How long does it take for wood movement to crack in cross-grain glued panel? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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How long does it take for wood movement to crack in cross-grain glued panel?

I work at a cabinet shop and a customer wanted a 5/4 solid oak wood top, 32" X 48" with a breadboard edge. Despite my urging them to attach the breadboard properly, the guy building it disregarded my advice and glued it along its entire length. So I am wondering how long it may take for the customer to call and complain that the top cracked.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 05:31 PM
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Well, it could crack tomorrow or it might wait 50 years. It's not science, it's woodworking. Sometimes you can do something dead wrong and get away with it. I made a 4'x8' work bench out of 2x12 yellow pine and glued wood across the grain knowing full well it was the wrong thing to do however I was more worried about cup warpage since the bench is used outdoors under an awning. It's been five years and the top is still fine. A lot depends on how well the wood was seasoned. I bought the 2x12's in 1994. I also had a red oak table given to me that was 100 years old or more and was in perfect condition except for the finish. I moved it from Illinois to Texas and withing a couple of months the top started splitting and I had to cut it apart and reglue the top using one of the leaves for replacement wood. You just never know what might happen.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 05:36 PM
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Define the universe and give three examples. 5/4 x 32" will offer a lot of area for expansion. What is the finish and how moisture resistant is it? Is it applied evenly over all of the surfaces of the piece? More importantly, what is the installed environment? How extreme is the heat and humidity of the room it's installed in? My guess: about six months. I have factory finished six panel doors that had panels move after about 6 months in my tight, energy star rated home.

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post #4 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Supposedly they are topcoating it with an acrylic finish. Not sure what that is about because they always use lacquer.

This is going in a cottage, which I could only assume would be subjected to the cold dry Wisconsin winters and hot humid summers. I was wondering if one season of the heavy humidity would be enough to cause it to crack.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 06:44 PM
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We have a cutting board that I built about 45 years ago that came from Iowa to Texas, and it has never cracked it was just finished with mineral oil and beeswax. I built it before I knew you shouldn't glue the whole strip on the end grain, maybe it was dumb wood too and doesn't know it is supposed to crack LOL
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichO View Post
Supposedly they are topcoating it with an acrylic finish. Not sure what that is about because they always use lacquer.

This is going in a cottage, which I could only assume would be subjected to the cold dry Wisconsin winters and hot humid summers. I was wondering if one season of the heavy humidity would be enough to cause it to crack.
There are many different forms of lacquer. If you use lacquer just be sure it's made for wood. There are acrylic lacquers which are made for a car and dry harder than wood lacquer. If it's too hard as the ones made for metal the finish is likely to crack. It looks kinda like tempered glass when it cracks.

It's not the humid weather which might cause the wood to crack, it's low humidity when the wood shrinks and is more likely to crack. Wood expands in humid weather and shrinks in dry weather.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Wood expands in humid weather and shrinks in dry weather.
Well since it's cold and dry now, I thought the expansion in summer and the breadboard preventing the expansion might cause problems that quickly.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-23-2016, 07:27 PM
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Well since it's cold and dry now, I thought the expansion in summer and the breadboard preventing the expansion might cause problems that quickly.
You just don't know what it might do. It may crack when the weather changes or it might do nothing. It's just better to plan on the wood movement as it's more likely to have problems than do nothing.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-29-2016, 01:51 PM
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Mark Twain said... I've worried about a lot of things in my life, and some of them actually happened.
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