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Salad bowl repair

HobokenNewbie's picture

HI; my wife bought a beautiful wooden salad bowl at a woodworking fair a couple of years ago. She dropped it recently. It cracked, a simple split, that is about 1/2 to 3/4 through the width of the bowl. She fears using glue/epoxy to repair it and wants me to play Indian by tying a little rawhide knots at each end. What would you recommend to reapir the bowl. Be nice; she is leaning over my shoulder. I think dried glue is fine. But then my family comes from a line of serial killers.

Any help would be much appreciated


roc's picture

I am shocked you have not gotten a response yet (post #158406, reply #1 of 7)

Well here goes . . . If there is no oil or food in the split use super glue. You might want to go to a Woodcraft store and have them show you the super glue for woodworking. Not much different than others but may reasure SWMBO. Before applying the glue have a strong rag handy that will go all the way around the perimeter of the bowl plus a lot left over. Just let glue wick into split. After applying the glue put the rag around the bowl like a belt and put something at the ends, like a dowel or screw driver, and twist the rag like a tourniquet. Work very quickly after applying the glue. The intent is to close up the split as much as possible and if you are lucky it won't even show when the glue sets. The dried glue should be fine around food once it is cured. If this is confusing maybe I am not visualizing how the split runs. Any possibility of a photo ? You can just put it in Photo Bucket and leave the link here. Or there is a way to upload directly a photo to this forum if you study up.


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

BruceS's picture

Super glue (post #158406, reply #2 of 7)

Roc is correct in what he says.  Turners often use super glue to fill cracks and strengthen softer spalted wood.   There are basically three types of Super glue used in woodworking.   Thin-hot,  medium and gap filling    I would probably start with the medium and slowly start to fill the crack a little bit at a time(depth wise that is).    Be carefull !!   A small bottle of solvent isn't a bad thing to have handy.  And the accelerator isn't necessary for your task at hand.

Work Safe,  Count to 10 when your done for the day !!

Bruce S. 


HobokenNewbie's picture

Many thanks (post #158406, reply #3 of 7)

Everything you say makes perfect sense. The tournequet/rag idea is great.



Mcdaddy's picture

True. I (post #158406, reply #5 of 7)

swenson's picture

Super CA glue Thoughts. (post #158406, reply #4 of 7)

I don't want to be a spoiler here on the CA glue front but...  If I remember correctly, there are times that using super glue in a bowl crack can act as a wedge, as seasonal changes cause wood movement in the bowl.  Or perhaps it was using super glue in a turned bowl before it had completely dried out after turning it green, I'm not sure.  But I do remember that the advice came from David Ellsworth or one of his helpers when I spent a week with him at Arrowmont many years ago.  I think the theory was that as the repaired crack closed up during humidity changes, the very hard wedge shaped glue repair tended to split the bowl like a wedge splitting a log.  It seems to me that this would be a problem only if the CA glue was used to fill a crack rather than glue it tight together, but I just thought I would put in my 2 cents worth.  It sounds like roc has a handle on it (a handle on the problem that is, if the handle was on the bowl it would be a pot.)

PSeverin's picture

So why not Titebond? (post #158406, reply #6 of 7)

A friend asked me to help repair a similar sounding crack a wooden bowl of his he had dropped.  I used Titebond III and clamps.  I made two cauls with an arc cut to roughly match the rim.   I applied glue, turned the bowl over rim down on a table, brought the cauls up to the rim, placed on a couple of clamps.... and before I applied much force to close the crack I added a softly applied clamp vertically to hold the bowl rim to the plane of the table.  Then close the clamps and the crack is fixed.   The fix was virtually invisible.

I thought only Japanese potters filled their cracked tea bowls with epoxy and even gold.  Wood is a lot more forgiving.


roc's picture

We never really saw what we were addressing (post #158406, reply #7 of 7)

We needed more info. A photo ect. I was imagining a hair line crack and so the regular thickish wood glue might not "wick" down into the crack. If it were a gap then by all means use the tight bond. The super glue has a practically nonexistent squeeze out so easier to clean up after as well. Good goin' on the repair you made ! Sounds like you made a good repair.


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )