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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    1,587

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    It looks like the glue joints failed. Could be improper drying of the wood and/or the fact that different woods were used. The glue might of been bad or not allowed to set properly.
    A while back I repaired a table made of strips of maple similar to your photos. Many of the glue (hide) joints had failed and the rest were so weak they were easily broken. This table had been stored in an attic for 20 years or so. I used yellow carpenters glue on the joints & it has held up well for years.
    In any event I think what you have is unacceptable and the maker is BSing you. If a table can't go from his shop to your house without falling apart something is wrong.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    Thanks, Jack. I posted a few more pics. Let me know if there are any more angles that would be helpful.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    Thanks a lot for your thoughts. I've been offered acrylic glue to fill in the cracks that are "natural" and a part of "settling in." I'm still talking to the maker, though. It's upsetting to see cracks grow day by day, even by the hour in some cases.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,587

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    Nothing natural about what I see in your photos. The table is falling apart.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    Thanks a lot, ed21. That's what I'm thinking, too. I could understand if I left the table outside in the freezing cold, but I just don't think a table should be doing this days to a few weeks after receiving it. So disappointing.

    They finished it with a semi-gloss polyacrylic, I believe. They use Minwax products. I'll update when we come up with a solution to get this fixed.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    Do you think it's even worth getting him to rebuild this if the craftsmanship is lacking? Is it just an issue of not knowing what he's doing? Or is it a correctable mistake?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,587

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    A couple of thoughts: if the table is of reclaimed wood I would think the wood is fully dried since it would be years old at least, although who knows how it was stored. Being coated with polyacrylic should minimize any moisture absorption and movement.
    It looks like the top sets on a plywood base, not a way I see tables usually built, but I'm not a furniture maker. If he's made this table before with no cracking, then he messed up something this time. If this was the first table he's got a learning curve to get it to work. I don't believe the table can be fixed. Filling the cracks with additional glue is not an acceptable fix. I think the main problem probably lies with the glue and/or how it was applied and clamped to dry. Or possibly the different species of wood used with dissimilar rates of expansion, but I think that may be less likely.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,798

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    No being able to see the table, I am guessing he glued the strips down on a plywood base. Probably because they are to thin for a table top and much of it has shrunk. While I generally don't like to criticize other peoples work, I would be ashamed to have something like that come out of my shop.

    The top needs to be think enough to support on its own and fastened in a way to allow for expansion and contraction movement. I don't think there is much that can be done to salvage it.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    Thanks again, ed21 and Jack. Very helpful guidance.

    The builder has a pretty good reputation ******, and because I simply don't know enough about building wooden tables, I figured I could trust the work. They've made this design before, and based on the reviews I've seen, they haven't had any issues; but they may actually have had issues, and I just don't know.

    After I received the table, I thought the same thing about the thickness. Now looking around, I noticed many table tops are actually very thick, and mine is just not. They offered either a support frame around the table or beneath the table, and I chose beneath.

    My initial best guess for all the cracking, assuming the builder's defense was right, were the changes in the humidity of my place. But, really, no one would own wooden tables if they were this fragile. I noticed that they've added a whole spiel that I've never noticed, talking about how real wood changes and those changes are not defects, saying,

    "Since our items are made from real wood, they may settle over time...You may experience cracks in the wood, especially if exposed to extreme heat changes. This does not mean that your item is faulty. We use a solid backer on our tables so this will keep a table from sagging or splitting."

    "Real wood will change over time. We use mainly hardwoods to reduce issues but wood will still crack, shrink, have knots and holes and show its age. These are not defects or problems with craftsmanship, these are natural occurrences in real wood." And "If you take care of your wood furniture and keep from extreme temperature changes and humidity it should last generations."

    I appreciate the uniqueness in the reclaimed wood, but again, cracks and splits after a matter of days is pretty crazy to me—and I don't think that's part of "settling," just being real wood, or "uniqueness." The joints/glue are splitting, and it's not so much the wood. One piece, which is in one of the pictures, seems to be separating not only from the other wood pieces but also from the frame beneath. I don't think this table will even last a year, even if it's not in use.

    I've sent in more pictures to the guy, and I'll reply if I hear back. I also bought another piece of furniture from him, and two drawers are not working, so I have that issue to work out with him as well. Extremely frustrating.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,798

    Default Re: Cracks in wooden table top

    Interesting, I have a table that was made down south, it has been in Va., Az, Pa., Ohio. No splits. It is nearly 200 years old.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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