Repair suggestions for cracked farm table? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Repair suggestions for cracked farm table?

Hi -

I have zero woodworking experience and would appreciate any suggestions on how to deal with the large cracks in an old farm table I just purchased.

I'd like to repair the cracks, especially as they seem fragile. I guess can live with the slight warping of the tabletop (it's not visible, but I can feel it if I run my hand across the table sideways.)

Thank you!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 01:24 PM
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Whoever built that should be spanked a little.

You will need woodworking experience, the BB ends (long grain across the table) will have to be cut off and re-done.

Wood expands across the grain and not along the grain, no provision was made for that.

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 03:19 PM
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+1 with WillemJM.

The bread board ends look to have been glued across the end. The bread board end hardly moves with seasonal moisture changes, but the main table top does. At some point something has to give.

I would not recommend doing the repair as a first woodworking project.

The bread board ends need to be cut off, the table top glued back together - if it will go back together.

If the top has shrunk and will not go back together, you could rout grooves and insert inlays. The inlay will stand out, so perhaps use a contrasting wood to make it look part of the design.

If you want to have bread board ends to cover the end grain, use several dowels. Only glue the center dowel in the bread board end and the table top. For the others glue into either the table top or the bread board end but not both. Elongate the holes in the other piece to allow for the table top movement.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 03:54 PM
where's my table saw?
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With zero experience, I'd get some help

This ain't gonna be easy for a novice. We don't know what tools, routers, saws, clamps you have, but you will need at least those.

If you want to tackle this then here's what I'd do. Saw the ends free where the cracks have pulled away, so the piece that's spread away can be glued and clamped back into place. There may be a nail holding it in the end ...something is.
As was stated above wood moves/expends/contracts across it's width when not sealed on both sides and then even so.
It doesn't change in length appreciably. So now you have a piece of wood that's trying to keep the planks from expanding attached on the ends ... and it is a fixed length and not allowing any movement.
How it's attached is crucial. It may be nailed on all across at different places... it may be glued on all across.... it may have a groove and tongue joint...we don't know.
That's the source of your cracking. You need to relieve that joint so the planks can move AND be clamped back together when you fill the cracks with glue.

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)
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 06:13 PM
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Before you start cutting off the BB ends, consider whether you feel you have the tools and skills to accomplish the project. In looking at the crack, it almost appears that it could just be a missing section of wood. Looking at the grain pattern on both sides of the crack, seems like there's not much of a continuation of the pattern.

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. I'm definitely not going to try this at home, as the saying goes. I'll see if I can find a local woodworker/carpenter willing to help a sucker out.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-16-2013, 09:51 AM
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If it were me instead of cutting the breadboard end completely off, I would just take a jig saw and free the broken edge from the breadboard end and then glue the piece back to the top. You could just take a nail and tack the end back on. Of course the breadboard end would extend past the top then but could just be trimmed off and the finish touched up. More than likely the top is stable now and probably won't shrink anymore.
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cracks, filler, warped wood

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