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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for ideas to repair or stabilize and add strength to this solid pine table top.
Crack is deep and 20 years old. It runs half the length of top.
I'm just a DYI'er with basic skills. Thanks!


 

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Rough Sawn Lumber
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Two part epoxy glue and try to mix in saw dust of wood of the same species to fill the crack. Bow ties for added strength and keep it from cracking further.
 

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Looking for ideas to repair or stabilize and add strength to this solid pine table top.
Crack is deep and 20 years old. It runs half the length of top.
I'm just a DYI'er with basic skills. Thanks!
If the crack is that old, the good news is that it is stable.

A common method to stabilize such as crack is to insert a piece of wood across the crack. This is known by a few names "bowtie", or "dovetail" or "dutchman".

You can either cut this by hand as in this thread.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/glue-dutchman-43411/

Or you can purchase a special bushing for the router

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/20...-Solid-Brass-Router-Inlay-Router-Bit-Set.aspx

and a special template to make different sizes of bow-ties and to cut out the hole in the wood. Leave the bearing on the bushing to make the cutout in the wood, remove the bearing on the bushing to make the bowtie from another board.

A contrasting wood is commonly used, so the repair become a feature of the table top.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005514/16479/Butterfly-Inlay-Template.aspx

A craftsman called George Nakashima was famous for his natural edge tables where he used the bowties to stabilize cracks.

The bowtie should be about 1/3 - 1/2 the depth of the wood with the crack so it does not go all the way through.
 

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Chances are if the break it 20 years old there is debris in the crevase that prevent you from ever glueing it back. The first thing I would do is look under the top and see what caused it to split in the first place. There may be a wood glued or screw under the top preventing the wood from shrinking. The top just split to releave the tension of not being allowed to shrink. What ever is holding it needs to be loosened to allow for movement. Then you can take a PVA glue (common wood glue) and spread a bead over the crack. Then with your thumb rub the glue into the crack adding glue until it comes out the bottom side. Then put a pipe or bar camp across the top protecting the edges of the table with scrap wood and pull the joint together. Wipe off the excess glue that squeezes out with a wet cloth and let sit with the clamp on it for at least an hour. It will hold as strong as a new board or the debris in the crack will cause it to fail. You should know within a day if it's going to work. If it doesn't the best fix would be to cut that piece of wood out of the table top but it sounds like you are not equipped to do that. You might then put a metal mending plate on the underside and just fill the crevase with epoxy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
View from Under crack

Good stuff. I should have said the crack was caused by my toddler son, bouncing in a child-seat. The type that hangs on the table edge. His nic name was Boom Boom.

The supporting brace extends over the crack. I'm guessing, helping the crack from actually breaking.
 
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