Do I write this off to "wood moves" or something else?

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Forum topic by Blindhog posted 01-26-2021 05:34 PM 322 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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184 posts in 2058 days

01-26-2021 05:34 PM

I built a mesquite table using kiln dried mesquite from a reputable source around a year ago. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I had it in the home for apx. a month when we suffered a fire that resulted in moving everything into storage (conditioned space) for apx. 10 months. When the table was brought back I was relieved to find no damage had occurred during shipment/storage. We are in the house for around 5 weeks when these cracks developed in one plank of the top. No other cracks have shown anywhere else.
I’m wondering if this is just a case of “wood moves” or possibly something else. Cracks do not go all the way through to the bottom and one edge is proud of the surface by apx. 1/32”.
The top is constructed out of 5/4 mesquite that has been epoxy filled for voids/cracks. The epoxy process, as you would imagine was quite lengthy and took 5-6 days to ensure all the cracks/voids were filled completely. I used dominoes for joining the planks together and finished with 5 coats of Arm-R-Seal hand rubbed to 1200 grit.
Maybe someone with a lot of experience in working with mesquite has seen this before or any suggestions are appreciated. It would appear the fix is pretty simple; plane to flat, fill crack with epoxy, and refinish.

Many Thanks,

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

3 replies so far

View Sycamoray's profile


55 posts in 250 days

#1 posted 01-26-2021 06:30 PM

Yeah, this is pretty common in my experience working with mesquite. It’s a pretty wood, but has two drawbacks: short(ish) fibers and lots of movement over time. Even a decade after careful drying, you’d think it has stabilized, but new cracks appear when the humidity jumps up or down.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4587 days

#2 posted 01-26-2021 07:15 PM

Yes it can be Wood movment and construction. If you connect cleats on the bottom of the table by screwing or gluing the cleats down tightly so the top can’t move it cracks, plus you changed the atmosphere it was in twice. The other issue is as “Sycamoray” stated the kind of wood you use.


View Blindhog's profile


184 posts in 2058 days

#3 posted 01-26-2021 08:23 PM

Thanks fellas, that’s what I was afraid of. Interesting, guess it’s just something I’ll have to put up with because I REALLY like the wood.
I did attach top (not too tight) using screws but elongated the holes in crossmember to allow for movement.

Preciate the response

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

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