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How should I repair this splintered wood. The splinter is on the back of the lid on a wooden box/chest. Thanks!!!

  • 2
    This would be a good candidate for migration to Woodworking.SE
    – Matt
    Nov 12 '15 at 13:59
  • 2
    If you press on the splinter, does it sit perfectly flush? If so, get some wood glue under it, push it down, clean as much of the squeeze-out as possible with a damp cloth, and then hold it in place with masking tape in long tight strips perpendicular to the splinter. You'll still have some glue residue, so if this is a concern, don't take this advice. If the splinter won't lay perfectly flat, you'll need to clean out some wood fibers, and given the proximity of the hinge, this could be hard. Let us know which it is. Nov 12 '15 at 14:57
  • If that's a hinge attached to the splinter, you may need to loosen its screws up a bit during the gluing so it lets the pieces mate cleanly, without torque. Once the glue is dry, you can retighten, and if you used good glue, it should take the stress. Feb 6 '16 at 1:52

It looks like it will press right back into place, so it really comes down to what type of glue to use, and how to clamp. Here's what I would do:

  1. Choose a glue: Any normal PVA ("wood glue") should be fine. Superglue might be quicker, but it can be fussy, so practice with it on another piece of wood if you go that route, so you know what to expect.

  2. Plan/rehearse clamping: Is masking tape enough to hold the crack shut? How about a couple of bar clamps or a ratchet strap? Experiment to see what works before you apply any glue. If you need to apply some packing tape to a clamp or strap to keep the glue from sticking to it, do that now too. Keep the clamps handy.

  3. Prepare the surfaces (optional).

    • If you rub a candle (paraffin) on the finished surfaces of the wood near the crack, excess glue will be easier to clean up, and you may avoid damaging the finish.
    • Some woods can be hard to glue because of oils on the surface, esp. tropical woods like mahogany. If in doubt, carefully wipe/floss the inside of the crack with some acetone or deglosser on a cotton rag. Whatever you do, don't splinter the wood--you want it to match perfectly when clamped.
  4. Glue and clamp: Spread glue inside the crack without splintering the wood. You can "floss" it in there with some paper or cloth--or just get it to drip in. Don't worry too much about the excess. If it's super glue you'll have to work fast. Clamp it up--since you rehearsed it will be quick and without surprises. You did rehearse, right? Since the outside of the board looks like it's finished, you can wipe up excess with a damp rag.

  5. Cleanup: wait until the glue is semi-cured, dry but not completely hard. Probably 30-60 minutes for PVA depending on humidity & temperature. Chip off the excess with a chisel, knife, fingernail, or whatever--just be careful not to damage the finish. Technically you could take the clamps off at this point, but it's better to leave them on for 8-24 hours just to be safe.


It is not much more work nor much more expensive to purchase a new door w/door knob hole and the hinge reliefs routed. If your measurements are accurate and precise, and the fabrication of the new door is true to the demensions of the existing door, maybe $45 for the cheapest hollow door to $175 for a solid wood one, and all hinges are prwciarly set so that their planes intersect in one common line that is parallel to the door frame and to the door when it is shut and when it is open. It is definately easier said than done, but unless you have a table saw, a wood router, and a miter saw, for the angle cuts of the trim, i think replacing the door would lend itself to a more esthetic and a more safe and a more secure home, for not much more money nor more work.

  • 1
    A more secure home? According to the OP, this is for a lid on a wooden box/chest!
    – AndyT
    Feb 5 '16 at 12:15

Glue,tightbond II,squeeze, tape.

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