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Wooden Door – Fixing Cracked & Broken Panels (Update Available)


We’ve got these wood panel doors. and they are drying out and I don’t know if you can see but you can see there are cracks. See the light through the cracks? The panels are drying out and down there so what I am going to do is fill those cracks. The technique works for painted doors but probably won’t work if it has clear varnish on it but you can see one (crack) here where I’ve done it in the past I’m going to use a technique that boat
builders use and take a natural fiber string put wood glue on it and pack it
in the crack so the first thing is to clean the crack out the door was put together with multiple panels and they used some kind of filler and I need to get all that filler out of there. I have been working on it will utility knife and then cleaned it out
with hacksaw blade. It’s whatever will fit in there to clean it out and get clean wood surfaces on each side of the crack the next step is to use a plain piece of natural fiber string this is a ball of string I got for around a quarter You want to make the string a little longer at the top and bottom so you have something to hold on to. I am going to dip the string in to white wood glue and then I’m going to pack it in here. You want the string a little longer at the top because you need to hold on to it. Otherwise you will start pulling the string down as you pack it and you will leave a gap at the top. So you leave a bit out, hang on to it as you pack it in there usually I use the back of the knife to pack it. this door is going to take 2 strings, 1 on top the other. The only trick here you don’t want to push the string all the way through to the other side of the door. You don’t want it sticking out the other side of the door. You can see where it is done. I’ve gotten this part in there. It’s not consistent yet. I’ve switched to a flat bladed screwdriver because I found it’s tip fits the crack much better. If you use something too narrow it tries to pop all the way through. If you use something too wide it won’t go in there This tool happened to turn
out to be the best choice and of course it has to be cleaned up when I’m finished. You can see it’s going in there. Have lots of wet rags for cleaning up excess glue. I’ll continue on and show you when it’s done. A sidenote here, when you are doing this, the crack is not the same width all the way it can go from wider to narrower crack what you can do control the width of the string is to twist or untwist it to make it thinner or wider If you twist it tighter, it gets narrower. if you untwist it, it gets fatter. You can use that technique as you go along. Tighter and loser as needed. If the string is just too wide for the crack you can untwist and remove one of the sub-parts of the string. This string has 3 sub-parts and you can remove 1 or 2 to make it fit the crack better. I finished putting in the string and I’ve gone back through and I held my fingers on the screwdriver at
a particular distance from the tip and gone back over and push
the string in to a consistent dept all the way along, so that I have got room for another
string in there I’ve also checked the outside to make
sure that the a string has not poked through on the back side. It has not. That’s a good thing. Also you want to make sure that these panels are still flat You don’t want to push the panels out of flatness while you are working. If you do, you just push them back in place before the glue sets. Once the glue sets they will stay in place. This side is pretty much done. Once this is caulked and painted you have an airtight watertight seal. OK, so that’s it for now. I will show you when the second string is in there. The second string is in. Same process at the first. Lay the string down. Push it in. Make
sure it is at a consistent depth. Make sure it is
below the surface of the wood that way when you caulk (or putty and hide the crack altogether) it You need to have some space in there to get the caulking or putty in there. Make sure the string is at a consistent depth. Make sure your panels are still flat, that you have not pushed them out of flat and then clean it up, trim off the end up
here I’ll use a knife and trim off the end. That is pretty much it. From here, you caulk it (or putty it) and paint it and you’re done. Hope you found this useful.

22 thoughts on “Wooden Door – Fixing Cracked & Broken Panels (Update Available)

  1. I did find this useful. Thank you very much. If you had s stained door, using shellac,  linseed oil or lacquer might also work in place of the glue. And make sure the glue is paintable as well.

  2. Thank you!  I have several old interior doors with cracked panels, and I never knew what to do.  I will definitely try your technique!

  3. To anyone who has used this technique.  Do you dip the string in the glue first?  Or do you add the glue as you go along pushing it in with your tool?  Any suggestions or thoughts would be welcomed.

  4. Thank you for explaining a frugal way of doing this. I've heard about the expanding and contracting of the wood so I know this will be perfect. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this. It's so helpful and I can't wait to get out there and perform this "magic."

  5. This worked great. I had "friendship bracelet" craft string and used 2 stands to fix my door cracks. I wish I had seen this video before paying a contractor. He did the work and one of the large cracks came back in less than one year. After using this string method, there is no light coming through at all. Thank you for the great video.

  6. I have to repair a horizontal split in an antique wooden door, with one large central panel. The damage was caused by blunt impact, and is such that the lower edge of the split bulges outward, while the top edge is in its natural position.
    As is, I can't force the bottom edge back to straight- for fear of cracking the old wood- in order to apply your repair method. My working solution is to find a way to file/ sand down the rough edges of the crack until it becomes possible to push the bottom back to flat.
    Can you advise me as to whether this is a good idea, and if so, what tool would you recommend for sanding down the edges? And if it's not a good idea, can you recommend a different approach?

  7. Which technic is better to fixing cracked wooden door?
    1. Using wooden epoxy or
    2. With rope string and wooden glue
    Has anyone ever try this two method before?
    Thanks for your advice.

  8. Great video! Hi I love watching your channel, I'm big on DIY, currently I'm building a tiny house. You guys should come check us out! I am working on a door myself. Please share some insight. Thanks

  9. Thank you, this is information is so hard to find. Have an exterior wood panel shed door that is very loose and this answers my question whether to use caulk or glue to hold it together. Neither, this technique is better! Did find a TOH explanation why the panels might split and why a panel door needs flexibility. The post says that paint may bind the pieces and not allow the door to flex thereby causing panels to split. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ask-toh/fixing-cracked-door-panel

  10. Thanks for posting. Is it better to do this in summer when presumably the wood panel has expanded in the heat, or in winter when the panel has contracted and the crack is at its widest?

  11. Although it's been 6 years since the video has been online. But this simple fixing tip is indeed plaudable.

    The same tip can be used to fix furniture as well? 🤔

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