Fixing Gap in Joint

Article - November 19, 2007

This week’s question comes from Kevin. He writes:

Hello, I love your site. It’s really helped me get started and inspired to do more. I’ve not been woodworking very long, and have a question that may seem simple. I build staved hand drums and every once in a while my jointer will put a tiny dip on the end which leaves a hairline crack (can’t quite get a fingernail in it) between the the two staves about 2 inches long at the bottom (I could just cut the drum off 2 inches shorter, but I didn’t plan for this and that would mess up the design of this drum. I’d hate to toss the drum aside at this point, and the crack is tiny and the drum still passes my strength test of me standing on the drum. Is there a trick or technique to fill in that gap so it’s not as visible? The miniwax wood filler I tried has grains too large to fit into the cracks. Any help would be great. Thanks.

And here was my reply:

“Hey Kevin. For a crack that small, I would recommend cyanoacrylate (CA) glue and sanding dust. I usually us a medium viscosity. Just put a little glue over the crack and start sanding. The mixture of glue and dust will give you a pretty close color match. It will also destroy that portion of the sandpaper. And sometimes it does require 2-3 applications depending on the crack. Now I’m surprised you didn’t ask me specifically why your jointer leaves a dip at the end of the cut. The CA glue is the band-aid but adjusting the jointer is the cure. Any time that happens to me, its a clear indicator that my outfeed table is just a bit too low. Even an adjustment as small as 1/64″ can improve the situation. So I usually nudge it up a bit and take a test cut. You may consider recalibrating the outfeed table all-together. Good luck!”

Note***- Several folks have requested links to the specific glue I use. I use Medium the most, but I always have a bottle of thin on hand as well.

Quick-Set Glue Quick-Set Glue
Quick-Set CA (Cyanoacrylate) adhesive has a clear, fast cure and strong bond for a variety of materials, including wood, metal, glass, rubber, ceramics and plastic. ..

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