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How to Repair Split Wood Boards

Split boards are easily repaired if you detect the splits before you incorporate them into a piece of furniture. If you notice the split in the wood after you build something, you may have a bigger problem. To avoid the risk of splits, always cut off the last 2 or 3 inches from a piece of lumber before using it.

Boards often split along the grain when they become too dry.

Things You Will Need

  • Glue
  • Putty knife
  • Clamps
  • Table saw
  • Jointer

Split boards are easily repaired if you detect the splits before you incorporate them into a piece of furniture.  If you notice the split in the wood after you build something, you may have a bigger problem.

To avoid the risk of splits, always cut off the last 2 or 3 inches from a piece of lumber before using it.  This eliminates the many small cracks that often form at the end of a piece of wood, and prevents them from growing larger.


Fix a Split Without Cutting

  1. Repair a minor split in a piece of wood by working glue into the split with a flat, sharp implement, such as a putty knife. If the wood is warping and under outward pressure this method will probably not work; this pressure is probably what caused the split in the first place, and it is likely to cause the newly glued repair to split as well.
  2. Clamp the board together tightly so that the glue you have put into the joint squeezes out onto the surface.
  3. Leave the board clamped until the glue has dried completely.

Cut & Reglue

  1. Rip the board along the split and all the way down the board's length, using a table saw. If the split in the board runs diagonally, you will need to cut out the width of the board where the split is, using a table saw cut at the beginning and end of the split.
  2. Joint the surfaces of the cut using a jointer. Test-fit the two pieces of the board to be sure they fit together perfectly.
  3. Put glue on the two surfaces, put them together, and clamp them firmly.
  4. Leave the board in the clamps until the joint has dried completely.

Things You Will Need

  • Glue
  • Putty knife
  • Clamps
  • Table saw
  • Jointer

About the Author

Jagg Xaxx has been writing since 1983. His primary areas of writing include surrealism, Buddhist iconography and environmental issues. Xaxx worked as a cabinetmaker for 12 years, as well as building and renovating several houses. Xaxx holds a Doctor of Philosophy in art history from the University of Manchester in the U.K.

Photo Credits

  • lumber image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
  • lumber image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com