Friday, April 17, 2015

Just Say "No" to Crack

After thinking about it overnight, I decided I really couldn't leave the crack in the cribbage board.
All along the sapwood side.
There were a couple of nasty cracks in the sapwood that I originally thought I would leave there as a design element.  I figured it would have a similar effect to a live edge, but I was wrong.  It just looked like it was about to fall apart.

Design opportunity!

I started with the little crack in the corner to practice.  I carefully made a cut all along the crack with my big full size rip saw in order to get the widest kerf possible.  That seemed to work well, so I tried it with the big one.  Same thing.  The hardest part was lining up the angle to cut.  I realized, if I cut exactly perpendicular to the growth rings, I could get the entire crack in one kerf.

Then it was just a matter of planing a thin strip of maple I had laying around down to the thickness of the kerf and gluing it in.
Patches glued in.
Using a handsaw made this easy.  I have no idea how I would have made this cut with a tablesaw or an electric router.  I just eyeballed the angle I needed and went for it.
Crazy angles.
This morning, I removed the excess with saws, chisels and planes.
This was a lot easier than I thought.
There was one spot of the inlay that had some tear out.  It was impossible to get all of the grain directions to go the same way.  It wasn't so bad, though.  You can hardly see it.  At least, now.  Before there is finish on.
Flash Gordon!  Whoops, did I just accidentally name this piece?
The only part that gave me some real grief is this thin spot of inlay at one end.  It looks like it didn't get enough glue, and when I re-drilled the holes, the end broke off and disappeared.  I'll have to think about how I want to fix this.  Perhaps a butterfly inlay, or something else.
Darn.  Now I have to fix this spot, too.
It might not be so bad, though, as you can see a little more of the original crack is showing in the above photo.  This one is small, and doesn't go over any of the other faces of the piece.  But, while I'm at it...

Ideas, anyone?
Nearly done!
I'm pretty pleased with this repair so far.  Luckily, the oil finish did not interfere with anything, and it will just take another coat on top to be good as new.

The downside is this repair added two days to a project which is essentially a board with some holes drilled in it.  Oh well, the price of perfection...

If I would have been smart, I would have done this repair before drilling all the holes and finishing, so if it didn't look good, I wouldn't have wasted all that labor drilling so many holes.  On the other hand, I probably wouldn't have done it at all if I decided to not use the crack.

Next up, making another threaded plug!


  1. Really good sawing!
    The contrasting maple looks good.
    For that small patch I would use epoxy. Maybe black?

    1. Thanks, Frederik! Epoxy is one of the ideas I was considering. The reason it hasn't established itself top on the list yet, is all of the holes I have already drilled. I can drill them again, but I am worried I will just make a big mess of this. I will have to think about it some more.

  2. Check out Kintsugi.