Filling a crack - oil or wax finish? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-01-2020, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Filling a crack - oil or wax finish?

I’m hoping someone can help me. I’ve found a beautiful antique cedar dining table for very cheap but want to check something before I purchase it.
It’s overall in great condition except for a long fine crack across the top that follows the grain. I’ve been researching filling the gap but everything mentions finishing with varnish or paint. I want a table finished with wax or oil. I know most people prefer varnish because it is hard wearing but my home is filled with timber furniture finished with wax or oil and I love the character as it ages and shows wear. My question is, can I fill a crack and then apply wax or oil, or will this not work?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-01-2020, 10:37 PM
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I would use a good epoxy (I like West System, but there are others). You can color the crack before hand, or mix an analine die directly into the epoxy to color it. Analine die will not weaken epoxy. Epoxy is the only adhesive (I know of) that gets it's strength from itself and does not need to be clamped.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-01-2020, 11:07 PM
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My first choice might have been epoxy as well, but the spot with the epoxy will have a different sheen than the rest of the table top because it will absorb wax or oil differently than the raw wood will.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-02-2020, 08:02 AM
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welcome to the forum, Frenchy.
this is an open forum with all levels of skills and talents.
please feel free to join in the conversations that you find interesting
and ask questions to expand your skill levels and share what you know.
if you would like to know more about something, you can start a new thread.
we like to see photos of projects to share with others.
when addressing specific issues or concerns, sketches, drawings and photos
will get you the most accurate responses. (and we can all be on the same page).
when you get time, you can complete your profile through the "User CP"
with your location and whatever you want in your signature line (such as your
first name) that will show in all your posts.
looking forward to seeing some of your projects.

we would much rather see posts of: "How do I do this"
~ vs ~ "How can I FIX this" . . . .

hope you enjoy your stay.


there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-03-2020, 02:19 PM
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After thinking about this for a bit, I think I would:

Brush a coat of 1.5 pound cut of shellac into the crack. This will help avoid discoloration by preventing the epoxy from bleeding into the grain of the cedar.

Then, tape off the crack and fill with epoxy. Again, trying to keep the epoxy off the raw wood.

Then, sand everything level (In doing so, you'll probably sand off any shellac that might have gotten on the surface)

Then I'd spray a coat or two of that same 1.5# cut shellac - just enough to seal the grain.

Then I'd apply a good wax with 0000 steel wool - with the grain.

The result is a low luster finish that feels great and looks very much like a hand rubbed oil finish (IMHO)

As a finish, shellac isn't all that protective, but neither is just wax or most oils.
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