I have a walnut slab that I'm using for a coffee table. It has a small crack at the edge that at it's maximum is maybe 1.5"-2" wide, but quickly narrows to a 5" long .25" or less wide crack. The slab is 1.5" thick. More for aesthetic purposes than anything else I put a bowtie in the crack.

I've sanded and started finishing the bottom side using emmet's good stuff. The inside of the crack is really hard to get into -- it's super narrow and it takes a few curves in the z-axis (e.g. you can't see through to the other side of the crack in the narrow section. I can see loose wood fibers etc—it's totally unfinished.

Aesthetically it's not a huge deal, but I'd like to seal that wood to prevent moisture from getting in. What's a good way to do that? I can't get a brush or rag through the crack. On top of that the Good Stuff is a super viscous gel that won't drip through. I thought about masking the bottom side, thinning down the Good Stuff till it's runny (alternatively I could use another finish that's less viscous), and letting it just kind of sit in the crack for a bit, but I'm not sure how well that will work.


Filling the crack with epoxy, as bowlturner suggested, is probably the best solution.

If you don't want to fill it, you can cover the bottom of the crack with tape, put a generous amount of finish over the crack, and use compressed air or the "blow" feature on your shop-vac to push the finish further into the crack--but watch out, it could get messy. If using a compressor I'd set it for a low pressure.

You can also try putting finish on the top side and using a vacuum on the other side to pull the finish into the crack, but this may not work very well on a larger crack, and you'll pull a significant amount of finish into your vacuum.

  • Thanks for the suggestion! I think I'll try to blow some low viscosity finish into the crack.
    – Doov
    May 11 '15 at 5:01

In my opinion, get what you can with a small brush (even using a small water color painting brush), the rest isn't really that important. I have read that it is actually a good thing for wood to have some ability to breath. If you have a bowtie then what little movement you might have shouldn't make any difference.

If this is something like a bartop where you are going to have liquids spilled on it, that is a different matter and then I would recommend filling the crack with epoxy and making is flush, you will still see it, but it will be protected from liquids.

  • It's a coffee table so hopefully won't get any serious liquid spillage on it. I prefer not to fill it with epoxy since I don't like that look. Interesting that it's good to have some exposed area of wood for breathing -- I hadn't heard that.
    – Doov
    May 11 '15 at 4:59

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