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Tabletop cracking, need a fix to stop it

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Forum topic by Myles Standridge posted 07-14-2019 12:33 AM 650 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Myles Standridge

88 posts in 3395 days


07-14-2019 12:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cracked sapele

I made this Queen Anne dressing table ~20 years ago when I lived in the Portland OR. area out of Sapele, I got impatient about building layers of finish and stopped short of where I needed to be. I decided to remove the wax and finish the job, I’ve been in AZ for nine years and it appeared to be fine until I removed the top and flipped it over and found a couple of cracks, both in line with each other. I used a steel bracket attaching the top that will allow for expansion so it seems OK except in the middle of the table this crack showed up, it doesn’t show on the top and I’d like to stop it from getting worse if possible.
1. Will a butterfly work to hold it?
2. How do I keep it from getting worse?

TIA

Myles


21 replies so far

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Joe Lyddon

10669 posts in 4505 days


#1 posted 07-14-2019 01:01 AM

You went from High Water content to Hell Fire DRYNESS… The wood had to do something…

Chances are it will not get worse… unless it starts to RAIN & RAIN & RAIN in AZ!
When do think that will happen? LOL

Time for Charles Neil to chime in for his viewpoint…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/index.php

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Myles Standridge

88 posts in 3395 days


#2 posted 07-14-2019 01:23 AM



You went from High Water content to Hell Fire DRYNESS… The wood had to do something…

Chances are it will not get worse… unless it starts to RAIN & RAIN & RAIN in AZ!
When do think that will happen? LOL

Time for Charles Neil to chime in for his viewpoint…

- Joe Lyddon

What makes you say it won’t get worse? What’s going to stop it? I live in Northern AZ @ 6700 ft elevation in a pine forest and it’s monsoon season right now so we get wide swings in humidity.


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bilyo

780 posts in 1555 days


#3 posted 07-14-2019 01:29 AM

+1 Chances are good that Joe is correct. I might consider 2-3 butterflies in that area for insurance.
It is hard to tell from the photos if you have the same finish and number of coats on both sides. This would be good also.

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therealSteveN

3378 posts in 1027 days


#4 posted 07-14-2019 01:38 AM



I ve been in AZ for nine years and it appeared to be fine until I removed the top and flipped it over and found a couple of cracks, both in line with each other.
TIA

Myles

- Myles Standridge

Myles, it sounds like you aren’t sure if this occurred in the “we know it’s wet in Portland,” or if it happened more recently? Sounds like Az can have a taste of both wet, and dry. Where you are is it both, or just dry? If it’s dry mostly I would sit on it now that you know about it, and see if it progresses. If it doesn’t I wouldn’t get in a hurry to change anything.

Odds are it happened in Portland. Now if it is rainy, and humid where you are, that could complicate things. Also you just say on the bottom, is it following a glue line?

-- Think safe, be safe

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Aj2

2383 posts in 2251 days


#5 posted 07-14-2019 02:24 AM

I wouldn’t do anything. Unless you feel the need to try your hand at butterfly inlay.
If the top were to crack badly. You could always makeup another one Sapele is rare or anything.
At the lumber yard I visit Sapele is mostly quarter sawn or rift.
Any boards I’ve seen flat sawn with cathedral grain are badly warped. It’s a good clue to how this species of so called Mahogany behaves in service.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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Nubsnstubs

1590 posts in 2183 days


#6 posted 07-14-2019 02:26 AM

If you guys would have read his post, you would have read where he’s been in Arizona for the last 9 years. The crack probably has been in the wood longer than that. Since it’s on the underside, fill it with putty, seal the bottom, finish it with a good quality finish, and don’t worry about it. It’s already 20 years old, and will outlive Joe unless he happens to get real unlucky and has the forest burn up around him. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Joe Lyddon

10669 posts in 4505 days


#7 posted 07-14-2019 03:31 AM

OK, I didn’t know you were UP in the different than average AZ weather…

I still think that the crack probably happened soon after moving to AZ and the first REALLY HOT HOT season.

I also think that if you tried to stop Mother Nature with fillers or butterflies, it just might make thinks worse.

If it’s still on the underside, after 2-3 seasons, leave it there, and don’t push it unless you LOOK under it and see significant changes.
Just remember… if you fill it with anything, and it wants to expand, it will get worse & worse…
You can’t mess with Mother Nature…

I really think if you just forget it and let Nature go, everything will be just fine.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/index.php

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Tony_S

996 posts in 3536 days


#8 posted 07-14-2019 10:15 AM

It looks like simple Kiln checking.
It was probably there when you built the table 20 years ago, but was closed up and you didn’t see it. Moved to a drier climate and it opened up.
If it’s been in Arizona for 9 years and hasn’t come through to the top yet, it isn’t going to.
Don’t sweat it.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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ChuckV

3226 posts in 3980 days


#9 posted 07-14-2019 01:00 PM

Only to be seen by drunks and dogs.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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bondogaposis

5493 posts in 2804 days


#10 posted 07-14-2019 01:26 PM

Those cracks look pretty small, I wouldn’t bother with butterflies. I would just fill them with epoxy to stabilize it and make sure your attachment to the base allows for movement.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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OSU55

2381 posts in 2442 days


#11 posted 07-14-2019 01:30 PM

Most likely a result of moving to a drier climate and wont get any worse. If mine I would fill it with ca glue and proceed. Cheap, quick, and easy. Works very well at reducing splitting as my turnings dry.

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Myles Standridge

88 posts in 3395 days


#12 posted 07-14-2019 02:24 PM

Thanks guys, I did Not have equal amounts of finish on both side originally so I’ll put some CA glue in it and add equal finish to both sides which means I need to do the inside the carcass as well.
I’ll post a pic when I’m done, it should look so much better afterwards, it was kind of dull and didn’t “pop”. It was my first attempt at Queen Anne style so I’d like it to be more noticable.

Myles

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OSU55

2381 posts in 2442 days


#13 posted 07-14-2019 05:18 PM

What finish are you using to make it “pop”?

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Myles Standridge

88 posts in 3395 days


#14 posted 07-15-2019 02:13 AM



What finish are you using to make it “pop”?

- OSU55

Well pop is an over statement really, it was just not finished very well so it was just blah. I’m using a Tung oil, turpentine and varnish mixture. Starting with equal portions then start adding more varnish, using steel wool for the first application then just wipe on.

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OSU55

2381 posts in 2442 days


#15 posted 07-15-2019 12:11 PM

You may be interested in reading this.

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