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I just made a end grain maple butcher block 5.5 thick 24"x 28" out of 3/4×1 1/2 strips. Edge glued then ran through wide belt sander, then cut strips out of blank and glued together again. All glue joints are offset 3/8. I used titebond 3. I came back to the shop after letting it dry for the weekend and I have cracks throughout the entire block, most of the cracks are not even on glue joints. I am wondering what went wrong. Maybe to much moisture introduced into the wood while gluing up? Looking for anybody who might have an answer for me. Thanks. Will post pictures tommorow.
 

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how long did the wood acclimate in the shop before and after cutting?
This sounds like an internal moisture problem to me. Possibly the moisture content problem in the wood where it wasn't seasoned correctly or long enough?
 

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I'm sure you know this already, but wood shrinks/expands more tangentially than radially. The differences vary by species, for maple by a factor of about 2x. This is generally not a significant problem in edge-to-edge glueups, but it can become an issue in butcher block construction. If the rings are all oriented the same way it should be OK, but I don't think people generally do this. Like Dallas, I think that the wood was probably too wet and the fact that it was butcherblock made it crack rather than warp as it dried.
I make my own cutting boards (like all of us on this site) and generally just throw them in the dishwasher after I've used them. They last several years before they break themselves apart due to the multiple wetting and drying. But the first time I made a butcherblock cutting board I tried to do the same thing and it cracked in a million places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The wood acclimated in shop for 2 weeks.
It was old maple flooring that was 1" x 2". I milled it down. Not sure if it was kiln dried or air it had been laying around in the shop for 10 years. I want to build another one now. I'm going to use 8/4 this time. What type of glue should I use. Maybe a urethane glue? Less moisture. Thanks
 

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Titebond 3 should be perfect for your application. There must have been something going on it that wood to cause it to crack. (did you mill it equally on all faces?) The 8/4 maple will work fine, but if you don't already know, you should try to find 'hard' maple for the butcher block.
5 1/2" thick is pretty thick. I think the commercial blocks that are that thick are usually thru-bolted with all-thread to hold it intact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Titebond 3 should be perfect for your application. There must have been something going on it that wood to cause it to crack. (did you mill it equally on all faces?) The 8/4 maple will work fine, but if you don t already know, you should try to find hard maple for the butcher block.
5 1/2" thick is pretty thick. I think the commercial blocks that are that thick are usually thru-bolted with all-thread to hold it intact.

- tbone
 
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