Fix a separating table top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-23-2017, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Fix a separating table top

Hi guys, this winter I built a coffee table for my suite's common room at college. I got some plans online which called to add support beams across the frame of the table and screw the table top boards down to it. I now know I should have used table tops clips or something similar instead to allow movement. Unfortunately the table top has developed some cracks which I have filled with epoxy and drilled to prevent future cracking along that line. Along with the cracking the boards are also separating as they dry out. There is about a 3/16 inch gap between each board and I am wondering what I should do about it. If I were home I would probably unscrew the top and add clips instead, but I am not able to do that for another month and a half until I return home. Should I just leave them and hope they re-expand as the weather gets warmer and moister? I was thinking of maybe filling them with epoxy but that might cause even more problems as they re-expand. Any advice? Thanks
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-23-2017, 10:46 PM
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Under the circumstances I believe I would ignore it. At some time when you have better facilities and tools I would take the top apart and joint the wood perhaps also adding wood to maintain the width. Then glue it back together and refinish it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-23-2017, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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I think I will do that this summer. I have it sealed with Formby's tung oil because it was all I had laying around. Ill use polyurethane next time I think
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-24-2017, 08:08 AM
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for now, remove some of the screws holding it down. maybe keep the center ones and remove the sides if possible.

actually now that winter is over it will start expanding again.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-24-2017, 08:38 AM
where's my table saw?
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how were they joined?

Were the boards glued together? Were they jointed before you glued them? A gap of 3/16" is huge! It should never be that large, unless you just placed the boards together without glue.

Don't worry about anything until you can get some correct tooling to deal with the issues. If the boards were glued, you'll need to saw them apart and joint them properly on a jointer or with a hand plane or on a table saw with a board straightening jig. OR you just may want to replace the boards.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-24-2017 at 11:25 AM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-24-2017, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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If I remember correctly I did glue them but they are separating somehow. I never glued them and clamped them so maybe that is why. I might've exaggerated about the gap width, but some parts are pretty wide. Hopefully the top won't crack anymore before I'm able to get itnhome and fix it
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