How would you fix this??

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Forum topic by Manitario posted 03-04-2012 09:23 PM 1367 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2883 days

03-04-2012 09:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My wife has a bedside table that her grandfather made for her, years ago. It is a good example of what happens when wood moves…as you can see the trim has pulled away from the top. I’d like to repair it; the easiest way would be just to cut the trim off and replace it; the problem with this is that I don’t think that I could match the finish of the new trim with the rest of the table. Of course I could strip the existing finish, but that seems like a PITA…any ideas how I could fix the existing trim? I’d thought about using the bandsaw to trim the piece back that has expanded, then re-glue and clamp…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

12 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2997 days

#1 posted 03-04-2012 09:33 PM

It looks like your trim is letting loose and is too long, pry the trim off , re-miter the corners, glue and CLAMP. You should be able to reuse the trim if you are careful prying it off.Work slowly from loose end.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3744 days

#2 posted 03-05-2012 12:33 AM

You can remove the trim and shorten it, but when the humidity increases the center is going to swell up again and the trim will have gaps at the end. If the wood was rather green when it was built, it might not move as much. This design is normally used on plywood or veneered tops. Solid wood is going to move with the seasons and there’s really nothing you can do about it.

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2351 days

#3 posted 03-05-2012 12:40 AM

Is that top solid wood or plywood? If it is solid then I would remove the trim entirely and rout a profile around the edge of the table and call it good. Unless that is plywood, you will continue to have corner separation issues with that trim arrangement no matter what you do.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2883 days

#4 posted 03-07-2012 01:50 PM

thanks guys; I guess this is a good example of why you shouldn’t put trim around a solid wood top. There’s not enough of an overhang on the top to rout a new profile in it, and it makes sense that if I fix the trim, it will continue to separate as the top moves seasonally. I may have to replace the top and refinish the rest of the table to match.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2914 days

#5 posted 03-07-2012 01:55 PM

Thanks for posting this. While I have never had this issue (haven’t built that much stuff yet), this has been quite the educational moment for me. Great tips and explanation guys!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Don W's profile

Don W

18717 posts in 2567 days

#6 posted 03-07-2012 01:57 PM

Another option would be to do a breadboard type trim. One way would be with a wood to match, or you could go a completely different species. (not sure if you’d need to lengthen the width or not)

Breadboard type ends are meant to take the end grain movement.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View waho6o9's profile


8191 posts in 2577 days

#7 posted 03-07-2012 02:44 PM

Cut a rabbet on top of the molding (trim) and let the table top free float in it.
Or, if the trim breaks as you pry it off, make new trim. Then cut the rabbet and make a new detail.
I like that top and would save it.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2355 days

#8 posted 03-07-2012 03:18 PM

If it is yellow pine, it was probably just wet when he got it from the yard, once it dries yellow pine is pretty stable.

If it is cypress, it will continue to move, one of the problems with cypress is that it’s kind of like a sponge and soaks up humidity, which is fine for alot of places with constant low humidity, however where I live, it’s not so much a good thing :/

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 2339 days

#9 posted 03-07-2012 03:22 PM

Looks like that was done with wood that wasnt fully dry.. I would do as other suggested, take that long piece off and shoot off the end until it fits and put it back.. I would hazard to bed that it won’t do too much movement if the table has had some time to dry and stabilize.

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2983 days

#10 posted 03-07-2012 03:53 PM

Since your in a nothing to lose type situation so to speak I would offer this suggestion.
Try disassembling the table and seal all the edges and bottom with sanding sealer. This won’t completely stop wood movement but will lessen its movement quite a bit.

If the end grain is not sanded very smooth, sand it to a smooth almost glass finish to help in sealing the end grain. This will help to tighten up the end grain pores to help the sanding sealer to seal the end grain.

Having worked with yellow pine a lot and sealing all the surfaces I have found this to work quite well for me with minimal wood movement in my projects.
This way you can reuse the trim and will save you from trying to match the finish when reassembling the table.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3744 days

#11 posted 03-07-2012 04:12 PM

This top is made of flat sawn ash and guessing at the width of at least 24”, it will move about 1/2 and inch as the season cycle (worst case).

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#12 posted 03-07-2012 05:26 PM

You might be able to saw through the miter to shorten the length of the problem corner. If it has nails you can use a hack saw. I agree that this top should have finish on the top and bottom,if you remove the trim I would seal the edges also. I also agree with the Idea of bread board edges.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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