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How to Repair Broken and Cracked Wood | Woodworking Tips

Can cracked and broken wood be repaired? In our experience, many broken wood pieces can be repaired using good preparation and glue techniques. We show you 3 examples of cracked wood and how to fix them in our repair shop.

Wood that is broken across the grain is difficult to repair because of how the wood fibres are severed. Wood that is split along the grain can be repaired as there is structure for the glue to bond to. The following repairs show how to fix broken wood where the break is along the grain.

Split Chair Leg – this broken chair leg is split down the length of the leg. A common mistake people make when trying to repair a split like this is dabbing a bit of glue on the joint. The glue needs to be applied to the whole surface area. To do this, open the split wood, squeeze in a generous amount of glue, and rub it back and forth with a cotton string to distribute the glue on every part of the split wood. When the clamp is applied, the glue should squeeze out at the split if you have used the right amount of glue.

Broken Wood on Cabinet Door – this door was damaged with a lot of force. The owner tried to repair the cracks, but it came apart again. Watch how to loosen the broken parts, clean off the old glue, and put it all back together the right way to get the door back in working order

Broken Wooden Chair Seat – this old chair seat was cracked and repaired a long time ago, but there wasn’t enough glue used to keep it from breaking apart again. The broken parts are cleaned up to remove any old glue reside and dirt. Then glue is applied to both sides of the broken parts to ensure there’s enough glue in the joint. Once clamped up, this joint will be stronger than the wood fibres in the seat – it’s not going to break again.

Here’s a link to the spreader clamp we use to take furniture apart – https://amzn.to/2UKHjRa Note: purchases made with this link help fund the filming of our videos.

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This video is hosted by Scott Bennett, Owner of Wooden It Be Nice – Furniture Repair in Brooklin, Ontario, Canada. https://WoodenItBeNice.ca

#brokenwood #repair #wood


  1. Hi Scott. Another way to get glue in tight spaces is with a drinking straw. Pump the glue into the joint then simply blow it through the joint.

  2. A+ on the spreader between two other clamps! Just gave me an idea on the previous problem I needed to solve as well as this issue. Thanks!

  3. Does anybody have any tips for what to do with the excess glue that comes over the edges?

  4. When you used your clamps to “break” the cupboard door @6:22 it looked like there was another crack on the other side style. At the bottom.

  5. thank you please do not block the camera with your hand. Cannot see what you are doin

  6. I just dropped one of the rails on my snooker table I'm refinishing and cracked (that's why I'm here) the one end. About 5 inches long. I see the straw trick but even that might be to thick.

    How do I get the glue all the way down into the crack. If I spread it apart it might open 1/32 of inch MAX

    Glue recommendation?

  7. Hi can you name a strong glue please thank you

  8. This is such helpful info thanks so much

  9. I was just going to suggest syringes but then I saw that others had posted the same idea below. Good idea.

  10. My old French Provincial dresser is split across the top from side to side. I tried to use wood fill for it but now I guess it's only masking the crack. Can it be repaired without taking it all apart? That could be expensive! (Feeling a sense of dread.) Ugh.

  11. Great video, lots of good information!

  12. I love this video! I have a fractured bottom drawer support (lengthwise). So I'm going to try turning it upside down and glueing it (wood glue or Elmer's glue good?) Do I have to clamp it, because I don't know if I'll have any space to do that? Suggestions appreciated. Just got this second hand piece and it was dropped. I was stuck on how to fix it and just today realized–hey, glue it! Thx.

  13. Hey Scott!
    How can I repair a broken bedroom canopy post? I have the large pole, it was damaged moving 😭

  14. I know that you made a tutorial on different types of glue to use (vinyl versus hyde (hide) versus epoxy). Recently I have been using the water-activated Gorilla epoxy glue which is purported to expand about 3x when activated. In a case where I clean up the old glue but still have a few small gaps, even those I cannot see once dry-fitted but that I know are present internally because as, in your case with the door, the manufacturer did not make a completely tight-fitting joint, this type of glue has proven to be very useful. So my 'instinct' upon watching the cabinet door repair, would have been do do it exactly as you showed here but with the epoxy (expanding) glue and very tight clamping instead of wood glue. BTW, I like the string idea as I would have used a syringe. Curious as to your thoughts.

  15. The Patience you bring to your craft as well as your experience both due you proud and influence the viewers very positively. You prove that what your doing will work before you finish. Well done!

  16. Thanks for the video. What is your preferred glue for these projects?

  17. Thank you for this. I've been working on an antique dry sink awhile and have become frustrated. I'm going back to square one and doing it the correct way!!

  18. Do you have a particular glue that is very strong hold?

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