Oak Dining Table swelled and shrunk in storage.

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Forum topic by D1st posted 06-23-2011 03:42 PM 2484 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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290 posts in 3034 days

06-23-2011 03:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak clamp refurbishing

I have an oak table that we had in storage for years due to our then living arrangements. We now live in a big enough house to have the table in the dining room but it has damage. The top has started to separate in some areas and I am not sure how to go about fixing it. The joints that are separating are not huge but big enough to see. From what I can tell there are no dowels, pocket holes, or any type of holder other than the glue. I tried to squeeze glue into the separating areas and clamped tightly for a day, but no luck.. Any help is appreciated. These pics are just one spot as there are 3 to address.


6 replies so far

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3045 days

#1 posted 06-23-2011 10:18 PM

If the cracks go all the way through use a shop vac on the underside to suck the glue through. Apply copiously, suck through, clamp overnight, and clean up (scrape off). If not all the way through, use a thin ca glue and clamp.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View verdesardog's profile


160 posts in 2605 days

#2 posted 06-23-2011 11:59 PM

You will never get those creack to close up, even in a normal living space there are changes in temp and humidity…..they will just open up agian.

-- .. heyoka ..

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3185 days

#3 posted 06-24-2011 08:01 AM

Steve, sounds right….about a year ago I heard about using the vac to pull
glue thru the wood. If you have to fill the crack with a filler, GF has some
gel stains real close to that color….Good Luck!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Loren's profile


10373 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 06-24-2011 09:10 AM

Just leave it alone. It will acclimate and either the cracks will close up
or they won’t. You can fill them with wax or shellac burn-in sticks if
you like. You can also rip and re-joint if you’re just plain crazy and the
thing bothers you. There is a school of thought that it is best to
“hollow” joint boards so the ends are pulled together by mechanical
advantage. The theory is the joint will be more resistant to separation
due to the increased pressure at the ends.

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 2549 days

#5 posted 06-24-2011 10:30 AM

i would leave it in the enviroment that you want to keep it for a few weeks and see if the wood gains an equilibrium . my guess is the cracks will either close if it takes on moisture or will open more if enviroment is dry. then i would fill with epoxy and refinish. you could also mix some sawdust with the epoxy to get some colour into the cracks

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2844 days

#6 posted 06-24-2011 11:11 PM

The epoxy is the only appropriate easily-got choice here. Yellow glue won’t stick to glue residue, so your fix wouldn’t work with it, even if the boards wanted to go back together. But they don’t.

Any of the radical repairs suggested—recutting, epoxy namely—will supplant your current concerns with finishing issues.

The quick way out: soft putty and live with it until it tells you something new.

The Mr. Detail way: recut and rejoint and reglue and strip and resand and deal with the finishing left to do.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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