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.
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.
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
I'd suggest using an epoxy, like G-Flex 650-8 (4 oz kit) http://www.jamesto
wndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid94 , 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
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?
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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