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How to fix the gap in the wood furniture

Gap and crack is commonly problem found in the wood product. There are various reason could causes the gap or crack in the wood, that are: the unstable moisture content of the wood, the improper gluing, the improper construction and too hard physical abused. The crack or gap that is caused by the improper gluing and construction is only happened at the joint. But the crack that is caused by the wood movement can be found anywhere. The wood with inappropriate moisture content will shrinkage or expand and causes to gap and crack anywhere in the wood.
But if we find find the gap or crack in the wood product that has been built, then we need to fix it. Fix the gap in this step could be expensive, but we have to do it. The cracked wood product will looked bad and seem as the broken product. 

crack problem at the wood product
crack at the finish product
Here is the step to fix the gap and crack in the wood product.
  • Check the moisture content of wood. 
First thing we need to do is check the wood moisture content. Make sure the wood moisture content is already stable as the standard should be. The unstable moisture content will lead to a wood movement that is resulted to a crack, gap or open joint at the wood.  Any correction will be useless if the wood still moving. If we find the wood moisture content is still too high (or too low) then we better let it for few days to let the wood stable before we do anything to fix it.
  • Check the glue and construction.
The gap or crack at the joint indicates that the joint is not strong enough. If we find this problem, we need to check the glue quality and the construction. Make sure the product is properly constructed. The wood joint should have the tenon-mortise, or dowel to get the strong connection.
Check the glue; make sure we have the perfect bond. If find that the wood bond is not strong enough we better detach the joint and re glue it with the proper process and product.  
  • Insert piece of wood at the gap.
After we find that there is not problem at the wood moisture content and construction then we can start to fix the gap or crack. The best way to fix the gap (especially for the big size) is inserting wood to fill it. This wood will fill the gap with wood looked, giving natural appearance. The wood is also less shrinkage then the putty, it will give the stable flat surface.
Take a small wood piece and shape it according to the gap or crack. Use wood piece with same color and type with the products. Apply glue to the wood piece and inside the gap. Insert the wood piece to fill the gap, let the glue dry. Then cut off and sand the protruding wood to get a flat surface and smooth surface.
  • Apply putty.
The putty application is easy and fast process. However, the putty should only be used to fix the small crack, gap or hole. The putty will result to the unnatural appearance and also tend to shrinkage when it finished.  But for small hole and gap the putty is the best choice to be used.
Choose putty with the same color with the wood. If necessary we can add some pigment into the putty to match the color with the wood color. Apply the putty with knife or scrap to fill the gap or crack. Let it dry and sand the wood putty to get a flat surface. See our previous article: wood putty
  • Apply the fill in stick.
It is a kind of putty that is designed to be applied at the finish product. It only can be used to the small gap or crack in small size and in the less exposed part such as: the leg, apron or cabinet corner. It is not recommended to fix the top panel, to table that need good appearance. 
Choose the fill in stick with proper color, then insert the stick to fill the gap, with knife. Cut the protruding part with knife. See our previous article: touch up kit for the furniture finishing


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