a year (if it hasn't, already), before doing any work on it, otherwise, it may check some more.
Sonny
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On 5/21/2016 9:21 AM, Sonny wrote:

The trunk was about 18 to 20" thick and sat for a few years. I sealed one end, but apparently not the other very well, resulting in what you see. I decided to use that end as to not waste and thought it would add some character.
I am able to clamp the slab and narrow the gap/crack. Should I do so?
Out of curiosity, I have much of the walnut chips/sawdust in my shop vac. Is there any benefit to adding that to the epoxy?
BTW, BEAUTIFUL table you did!
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Meanie wrote:

The crack was the wood's way of relieving stress. I would be hesitant to stress it again with a clamp--it might increase the chance of another crack enlarging later elsewhere.
Just my (ignorant) opinion.
--
GW Ross

Oxymoron: Respectable Lawyer.
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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 11:27:27 AM UTC-4, G. Ross wrote:

maybe clamp it, then install dutchmen, then fill the crack?
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On 5/21/2016 11:27 AM, G. Ross wrote:

I value your ignorant opinion more so than my own. Experience is something to learn from.
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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 10:27:27 AM UTC-5, G. Ross wrote:

Not ignorant at all.
If you clamp the slab, to close the crack even a little, you are very likel y to crack the other side, somewhere. Those transverse cut slabs just don 't cooperate with clamps. I've tried closing lots of cracks, that way, mos tly with cypress and ER cedar, but they seem to always crack on a back side .
You can try clamping a little, but listen to the wood closely. If you hea r any sign of minute cracking, then stop.
If you stick that slab in the hot sunlight, the heat will cause it to expan d and you'll hear similar minute cracking sounds. ER cedar actually makes popping sounds, more so than small cracking sounds.... I suspect because of its volume (and type?) of resin, as compared to other woods.
I wouldn't use the wood chips or sawdust. If you had very large areas of, say, decay holes on the underside, then filling those, with a sawdust mix, would work out okay. The sawdust and chips mix would trap air and the bu bbles would rise to the surface and look unsightly, on the upper topside su rface.
Not only air bubbles showed, but it'll be rough... hard to sand and impossi ble to sand as smooth as you would want your table top to be, i.e., pretty and nice looking surface.
Link is pics of a sawdust mix filling (and use of boards/slats) on the unde rside of a cedar table top, with decay holes/defects.....
And the topside filling with red colored epoxy, only... no sawdust. The b ar clamp was used to pinch the crack closed, slightly (1/32"), before insta lling the dutchman. *I used too much red dye for this project. The filli ng was/is too red, i.e., mismatching the color of the wood. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/?
Sonny
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On 5/21/2016 1:43 PM, Sonny wrote:

Thank you. You do great work. Would you mind telling me the finish you use on most of your work?
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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 2:18:34 PM UTC-5, SBH wrote:

On the walnut and cedar table I sprayed water based Varethane Floor Finish semi gloss. Otherwise, I usually spray lacquer.
I loaded pics of the cedar table top, topside only. I didn't take pics of the underside repairs. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/?
Sonny
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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 2:18:34 PM UTC-5, SBH wrote:

Thank you. I get lucky, sometimes.
Sonny
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On 5/22/2016 6:32 AM, Sonny wrote:

+10

If that's the case, remind me never to play bourre' with you, cher.
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I typically use artists oil paints to tint the epoxy.
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