Tabletop Crack - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-29-2012, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Tabletop Crack

So I glued up my cherry tabletop, and working the mortise/tenon for the breadboard installation... and then I noticed a crack in the end grain of the tabletop. See attached images.

The crack doesn't go all the way through the plank (i.e. not all the way through the thickness of it). And it extends maybe 8 - 12 inches into the top. I'm learning, but what should I do to fix this? Break it, re-glue... leave it alone... bandsaw it, re-glue...etc?

Any experienced advice is welcome.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Since the crack doesn't seem to go all the way through the thickness, could I rout out to the depth of the crack and cut a rectangular chunk out (which includes all the crack)? Then glue the same shape piece back in?
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 11:51 AM
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I looked at this and did not know what to say, as it may not be correct. Since no one has replied, I'll try but it may not be the best advice.

Those look like drying cracks, it appears as if you worked too close to the ends of the boards when the lumber was originally cut. We normally look for those and cut off the piece which goes to scrap.

It is unlikely they will go further though, were it me I would probably hide them with thin epoxy mixed with fine saw-dust so they are not easibly visible.

If this was for a customer, I would give it some more thought.

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillemJM View Post
I looked at this and did not know what to say, as it may not be correct. Since no one has replied, I'll try but it may not be the best advice.

Those look like drying cracks, it appears as if you worked too close to the ends of the boards when the lumber was originally cut. We normally look for those and cut off the piece which goes to scrap.

It is unlikely they will go further though, were it me I would probably hide them with thin epoxy mixed with fine saw-dust so they are not easibly visible.

If this was for a customer, I would give it some more thought.
Thanks for the reply. I think you're right about it being from the drying process. Funny thing is, I could've sworn that I inspected every board. So either I just didn't do a good job, or it showed up when this heat in Kansas showed up. My garage lately has been 110s degree or more.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 12:16 PM
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personnally, I would cut it out
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
personnally, I would cut it out
Since I've never dealt with this before, how would you go about cutting it out?

And thanks for the reply.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 12:42 PM
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I have experienced cracks which seemed to appear from nowhere.

Like you I check the board before I cut a piece. The crack either did not exist, or was not visible and widened after the gluing.

Amazing what a little moisture can do. The joint drying could have caused small stress for this to open up.

Is this for yourself or for a customer?

If for yourself, some options :
a) Cut out the entire length of the board, e.g. 1in and glue in a strip. A narrow strip may look odd.
b) Epoxy the gap. I am with WillemJM, this looks like the crack is stable, so the epoxy should work. If you use this solution, use see if you can open the gap with e.g, screwdriver from the end, just to get better penetration. Also use masking tape around the gap so that the surrounding wood will not be sealed. Impacts whatever stain or finish you want to apply later.
c) Add a dutchman, aka bowtie insert across the crack and both boards. If you are not familiar, this is an example. In this case I added just for decoration. George Nakashima was famous for using these in his natural edge tables and chairs.

Tabletop Crack-dovetail_insert_board_top_web.jpg

You could add at both ends and make it look like a design element.
d) Cut out a portion, e.g., 1in x the length of the crack and insert a piece. Will be structural, but would not look good.
e) If you are concerned about the crack causing some weakness, you could always drill e.g. 1/2in hole from the end and glue in a dowel for reinforcement. Would be invisible after the bread board end is attached.

Good luck with whatever solution you choose.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 02:10 PM
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Unless the table has a "rustic" look you will probably regret not removing it. It's almost impossible to disguise.
Can you cut it out and increase the width of your breadboards to recover the length?.
Bob
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Paine View Post
I have experienced cracks which seemed to appear from nowhere.

Like you I check the board before I cut a piece. The crack either did not exist, or was not visible and widened after the gluing.

Amazing what a little moisture can do. The joint drying could have caused small stress for this to open up.

Is this for yourself or for a customer?

If for yourself, some options :
a) Cut out the entire length of the board, e.g. 1in and glue in a strip. A narrow strip may look odd.
b) Epoxy the gap. I am with WillemJM, this looks like the crack is stable, so the epoxy should work. If you use this solution, use see if you can open the gap with e.g, screwdriver from the end, just to get better penetration. Also use masking tape around the gap so that the surrounding wood will not be sealed. Impacts whatever stain or finish you want to apply later.
c) Add a dutchman, aka bowtie insert across the crack and both boards. If you are not familiar, this is an example. In this case I added just for decoration. George Nakashima was famous for using these in his natural edge tables and chairs.

Attachment 48523

You could add at both ends and make it look like a design element.
d) Cut out a portion, e.g., 1in x the length of the crack and insert a piece. Will be structural, but would not look good.
e) If you are concerned about the crack causing some weakness, you could always drill e.g. 1/2in hole from the end and glue in a dowel for reinforcement. Would be invisible after the bread board end is attached.

Good luck with whatever solution you choose.
Thank you for your suggestions. All are great for consideration... and this table is for me (not a customer). Unfortunately, I'm on a budget and have not more matched cherry boards, so I'll have to work with this in some form or fashion.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 02:51 PM
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I would definitely cut it out and glue it again since there is some chop left in the table. Hope my advise helps you and please post pictures once it is finished.
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-30-2012, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debelpepper View Post
Since I've never dealt with this before, how would you go about cutting it out?

And thanks for the reply.
if the crack is straight enough, i run it where the table saw blade kerf removes the crack, then just reglue, joint if necessary. if the crack angles, you may have to remove more wood.
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