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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What is causing the separation? The middle has separated so bad it cracked. I’m scared to use it or put weight on it. It’s not in direct sunlight and has only been used about 5 times. I clean with damp warm moist cloth. I paid a lot of money for this set about two years ago from local work workers to try to support local.. but now they are ignoring my concerns and said I didn’t care for it properly. They said I need to condition it regularly. What do y’all use to clean and condition maple wood tables with?! There is no gloss finish on it just stain. Is there a way to fix the gaps?
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Bah humbug
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Are the breadboard ends doweled?

Doweled or not the breadboard are locked in and the boards are shrinking and starting to separate or crack...

Don't look there was room to expand or contract..

Sounds like your local woodworker is learning on your dime...
 

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I can see glue squeeze out on the breadboard.

Sorry to say it was built by people who have no business building things for sale. Between the glue and planer marks left on the boards its a amateur attempt at best.

Unfortunately there is no way to fix the top with out cutting it apart and rebuilding it. It was not a care issue it was a construction issue.
 

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I can see glue squeeze out on the breadboard.

Sorry to say it was built by people who have no business building things for sale. Between the glue and planer marks left on the boards its a amateur attempt at best.

Unfortunately there is no way to fix the top with out cutting it apart and rebuilding it. It was not a care issue it was a construction issue.
100% agree. In addition, I would never to use a table without any finish on it; not that it is a cause for the cracking.
 

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Bah humbug
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I can see glue squeeze out on the breadboard.

Sorry to say it was built by people who have no business building things for sale. Between the glue and planer marks left on the boards its a amateur attempt at best.

Unfortunately there is no way to fix the top with out cutting it apart and rebuilding it. It was not a care issue it was a construction issue.
Sometimes the planer marks are a part of the design..This could be a selling characteristic of the table...
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Discussion Starter #9
I can see glue squeeze out on the breadboard.

Sorry to say it was built by people who have no business building things for sale. Between the glue and planer marks left on the boards its a amateur attempt at best.

Unfortunately there is no way to fix the top with out cutting it apart and rebuilding it. It was not a care issue it was a construction issue.
I didn’t think it was anything I did. They blocked me on Facebook and Instagram so I can’t leave comments. Guess they’re scared on a bad review... when I tried to call them they texted me back and said it’s because I didn’t condition it and that I can put wood filler in it... Everything I’ve read says to just clean with damp warm cloth. Do i need to condition it? Learned my lessen.. I imagine paying someone to fit it would be almost as expensive as replacing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don’t know if they do welded them or not but can definitely see the glue separating. Unfortunately looks like I’m out on a loss. The woodworker ghosted and blocked me.
Are the breadboard ends doweled?

Doweled or not the breadboard are locked in and the boards are shrinking and starting to separate or crack...

Don't look there was room to expand or contract..

Sounds like your local woodworker is learning on your dime...
 

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@LEN217 - Who built it and how much did you pay for it? I would like to see their Facebook and Instagram pages.

In my opinion, if you had "conditioned" it, it would have split anyway.

P.S. Wood fill is not the answer. It only a temporary fix at best, and will crack and fall out as the table continues to move and pull itself apart. In addition, it would look terrible.
 

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Not a very good business plan, ya think? Hearing things like this really steam me. People of no integrity do harm to everyone else, whether a ww’er, plumber or veterinarian.

Like all trades, there are good and bad. These guys are either very inexperienced or just looking to make a buck, either way they are more interested in making a buck than a product.

The table is hasn‘t been built or finished properly. They glued the breadboard on rather than drawbore with dowels, that’s why it cracked.

Obviously it needs to be taken apart completely, resurfaced, rejointed, breadboards installed properly and sanded. Maple does not stain well personally I wouldn’t even try, even with blotch control - another issue.

You’re only option is find someone who can fix it. If there is a local Woodcraft store you could go by there and ask. Or possibly there is someone on this forum close enough and willing.
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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What an embarrassing piece. The coloration in the pictures look like it was made from old barn siding, not maple. What are the dimensions? Does it have removable leaves for extending the seating? I'm also struggling with the pedestal base design. How does the base attach to the top? From the pictures, I'd also say the thing needs to be cut apart and remade properly. Any attempt to re-glue the splits and clamp them closed will not be a long term fix.

Reminds me of a maple ready to finish hutch I bought years ago. For $830, I got a piece made from the worst quality maple (full of mineral deposits, knots and a strange mix of regular and tiger wood). The carcass was stapled together with no glue or joinery and the back was 1/4" narrower than the front. I called the manufacturer and spoke to the shop forman. He was quite proud of his construction methodology and I ended the call quite dissatisfied. Since it was custom ordered, the store (which went out of business shortly thereafter) would not take it back, so I was left with an $830 kit. I attacked it with a mallet and reduced it to parts. After complete rebuilding, the piece was presentable, but I still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There's a picture of the finished hutch in my project album here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What region are you?
Upstate SC
@LEN217 - Who built it and how much did you pay for it? I would like to see their Facebook and Instagram pages.

In my opinion, if you had "conditioned" it, it would have split anyway.

P.S. Wood fill is not the answer. It only a temporary fix at best, and will crack and fall out as the table continues to move and pull itself apart. In addition, it would look terrible.
I paid $1,629 for just the table and $750 for the chairs.. I private messaged you the company’s Facebook. It’s a husband and wife small business
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
What an embarrassing piece. The coloration in the pictures look like it was made from old barn siding, not maple. What are the dimensions? Does it have removable leaves for extending the seating? I'm also struggling with the pedestal base design. How does the base attach to the top? From the pictures, I'd also say the thing needs to be cut apart and remade properly. Any attempt to re-glue the splits and clamp them closed will not be a long term fix.

Reminds me of a maple ready to finish hutch I bought years ago. For $830, I got a piece made from the worst quality maple (full of mineral deposits, knots and a strange mix of regular and tiger wood). The carcass was stapled together with no glue or joinery and the back was 1/4" narrower than the front. I called the manufacturer and spoke to the shop forman. He was quite proud of his construction methodology and I ended the call quite dissatisfied. Since it was custom ordered, the store (which went out of business shortly thereafter) would not take it back, so I was left with an $830 kit. I attacked it with a mallet and reduced it to parts. After complete rebuilding, the piece was presentable, but I still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There's a picture of the finished hutch in my project album here.
It’s 60” square no removable leaves. Here is a picture of the bottom. They drilled into this square board on the bottom
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David
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Generally speaking when I see pocket screws I see amateur, not pro work (that may just be me but that's the way I see it). And a large piece of 3/4" box store plywood with a bunch of screws into the top just adds to the amateur look and feel of this. I realize some pros use pocket screws but most of those are doing cabinet work, not producing furniture. And you should never see pocket screws in fine furniture.

David
 

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That merits a yikes on a lot of levels... If you dont mind, imma do a post-mortem and try to answer a few questions

So, first things first, the "why". Pretty quick answer, the design of that table didnt account for wood movement at all. Wood expands and contracts over time, with the majority of that movement happening across the grain direction. Its an intrinsic property of the material, nearly nothing can be done to prevent it, and the only real fix is to account for it during the design phase to make sure that all the various wooden pieces are free to move without anything funny happening.

On your table, that was not done. The center boards are fastened rigidly to the breadboard ends, which has the effect of not allowing the center boards to do their little expansion/contraction dance, not without breaking something. End result is that the weakest link broke, in the case the glue joints separated

Compounding the issue is the pocket screws on the underside, which seem to be what was used to hold the top boards together while the glue dried. Now, pocket screws themselves arent inherently bad, but pocket screws used in that manner are a pretty good sign that not much care was taken in gluing up the top. Seeing how cleanly the glue line split makes me think that the edges of those boards probably werent properly jointed to begin with.

Rigidly fastening the tabletop to the plywood piece also didnt help the whole expansion/contraction thing. Wood moves, plywood doesnt, so if you rigidly fasten a solid wood board to a piece of plywood like that, the solid wood will still try to move and something is going to end up failing

And all that said, thats still a surprising amount of shrinkage for a piece that, in theory, has been kept in a relatively stable climate. If you moved from a humid area to a dry one, Florida to Arizona lets say, then a decent amount of shrinkage on a piece would be expected. Given that you bought local though, i cant imagine that the relative humidity between their shop and your house is that different, unless you hoard dehumidifiers, so i kinda suspect that the original maker didnt use properly dried wood to begin with. Speculation on my part, but given all the other oversites, i wouldnt be surprised to see one more on the list.

So, what can you do? Well, unfortunately there was a reason i called it a post-mortem. Fact of the matter is there really isnt a fix for poor design. Packing the cracks with wood putty is a pretty stupid suggestion for a 'furniture maker' to make; the putty would very rapidly fail, and the original design issues are still present. Frankly, the only real fix would be to reduce the table back to boards and completely rebuild it, properly this time.

Oh, and you arent at fault, theres nothing you can 'condition' wood with to fix a poor design. Even if you put a film finish on that table the day you got it, youd probably still see the exact same problem now
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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I have always viewed the pocket screw technique as "quick & dirty" and normally used for production volume work like cabinets. The underside picture of this table is just amateurish at best, certainly not worth $1,629. The underside picture explains everything wrong with this build. It looks like one could disassemble this mess by removing all of the multitude of screws and cutting things apart (assuming glue was used in the assembly). Wonder who built the chairs? I assemble table and cabinet tops with glue and biscuits and have never had any splitting or separation issues, even after decades. Of course, I finish all sides of the pieces to minimize/equalize movement.
 
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