Do I need Bowties? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-14-2016, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need Bowties?

So I finally have my entire table all ready to go. It's been jointed, glued, clamped, sanded and ready for staining/sealing. I just noticed though that there are 2 small cracks forming on either end of this table.

The table is 2" thick Oak. 7289/7288 are the same crack and 7286/7285 are the same. Do you guys think that I should add Bowties to these? That is certainly a decent amount of extra work I wasn't accounting for but I'd rather spend the time to do that instead of having the table split on me!

Anyway...thoughts?!?!?! THANKS ALL!
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-14-2016, 10:11 PM
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A bowtie won't really help you. What is needed is to rip the split wood out and replace it. It is just common for oak wood to have some end checking and should cut a few inches off the end before using it.
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-14-2016, 10:46 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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yes or no?

Personally, I wouldn't use them. What you may know now is that the end grain on the boards shows they were not quartersawn. This means they are prone to cupping or shrinking more than if they were quartersawn.



The more vertical the end grain is , the less likely you will have issues in the future. Your end grain is elliptical as in the plain sawn example. It will split slightly more as time goes on, but personally I wouldn't worry about it. It adds character.

To fix it correctly, do as Steve suggests and rip the boards down the split and reglue them. :frown2:

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; 11-14-2016 at 11:26 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-14-2016, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Personally, I wouldn't use them. What you may know now is that the end grain on the boards shows they were not quartersawn. This means they are prone to cupping or shrinking more than if they were quartersawn.



The more vertical the end grain is , the less likely you will have issues in the future. Your end grain is elliptical as in the plain sawn example. It will split slighhtly more as time goes on, but personally I wouldn't worry about it. It adds character.

To fix it correctly, do as Steve suggests and rip the boards down the split and reglue them. :frown2:
Thanks to you both! To be clear, this is a 10.5' x 3.5' table...overall, the structural integrity of the table should be fine, right? I only ask because you said it adds character so I would hope that means it won't break on me :) Would Epoxy help at all?

If structural integrity might be in jeapordy, would a bowtie, while over-doing it while technically keep it safe?

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-14-2016, 11:34 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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will it fail?

I can't say with certainty that it won't fail, but it is highly unlikely over that length it would split enough to fail. It is a great looking table and the proportions are right on.

You can always add bowties later if you want, but I would look at doing something underneath rather than on the top surface, should it become necessary..... unlikely. :smile3:

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 #6 of 13 Old 11-14-2016, 11:39 PM
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A bowtie works toward the middle of the board. It just won't hold on the end of the board, the wood would break off.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-15-2016, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ok...thanks guys! I'm going to keep an eye on it and if I see it getting bad then we'll throw in some pocket screws which should be more than enough to keep things together.

Appreciate the thoughts on the table...we worked hard on it!
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-15-2016, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jkanter View Post
Ok...thanks guys! I'm going to keep an eye on it and if I see it getting bad then we'll throw in some pocket screws which should be more than enough to keep things together.

Appreciate the thoughts on the table...we worked hard on it!
The problem is it might be a couple years after the table is completed before it splits further. It's just a lot easier to fix it now and forget about it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-15-2016, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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The problem is it might be a couple years after the table is completed before it splits further. It's just a lot easier to fix it now and forget about it.
Fiiiiiiiiiiiine...I'll throw a couple pocket screws in this weekend! :)
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-15-2016, 12:56 PM
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Many thanks for the milling styles pics, did not know this before.
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-15-2016, 06:00 PM
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There are other ways to fix a split

Here's cool tip from Wood Whisperer:

Using a bowtie or butterfly:

My idea, as yet untested, is as follows:
Use a router against a straight edge to completely rout away the entire split from the end and even a bit into the good wood. The bit should be as narrow as possible and straight sided. You may have to make several passes to remove the split and progressive passes to get to full depth and through it to the opposite side.
You will have to square up the radius formed by the bit with a mortising chisel. Now, you have a uniform width channel into which you can insert a glued up short piece of matching wood. This will be less visible than a bowtie, and for your conference table, is what I recommend. That table has a contemporary look, which in my view doesn't work with a traditional bowtie, but that's just me.

After inserting the narrow strip and gluing it in, and of course, it should protrude just slightly on either side, some sanding will be need to make it flush. It will be virtually invisible when finished. :smile3:

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 #12 of 13 Old 11-21-2016, 01:49 AM
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That always burns! Hate it when I find a defect like that late in a build. That one crack is pretty big, and would drive me nuts personally. I don't think I could live with it. Not sure if bow ties are what you need - you'll still see that crack in the end every day when you sit down at that table.

Can you sacrifice a couple inches of length on this table? Maybe just take a circular saw and a straight edge and remove the cracks that way. Might consider letting the table sit a while longer though - if it is still acclimating to the humidity in the room you placed it in, the checking might come back or get worse.
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post #13 of 13 Old 12-01-2016, 01:11 PM
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That is a beautiful table. What did you use to finish the wood?
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