Split wood fix

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by klocken, Mar 1, 2011.

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  1. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #1 klocken, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
    This is another clock I have had for years that I have tried to repair several times. It has wood splitting where the screws attach the hinges of the door to the right vertical rail. I have tried glueing with gorilla glue and that did not hold. I tried super glue and that did not work. I tried wood filler and that did not work. I am up for suggestions.
    I have thought about cutting the piece out and adding a new piece of wood, using a hard wood.
    I have thought about a metal bracket. 85673.jpg 85674.jpg
     
  2. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    After cleaning out remnants of the glue and filler as much as possible, drill out the holes and glue in wood dowels. Make sure the holes you drill are the right size--you want the dowels to be snug and held by the glue but not large enough to force the crack open. Don't use gorilla glue, as that expands when dry and will again force the crack open. Use dowels large enough in diameter that the screws when inserted will be entirely within the dowel, but not so large that they come close to the edges of the rail. Make sure you pre-drill the dowels for the hinge screws.
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    When you clamp it for the dowels, it should pull the crack back together and solve both problems :) You'll need to hold it closed (with clamps) while you drill for the dowels. Use newspaper or something to avoid marring the wood with the clamps.
     
  4. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    That's why I think you guys are so cool. I have never thought of that. That sounds perfect. I will try that. I will let you know and see with pictures how it turns out.
     
  5. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

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    In reviewing your photo I suspect that someone has replaced the hinge screws with oversized ones (look at the heads of the screws in relation to the hinge holes), which caused the wood to split. :(It's not the first time I've seen that type of problem.

    The dowel suggestion is very good, but I strongly recommend you find the right sized screws if they are the wrong ones. The head of the screw should match the size of the hinge hole and fit it well. Once you get the right screws to fit the hinge and of the proper length you might be able simply to fill in the existing holes with wood filler. Then, after the filler is totally dried and solid, make small pilot hole in the center of where the screw is to be inserted, and mount the hinge. Mounting it with the right screws in the exact position is crucial. If this doesn't work you will have to go the dowel route.
     
  6. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #6 klocken, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    I think your right. I will try to find the correct size screws. But I wonder if I should use the dowels also since so much damage has been done at this point?
     
  7. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    Jeremy, what type of glue should I use? My friend Elmer is asking.

    :eek:
     
  8. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Elmer says use a glue designed to be used in gluing wood:D.
    Your other glues may make a proper repair impossible now though, unless you can remove enough to make a wood on wood joint . I don't think there is enough thickness to use a dowel much thicker than a shish kabob stick. But that may be all it needs if you make use of smaller screws.
     
  9. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Me, what I would do.

    Probably leave it alone.

    But, if it bothered me that much, I would remove the door and then insert metal wedge into the crack to force it open more. Almost to the point of it splitting. Something like a sharp thin flat head screw driver might work.

    Anyway, then poor good ol Elmers wood glue in the crack, remove the metal wedge and then maybe put a clamp on it. Something like two stick like boards on both sides held with a C clamp should do. After clamping wipe excess glue repeatedly with moist rag. Make the repair near invisible.

    Some would argue to use Hide glue, and they'd probably be correct for most part. But in this case only for some sense of continuity. Materials used can be an issue to some.

    The pva (aka elmers) works great for solid wood breaks. Definitley not for adhearing veneers. Hide glue for that.

    Btw, I hate Gorilla glue. Don't get the point of it.

    Also I would check to see if what Thyme said is true as it's hard to tell if the screws are correct size.

    When you do a good glueing job, hard to even see the seam.

    RJ
     
  10. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #10 klocken, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
    I'll have a bbq this weekend and I will then make use of the shish kakob sticks.

    I thought Gorilla glue said on the bottle that you could use it on wood. But I just checked the cabinet and found that the glue that I used is called titebond and it says it is wood glue.
    The gorilla glue I use is hide or hyde glue I am not sure of the spelling, which is what violin makers use to glue their violins because you can easily remove it when making repairs.

    The reason I use hide or hyde glue is because violins have quite a bit of tension and yet the seams stay together relatively well, but when the instrument does have a crack or some other problem that needs to be fixed, you can easily steam it and loosen the glue and take the instrument apart and work on it.
    Thats my story, and I am stickin to it.

    This is what the ad said when I bought the gorilla glue.
    New Gorilla Wood Glue bonds stronger, faster for wood-to-wood applications ..
     
  11. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    I thought I used Gorilla glue but I was wrong again. I keep making mistakes when writing here it seems. Let me correct it now. I use what is called titebond glue for wood which is a hide glue that most violin makers use because you can steam it and remove the glue and make repairs. That is why I think I will start using it on all my repairs and or any clocks I may build in the future. Violins have quite a bit of tension and the glue seems to hold up to the pressure pretty well.
     
  12. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Hey klocken.

    Good info about the Tightbond being hide glue. Normal hide glue has a whole process that you have to go through in order to use it.

    It is the best glue for woodworking, no doubt. Just I think I would like to use it in premade bottle form. Save time and effort.

    The original hide glue are usually granuals that you have to melt in equal amounts of water till the crystalls swell up. Then you can refrigerate and use later.

    But, when you want to use it, it has to be heated up to a certain degree. I think it's 160. Too hot and it scorches the strength too cold and it does not work.

    But some people use a baby bottle warmer to keep the glue liquified to correct temp.

    Then you brush it on and it gels pretty quick to give you the workable kind of adhearance.

    Later on it gets rock hard. Like the next day. It is the creme de la creme of wood worker glue and the original glue used by the antiques of old.

    RJ
     
  13. Dave B

    Dave B Banned

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    #13 Dave B, Mar 1, 2011
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  14. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

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    I'll tell what I've learned from experience. As long as the holes are not outrageously large you won't really need the wood inserts. Wood putty alone will do a good job of patching the hole providing it sets and cures well. That way you won't need to worry about fitting and gluing a wood plug. However if the crack is very bad, fractured enough to cause a structural deficiency, you might need to clamp and glue it. For that application don't use hide glue. (Hide glue is used for things you might want to disassemble in the future. But you don't want any structural repair such as a crack coming undone.) For gluing wood I have found that Elmer's weatherproof wood glue works very well. Apparently they have several different formulas of it nowadays. My older, big bottle of it has lasted me over 10 years and still does the job well.
     
  15. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    I occurs to me that the problem with your original glue not working may be related to not clamping it. Clamping isn't an option, its compulsory when gluing wood.
     
  16. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Not sure if my preferred process would still work but suspect perhaps it still may. To begin - Elmers or some similar irreversible wood glue. I'd remove door with hinge, then drive any kind of wedge into the crack to open it wide as possible. Then pump glue into the crack. Often I use the squeeze bottle like a pump, positioning it over the crack and squeezing until glue oozes from crack. Your finger can also work similarly as you press down on the excess glue and wipe across the crack, driving glue further into crack. Then clamp using wood strips both sides of clamps to distribute pressure evenly. You may wanna toothpick the holes lightly so they don't close entirely with glue. After a day or two, remove clamps, and using proper size screws, test the resulting holes. They may need no filling as glue has oozed into them
     
  17. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    Okay, I will try that. Thanks
    -> posts merged by system <-
    I clamped it with 2 clamps and I almost felt like I was compressing the wood to much. I clamped as hard as I could without indenting the wood. I think I am going to try what Scottie said to try. Instead of using dowels, I will use tooth pics since that seems to be about the right size. I think that is what he said to do. I will read his post a couple more times to be sure.
     
  18. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

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    Scottie,

    Judging from the photo, I suspect that the crack may be more of a hairline one. If so, I would not recommend forcing it open, as making that attempt might split or fracture the frame. We wouldn't want to make it worse than it already is.

    Glues of the Elmer's variety tend to be self leveling and filling. You description is accurate about the glue. It can even be used as a filler in the holes, but adding real wood filler in the holes is preferable as it was formulated for that purpose.

    The trick is in getting an ample amount of glue into the crack. Sure, clamping might preferable, but in some instances it can't be done. In some situations clamping might squeeze the glue out of the joint or crack (usually if the clamp is too tight).
     
  19. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    I will try it tonite and let you know tomorrow if it worked. Scottie
     
  20. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

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    How wide is the crack, actually? If it is very thin, it happened from forcing oversized screws into it, which means the wood split along the grain.

    Try using a wood glue along the lines of the Elmer's variety that we described. Even if you can't clamp it tightly, it will tend to fill in the crack.
     
  21. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #21 klocken, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  22. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #22 klocken, Mar 1, 2011
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    I swung by Lowe's and bought it.
    :confused:

    I would use my hide glue but I can't find it...:D...just kidding
     
  23. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    It is probably next to my book I can't find on super power memory...:confused:...
     
  24. Dave B

    Dave B Banned

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    Well - I clicked on their product guide, and, low and behold! - there are about a gazillion (well maybe thirty) different types of glue all marketed under the general name of "Titebond"

    So, apparently there is a Titebond Hide glue.
     
  25. Thyme

    Thyme Banned

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    Yeah, it's like Elmer's glue and Scotch tape. They make different products for different applications.
     
  26. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #26 klocken, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
    Yeah, I really like it. I know Violin makers use it a lot so they can repair cracked tops. I know many martin vintage guitars use hide glue also. I know a lot of people don't like using hide glue. I don't know all the reasons why, but I am going to read the thread hide glue 101 that I saw on the main page.
    I appreciate yours and Thyme's insights on these projects I am working to fix.
     
  27. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Only thing I don't like about hide glue is I think it is not as strong as other wood glues. So when I'm choosing a glue for this purpose I want the strongest, non reversible glue available. For that I use Elmer's or Titebond wood glue.
    Yes, I realize that spreading the crack has the potential of complete separation but unlikely if you are prudent and use caution. Worst case scenario, it busts completely and now you are GUARANTEED of being able to apply the glue thoroughly onto it.
     
  28. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #28 klocken, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    Are you saying that the titebond hide glue that i used is not strong enough and that is why it is not holding?
    Because I did clamp it really well.
    I don't know why it didn't work.


    Also I wanted to say I am sorry because I got sarcastic jokingly with Dave B. and I make mistakes also. I was in another thread writing about and posting a picture of the movement I am currently working on which is not a set thomas movement but I said it was and a guy named Len pointed it out and I had to go and find the picture of the #89 that I worked on last week in which I changed the springs out. I got the photos mixed up in all of my folders that are not marked properly. I have to take the photo and then I have to email it to myself and then I have to take the email photo which is smaller and save it to a folder on my computer before I can upload it here. If there is an easier way to compress a photo, I am looking to do it on my mac air. But I apologized over in that thread and posted the correct photo.
    So I am apologizing here to Dave B. also, I am Sorry Dave B.
    I am not the brightest guy by no means. Is brightest even a word? I don't know. See there.
     
  29. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    klocken,

    The reason I suggested using dowels is that any other method invariably puts stress on the crack when re-inserting the screws. Even if the glue joint is really as strong as the wood, there is probably some weakness there that caused it to split in the first place and would probably split again, even if just a few wood fibers away from the glue joint. The dowels allow the stress of the screw to be distributed over a full 360 degrees of new wood. A large enough dowel will hopefully absorb all of the pressure applied by the screw as it is threaded in. The outer surface of the dowel also provides more surface area for glue to hold the original crack together.
     
  30. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Ken, I usually use a carpenters white glue (Weldbond is my favorite) for gluing broken or split pieces of wood. I use hideglue for joining two separate pieces. When a clock falls off the wall, I am happy to see it break at the joints, rather than the wood itself breaking. With carpenters glue, the bond should be stronger than the wood itself, as you don't ever want it to fail at the break.
    Possible reason for failure is not getting the glue deep enough into the crack. I use a sewing needle to push the glue as far in as possible.
    I don't see this piece as being thick enough to make it practical to use a dowel, but it may be worth a try with a very thin piece of dowel rod.
     
  31. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    #31 klocken, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
    I haven't ordered the dowel rods yet anyway. Someone said I might use a toothpick I think since the holes are so small. I wonder if I should use wood fill in the screw holes and use the weldbond with sewing needle pulling back the split just far enough to work the glue deep into the crack.
     
  32. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    That should work, if the crack will close tightly with a clamp on it. With a split like this, I would use a couple of small strips of hardwood, one on each side of the split, and clamp them using two or three C clamps.
    If the crack will no longer close tightly when clamped, you will have to try to remove enough of the glue already hardened in the crack to allow it to close. Toothpicks, or better still, a kabob stick would work, then re-drill a small pilot hole for the screw, just slightly smaller than your screw.
     
  33. klocken

    klocken Registered User

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    Ok I will try that and show the pictures when I have it finished...Thanks Harold
     
  34. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    You might also try drilling and fitting the screws while the wood is still clamped.
     
  35. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I realize I'm joining this conversation late.

    I would wedge a razor blade, or exacto knife blade, into the crack and pry the crack open as far as possible. Then, I would glue with Titebond modern wood glue (probably waterproof). The glue would have to penetrate as far into the split as possible. The crack would have to be held open as the glue runs in. Maybe pry and close, pry and close repeatedly to help the glue penetrate. Use a syringe if it helps. Use enough glue, but not too much.

    There are small plastic spring clamps, you can find in any hardware store cheap. Clamp sides with spring clamps, wipe away excess glue with wet towel. The split would be clamped for 24 hours, then the clamps removed. After clamping, leave sit for at least 3 days until setting occurs.

    I would probably then mix a bit of sawdust with wood glue, and using a small screwdriver head, push the mixture into the screw holes. After several minutes, press a nail into the screw holes to start a hole. Then, leave set at least 3 days. Then, screw the hinge. Drill the screw holes if needed to start. The screws may not be rock solid tight, but I bet the repair would hold, and be almost invisible.

    One repair that is more difficult than it looks.
     
  36. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    I'm coming in late to this discussion... but I figured I'd add my $.02 ...

    Pictured below is a before and after of an attributed Simon Willard Banjo. I used hardwood dowels to drill out most of the screw holes. The case was in horrendous condition. This and extensive reglueing of just about every part and wood panel was required to bring it back from the dead :)

    I would clamp the empty-split screw holes first, then drill them with a drill bit that was the exact size of the dowels. I would dry-fit the dowels first. Leave the dowels "long" so that you can extract them when dry-fitting. Once that was done I used Titebond III glue. I would remove the clamp, force the glue in from the bottle, and have a paper towel ready for any run-over, especially on the outside of the case. Be very careful of that. The only way to effectively clean liquid Titebond wood glue is with a damp rag, and you would NOT want to do that on a shellac finish ! Then, force the dowels into the drilled holes, clamp them in place, and be ready to intercept any runoff glue. Once it's clean, cut the dowels off with an X-acto chisel (a "razor chisel"). Once those parts are stain-matched you'll hardly notice the repair. In fact, you will never see the dowel repair if done right until you take a hinge off or whatever...

    Good luck with your repair ! 86009.jpg 86010.jpg
     

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