How to glue a crack in wood

Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Dave Farquhar

When wood breaks, gluing it is easy enough. But what if the wood is only cracked? How do you get the glue into the crack so you can make it hold and prevent further breakage? There are a couple of tricks that let you glue a crack in wood, even if you need to get the wood glue into small cracks.

How to get wood glue into even small cracks in wood

glue a crack in wood
After squirting glue into the crack (and making a mess), I’m working glue into the crack with some dental floss. After that, I wiped away the excess and clamped it up.

The first thing you need to do is get as much wood glue into the crack as possible. If you can separate along the crack, sometimes you can just squirt glue in with the bottle.

But small cracks in wood don’t always accommodate that trick. To get wood glue into small cracks, you may need to put glue into a syringe, and use a syringe with a needle to shoot glue into the crack. Be generous. You need to shoot enough wood glue into the crack that when you press the wood back together, you get some excess squeezing out. If there isn’t enough extra wood glue to squeeze out, there are parts inside that aren’t coated.

And, by the way, plain Titebond is just fine for this work. And you want to use PVA glue, not hide glue.

Spreading the wood glue evenly inside the crack

For wood glue to work right, you need glue on both mating surfaces, ideally in a fairly even layer. Obviously that isn’t easy to do if the pieces don’t separate. The trick here is to use a piece of thread or even dental floss. After you shoot the glue into the area that needs repair, thread your string or floss through it. Then just run your thread up and down the crack to spread the glue out. This works even with very small cracks in wood.

I like to give the wood glue a couple of minutes to get tacky, then press the pieces together, double check to make sure everything lines up neatly, then clamp it. After putting the clamp on, double check to make sure nothing misaligned. Let the clamp sit at least 30 minutes, and ideally for several hours. After the wood glue dries under pressure, the repair will be stronger than the original wood.

Gluing cracks in wood is trickier than gluing end to end successfully, but very doable once you know the secret.

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2 thoughts on “How to glue a crack in wood

  • September 28, 2021 at 9:20 am

    The article is very practical. Thank you.

    A small typo in the opening sentence: “wood” should be there.

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