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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a head board and foot board made of 6" round black walnut logs with the bark stripped off. I got it at a real low price cause every where the guy used lag bolts to join cross logs the wood is cracking and now that its sitting in my house the cracks look a little deeper and wider. The cracks run with the log and the largest is about 1/4" open, 3" deep, and more than a foot long.

My only thought of fixing or stopping the growth of the cracks is to wrap some strap clamps around them and over time tighten it a little more and more. Then when they look very small I would have some one weld a black metal band tight around the log. Ive never welded so I dont even know if this is possible. Also where the guy used lags bolts, Im going to drill a hole, countersink sink and use through bolts.

Otherwise I have to idea how to make this bed frame strong and last overtime.
 

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I don't think you'll stop it from cracking. Just look at it as character and leave it at that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I bought the log frames they were outside in the cold and I've had it at my house in a semi-cold garage for about a month.

If I don't do anything should I be worried about structural strength because its for a queen bed which is heavy and then add 2 people and 2 dogs.
 

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insufficient information

Without more information, it's hard to give an answer to your question about structural integrity. Generally, the splits which result from drying out of wood are called 'checks'. This is what people are assuming is happening here. However, I am suspicious of the fact that you said it is occurring wherever there are lag screws used. It may be naturally occurring checking, or it may be that insufficient pilot holes were drilled into the walnut, or possibly none at all, and those splits are the result. If it is checking, typically that will not necessarily weaken the structure, but it depends on the placement of the lags in relation to the checks. If the splits are occurring because of insufficient pilot holes, then you may have a problem because that would mean the lags are splitting the wood. That would probably be cause for concern, structurally.
 

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through bolts and nuts...

:thumbdown: It will look like an industrial shipping crate.

When joining rectangular or round aprons use barrel nuts. The nuts are in holes drill across the horizontal pieces/aprons and the bolts drilled through the legs, and some are sunken in counterbores. The nuts are like these:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_137355-37672-880542_4294710819__?productId=3012555&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=


and this:


As far as your cracking issue, that is normal. It depends on how deep and how many and where the cracks are if they will not be structural. The ends of the round logs should have been properly sealed with wax or paint to prevent drying out too rapidly.
Too late now. So you'll have to deal with it in some asthetically pleasing way. One though is to band the ends with steel or brass rings or bands a like a barrel. A stainless steel hose clamp if turned so the clamping screw doesn't show may also work. :blink:
 

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First: I suspect that the bedframe was built long before the wood dried. Generally, outdoors, under cover, about 1" thickness per year (not cooked in a closed shed in summer.) Wax or paint the ends to even out the rate of water loss from the ends and sides.
Second, the bolts introduced a weakness and the wood pulls away from that unless there's some other weakness in the log. That's how trees grow, not uniform in the least.

Totem poles, story poles and mortuary poles don't crack much as maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the log has been removed on the back side. This relieves the drying stress in the rest of the log. The selection is normally the south side of the tree. I have a 6" x 36" willow log sitting for 5 years. Took off the bark, did nothing to the ends, cut 1/4 of the log out and tossed that. Fought off the surface mold for the first 6 months. Half a dozen hairline cracks in each end.
 

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MJ: good plan. Filler = methacrylate fiberglas boat resin stirred up with a huge quantity of brass dust from a key-cutting place. Cracks 3/4 filled with plain, glitter on top. I don't know how to do the polishing but it was pretty slick.
 

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MJ: good plan. Filler = methacrylate fiberglas boat resin stirred up with a huge quantity of brass dust from a key-cutting place. Cracks 3/4 filled with plain, glitter on top. I don't know how to do the polishing but it was pretty slick.
I use black tea leaves .
(used ones dried , gotta stay true to me heritage eh :laughing:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's some good ideas. I think I will countersink some through bolts on the cracked ends and then use the boat fiberglass to fill in the cracks then seal up the whole thing with BLO/poly combination. What is the difference in boat fiberglass and just clear epoxy, because now I'm thinking I might use a clear epoxy with bright blue crushed stone for an accent (or would I make the cracks stand out too much as flaws)?
 

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to stop a crack, drill a hole

If you drill a hole at the start of the crack it should prevent it from cracking any further. As far as what to fiil the crack with there have been plenty of suggestions. I don't think I would call attention to them personally. I would also want to fill them with a prodect that allows for some expansion and contraction. Log Home builders use such a product to caulk the seams on their buildings:

http://www.twincreeksloghomes.com/caulk.html

It probably can be tinted to blend in, I donno? :blink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK yea that sounds a lot better then drawing a huge amount of attention to them. I did see some of the wood caulk is tintable so I will color match it relatively close and fill them up. Thank you guys its all very helpful, and I will update with the results if they turn out good.
 
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