How to Repair Split Wood Boards

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Boards often split along the grain when they become too dry.
Boards often split along the grain when they become too dry. (Image: lumber image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

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.

Things You'll Need

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

Fix a Split Without Cutting

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.

Clamp the board together tightly so that the glue you have put into the joint squeezes out onto the surface.

Leave the board clamped until the glue has dried completely.

Cut & Reglue

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.

Joint the surfaces of the cut using a jointer. Test-fit the two pieces of the board to be sure they fit together perfectly.

Put glue on the two surfaces, put them together, and clamp them firmly.

Leave the board in the clamps until the joint has dried completely.

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