Wood Slab Table Cracking

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Forum topic by matt123 posted 10-05-2013 01:34 AM 7088 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 1824 days

10-05-2013 01:34 AM


I really could use some help!

I recently finished putting together a very simple wood slab table for stuff in my kitchen. However, it is starting to get cracks where the knots are and they are getting bigger. I really want to stop this from getting worse, I read to use epoxy to fill them, will this work? Also are the cinder blocks a bad idea, they have felt pads on them to stop any scratching; I am waiting for tree stumps from a friend to make legs. Are the cinder blocks too much weight? I was told the slab dried for 1 year, but its about 2.5 inches thick. Lastly, it has been hot in my apartment. I am open to suggestions. The slab was finished with 5 coats of arm r seal, and 1 base coat of dewaxed shellac.

32 replies so far

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18 posts in 1824 days

#1 posted 10-05-2013 01:37 AM

My only guess is that not enough moisture has gotten out and the extra heat in my apartment is causing it to crack this quickly, I put it in like 3 weeks ago.

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1880 days

#2 posted 10-05-2013 01:55 AM

It seems that the rule is to let something like that dry for one year per inch before you start making tables out of it. I made the same mistake with some pin oak. Now that its inside the drying has accelerated.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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18 posts in 1824 days

#3 posted 10-05-2013 11:50 AM

What if I put the tables back outside in the garage or something for anther year? I am not crazy about doing ti but it sounds better than huge cracks. Or can I use Epoxy to fill the cracks?

View mahdee's profile


3888 posts in 1791 days

#4 posted 10-05-2013 01:39 PM

You have many options as it relates to the cracks; epoxy, gems mixed in epoxy, copper dust and different color wood that can be wedged at the bottom and hammered in.


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276 posts in 2630 days

#5 posted 10-05-2013 01:59 PM

You need to control the drying or it will continue to crack. A slab 2” thick should air dry for 3 years in my woodshop. I would try and find someone with a moisture meter to check the MC of the slabs and would hold off on trying to fix the cracks untill you have the moisture content down to 8%

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18 posts in 1824 days

#6 posted 10-05-2013 06:23 PM


I do not know anyone with a MC machine. Here in northern NJ, its a miracle I found a mill that sold slabs under 500 a piece. I am close to NYC. I ended up using a celluose based product called plastic wood, it was a putter type product and I filled the cracks with it.

I understand what you are saying about checking the content first as if it is too high it will just continue to find ways to crack. I panicked a little bit and put in that product as I read it will bond with the wood and help with the cracks. Honestly I would have needed a syringe to get the epoxy on the cracks as they were deep but slim.

I feel like my only option is to buy a Moisture checker and put the slabs back in my garage, or just leave it with the this product in it and see what happens.

I am open to suggestions at this point as well, I will pull the slabs if it is the best thing to do and try something else. TO be honest, I do not even know where to buy a moisture meter (amazon?), if so what brand and model.

View richardwootton's profile


1699 posts in 1979 days

#7 posted 10-05-2013 09:02 PM

Harbor Freight, lowes and Home Depot all sell relatively inexpensive moisture meters.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

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18 posts in 1824 days

#8 posted 10-05-2013 11:24 PM

Ok so, if I get a moisture meter and the content is over, what 10, 15%, then I should pull the slabs from my apartment and put them in my garage? Or in a basement?

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1880 days

#9 posted 10-06-2013 01:05 AM

The odds are that no matter where you put them, theyre just going to crack more as they finish drying. I would just leave them where they are and either learn to love the cracks or do some sort of fix once they have stablized.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View matt123's profile


18 posts in 1824 days

#10 posted 10-06-2013 12:19 PM

Thank you very much, for the help. I will reapply more of that DAP plastic wood or an Epoxy (if its bad) after it stabilizes, maybe another year.

Thank you all for the help, this website has great deal of wisdom.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2981 days

#11 posted 10-07-2013 03:53 PM

99% of problems like these are moisture related alright, you’re on the right track in letting it dry more completely. Once you get back to it, heat the epoxy filler up and it will get thin like water allowing it to get all the way to the bottom of the crack. Best of luck!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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18 posts in 1824 days

#12 posted 10-07-2013 04:00 PM


has anyone used DAP plastic wood, I was told that while it is a putty type texture, it is a cellulose based product that can help with cracking, is this true or is epoxy the better alternative?

View BacktotheWood's profile


125 posts in 3045 days

#13 posted 10-27-2013 01:04 PM

I believe that epoxy would be better. It can seep into the wood on both sides of the crack before it hardens and help keep the crack from widening. The plastic wood will separate as the crack widens.

-- Bob, --Silence & smile are two powerful tools. Smile is the way to solve many problems & Silence is the way to avoid many problems.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2591 days

#14 posted 10-27-2013 01:16 PM

The safest way to check the moisture content is check something that’s been in your house for a while, and match it as close as you can.

I agree with some of the others, just let it dry now that its in the house.

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

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3691 days

#15 posted 10-27-2013 02:51 PM

My preference for slab cracks are butterfly joints. The other option is epoxy. Mirror coat or bartop epoxy can be mixed and poured into the crack, completely filling the void. Press filling with putty is little more than a bandaid and will eventually flake out of the cracks.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

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