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I removed the quarter round and two trim boards to install a new hardwood floor. I partially split one of the larger (lower) trim boards. The split is about 24" long. The wood is 12" wide birdseye maple in 14' lengths and is not replaceable at a price I can afford. I would like to repair the split as best as I can. I do not need structural strength here, just a good looking finish. I would prefer not to have to refinish the board.

My current plan is to carefully open the split a bit wider and using a toothpick, work in some good quality carpenters glue (Titebond III seems highly regarded around here) then clamp.

Do you have a better technique? Any tips?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I think you're on the right track. I'd apply enough glue so some squeezes out, wipe the face with a damp towel to remove the residue, and either clamp it or wrap it with blue painters tape until dry. Just make sure that the wood remains flat and not bowed when you clamp it. After the joint is dry, remove the tape or clamps, and you should be good to go. If the finish is hazy, polish it with steel wool (0000) or I'd use a rattle can of poly or Deft wood finish to feather it in before you install it. It will take another 10 minutes and better disguise the split. If it's a dark finish, there's "dark wood" Titebond available.

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Gotta love Titebond... good advise +vote –  shirlock homes Feb 20 '12 at 22:21

That is a reasonable repair technique, but you should be careful not to re-split it when you reinstall it - that's a classic mistake. If the split runs through a nail hole (or holes), you should just put wood filler in those holes and not use them. Drill new holes and use them instead.

Check the back of the trim - it is probably hollowed out down the middle, so that it makes contact with the wall at the top and bottom. This is done so that the trim gets "sucked flush" against the wall at the top, but it also will cause the split to re-break if you use nails through the middle of the trim. You should probably use nails only through the top and bottom - where it is supported against the wall.

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