Walnut slab split in two - can I glue it? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Walnut slab split in two - can I glue it?

I was going to start working on a walnut slab for a desk, and as I was laying it down on the garage floor it split in two down the length of it. I felt sick to my stomach. Couldn't believe a 2" thick slab would split like that.
7' long by 4.5' on one end and 30" on the other end.

Can I glue it back together? Will it hold?

Really debating, as it's somewhat cupped and won't be easy to align and clamp. Edges are angled too making clamping more difficult.

I've also reached out to the supplier where I got it to see if he can help out. Really hoping I can swap it out, as it was not cheap.

Appreciate your thoughts and expertise!!
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 11:59 AM
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glue ??? no - EPOXY ? yes.

but - bring it into a climate controlled room, such as where it will be used
and let it acclimate for at least a month. how long did it lay on the concrete ??
it could have soaked up quite a bit of moisture (on one side) from the concrete.
or - it is still not cured (which would take about 2-3 years for a piece that large.
so now, the wood must be stabilized prior to doing any kind of fix.
if you can find a moisture meter, it would be to your advantage to test all surfaces
weekly until you think it has reached its equilibrium. (7-12% M/C is needed).
if you have to FORCE it back together with clamps, it will surely fail in the near future.
"butterfly keys" are not just structural remedies, they also lend character to the wood. you have a beautiful piece of wood !!! do it right and it will last for generations.
this could be the very project if you wanted to expand your woodworking skills.
there are ways to clamp it together so the clamps do their job and don't slide.
do you have any power tools to finish it once you get it stabilized ???
this project is discussed over and over by experts on www.lumberjocks.com.
if you need help, drop over there and do the search for "slab tables".
if you returned it to the seller, you could very well get another slab that will
do the very same - if his whole lot is not cured properly.
and going from his environment to yours, I would expect some physical changes.
sort of like straight lumber from Home Depot going crooked by the time you get it home.

EPOXY - not a PVA glue. and definitely NOT the Gorilla expanding urethane glue.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 12:17 PM
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The wood was greatly stressed as it dried. That stress has been relieved. Don't try to force them together.

Turn a fault into a feature=

Leave a gap. Build a dike around it. Fill 3/4 with epoxy or acrylic.
Add crushed stone ( eg turquoise) or metals (washed clean turnings from a machine shop lathe)
to the top finishing layer.

I use the brass dust that builds up at a key-cutting machine in the local hardware store.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 02:30 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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You can fix it!

You can glue it back together if the parts mate together perfectly. Chances are they won't. So, here's a method by Charles Neil to make an "invisible" repair

It's unlikely that the supplier will compensate for this. It's just the nature of large slabs drying out. It's probably a good thing it split into two pieces which makes a repair easier. You can certainly flatten it out on the jointer before doing this and you will need a large bandsaw. A cabinet shop can do it for you. One issue was having it sitting on the concrete floor which exposed the top surface to faster drying than the bottom.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-26-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 02:34 PM
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How good does the parts fit together. Chances are the wood broke in two to releave stresses. Assuming the parts don't fit together perfect you might dowel them together and glue it with a heavy based epoxy. The epoxy will bridge the gap and the dowels will give it strength. The dowels could be glued with wood glue since epoxy is so much thicker it's likely to give you problems.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas guys!

So epoxy would be stronger than Titebond III glue?

The slab had dried in a barn for a year and then sat vertically against the garage wall for a month.
I have a moisture meter and it was at 8-12%.
It was not sitting on the garage floor ever. Only when I took the picture.
Also, my garage floor is epoxied, limiting moisture coming up.

This is my first slab project, and was looking forward to it until this crack up :)
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 03:19 PM
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you can not enjoy the rainbow without enduring a little rain

don't fret over it - take a breath - and develop a plan that is within
your skill set and tackle the project to the best of your abilities.
there are several wood forums that discuss slab tables and their defects.
just do a little research and see what comes up.
best of luck in your project - it will be oh so beautiful when you get it done.

.

.

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post #8 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 04:06 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Another repair method(s) ....

Here's what I would do. Get a router with a top bearing flush cutting sometimes called a pattern bit. Secure one of the slabs with weights on a flat surface. Bring the other slab into contact with the bearing, all along it's length, router turned OFF. Secure the second slab with weights. Now, router turned ON, run it down the intersection allowing it to remove a small amount of material from each side as you go. You will end up with two vertical surfaces which will mate together.
If you need to make additional passes for a full depth cut, just lower the bit keeping it on the newly created surface.

Another method is to make the crack more prominent by spacing it apart a 1/2" or more to allow for a epoxy filler of a contrasting color.
Like this:


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #9 of 11 Old 09-26-2018, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad2ggc3 View Post
Thanks for the ideas guys!

So epoxy would be stronger than Titebond III glue?

The slab had dried in a barn for a year and then sat vertically against the garage wall for a month.
I have a moisture meter and it was at 8-12%.
It was not sitting on the garage floor ever. Only when I took the picture.
Also, my garage floor is epoxied, limiting moisture coming up.

This is my first slab project, and was looking forward to it until this crack up :)
For gluing well fitted raw wood parts the Titebond glue would hold a lot stronger than epoxy. The reason we said epoxy is we expect the parts are not well fitted. Epoxy will bridge a gap where the Titebond won't.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-29-2018, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh, gotcha.
Thanks guys!

Turns out that my supplier Mark swapped it out for another similar piece.
Very nice of him! Great guy!

Ever need any slabs in the Milwaukee area, check him out...
http://wisconsinurbanwood.org/direct...umber-sawmill/
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-29-2018, 12:35 PM
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Never hurts to ask, sometimes good things happen.

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