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Odd failure in a cutting board

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Forum topic by Steve posted 04-29-2019 06:51 PM 582 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve

82 posts in 1488 days


04-29-2019 06:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I made this “order and chaos” cutting board for my sister a few years back.

When I make any sort of end-grain board, but especially chaotic pattern boards, if the board is going to fail, I expect it to do so along the glue joints. In this case, though, the glue joints have held up pretty well, but cracks have developed in the wood itself along the long edges of the board. They don’t appear to follow any weakness in the wood, which I found a little unusual.

Here’s a close up of the crack on one side:

And the other:

My sister oiled the board pretty often, and I don’t believe it saw a lot of moisture. I wondering if anyone can shed light on why this might happen? I frequently make boards of this nature (though not often with the central checkerboard section) and would like to avoid disappointing future recipients.

Thanks, as always, for any suggestions.

~Steve

-- ~Steve


13 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2422 posts in 2276 days


#1 posted 04-29-2019 07:11 PM

Too me it looks like a area that was clamped heavily to close up gaps. That’s puts lots of tension in the odd shaped pieces.
Another way to look at it. Mother Nature says ok your going to do that . Well then I’ll do this :)

-- Aj

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

4291 posts in 2245 days


#2 posted 04-29-2019 07:12 PM

Technically, glue joints are supposed to be stronger than the wood grain. I ca see you have a much more porous walnut? with much less porous cherry? and maybe maple or walnut sap. Looks like the walnut shrank. And the crack shows that your glue up was done right.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View SMP's profile

SMP

1334 posts in 383 days


#3 posted 04-29-2019 07:32 PM

Its hard enough trying to keep things from “adjusting” (i.e. cracking/splitting) even when following traditional rules of woodworking. Using multiple species adds another factor to the possibilities. I guess finiding woods in a moisture movement calculator that have similar patterns would cut down that factor a bit.

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

408 posts in 3560 days


#4 posted 04-29-2019 08:18 PM

It looks like the “order” portion has the rings mostly running horizontal, or at least slightly more horizontal than vertical. The “chaos” portion is biases towards vertical.

Wood shrinks by different amounts in the two directions. Tangential shrinkage is around twice as much as radial. It looks like the board got wet and the “order” pieces pulled apart the “chaos” pieces.

-- Steve

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Steve

82 posts in 1488 days


#5 posted 04-29-2019 09:36 PM


It looks like the “order” portion has the rings mostly running horizontal, or at least slightly more horizontal than vertical. The “chaos” portion is biases towards vertical.

Wood shrinks by different amounts in the two directions. Tangential shrinkage is around twice as much as radial. It looks like the board got wet and the “order” pieces pulled apart the “chaos” pieces.

- Steve Peterson

Good analysis—I hadn’t noticed that. There’s also a slight crack opposite the one pictured, so the full-width “chaos” elements on the ends must be shrinking around than the central “order”, pulling the board apart at the middle.

Lesson learned.

~Steve

-- ~Steve

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1748 posts in 1972 days


#6 posted 05-01-2019 02:27 AM

Besides the ring direction:
To my eye, it also seems as though the cracks are propagating along the zones between sap wood and heart wood. These both have slightly different shrink rates, and IF there is stress, it will track along these lines.

FWIW – I stopped using any sap wood pieces in my end grain cutting boards due cracks. Seem likes every time I have used maple, cherry, or hickory with sap wood it generates cracks, even in center of board.

PS – not an expert, only make cutting boards to use up scraps.
YMMV

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3593 posts in 1052 days


#7 posted 05-01-2019 03:17 AM



It looks like the “order” portion has the rings mostly running horizontal, or at least slightly more horizontal than vertical. The “chaos” portion is biases towards vertical.

Wood shrinks by different amounts in the two directions. Tangential shrinkage is around twice as much as radial. It looks like the board got wet and the “order” pieces pulled apart the “chaos” pieces.

- Steve Peterson

^^^^^THIS ^^^^^

-- Think safe, be safe

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1819 posts in 2954 days


#8 posted 05-01-2019 12:07 PM

I also believe the cracks developed due to shrinkage.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5513 posts in 2829 days


#9 posted 05-01-2019 12:57 PM

Did you put feet on the board? I have found that cracks like that can develop if a board is set on a wet spot on a counter. I now always put feet on my end grain boards to allow air circulation under neath.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Steve's profile

Steve

82 posts in 1488 days


#10 posted 05-01-2019 03:18 PM



Did you put feet on the board? I have found that cracks like that can develop if a board is set on a wet spot on a counter. I now always put feet on my end grain boards to allow air circulation under neath.

- bondogaposis

I haven’t done this in the past, but have considered it, especially for larger boards. I store my boards on end for air circulation; even without a wet spot, a board sitting flat on the counter will dry more on one side than the other. (A niece once asked me if soaking her cutting board in the sink overnight would cause it to fail . . . uh, yeah.)

What kind of feet do you use? Where do you source them?

-- ~Steve

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bondogaposis

5513 posts in 2829 days


#11 posted 05-01-2019 03:59 PM

I get my feet from RubberFeet.US. They come with a steel grommet that I throw away, because I figure that they will rust and get crummy. I put them on with stainless pan head screws. They are non slip and non marring, and I have been happy with them.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1346 posts in 2430 days


#12 posted 05-01-2019 04:28 PM

I like the feet I get from Menard’s. They are not especially cheap, but they look good, provide decent traction to keep the board from slipping, and do not leave any marks. They are called Slipstick Grippers. They also make some that are intended to slide (as the brand name would imply) but I don’t use those.

Here is a picture of the feet on a board.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3593 posts in 1052 days


#13 posted 05-01-2019 05:24 PM

Bondo

Which foot do you order, seems they offer several firmness’s, not sure if that is the correct word? I figure 1/4” height, and you could size per the boards size. Says free ship in the USA, is that on any order?

Do you get much staining/rust from the screws? I know stainless = NO RUST, yeah whooptity doo. That all depends on how much chromium oxide they have. Some of the screws marked as SS have none, so therefore are just metal screws, and quickly become rusty if exposed to a wet life. The beach of that is I have never seen a listing of chromium oxide amount on any screws, and even if it was there, I have seen SS that did not stain, or rust, but have no idea how much they contain….. Meanwhile head runs around chasing @$$.... Which brand screw do you use, and have you seen rusting, or staining? I’ve been using a lot of Spax of late, and am happy with them as a brand, but I haven’t had need for SS as a quality, so not sure how well they do there.

I’ve always used the adhesive backed stick on’s to eliminate anything metal on the board. Some failure rate, but you just know they still wash them in the dishwasher, no matter how much you say not to.

-- Think safe, be safe

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