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Forum topic by Don posted 12-02-2013 04:44 PM 1175 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don

492 posts in 1901 days


12-02-2013 04:44 PM

A client contacted me and wanted me to make an end grain table top for her using Maple and Purpleheart, dimensions are 28” x 48” x 1 1/2”, a beast by anyone’s standards. Due to the shere size of this thing, I had to make it in sections and join it all up in the end, which I did. I wrapped the table top in Maple to make it look more finished. Finished it like any other end grain cutting board, Mineral Oil and Beeswax because she wanted to use it as a cutting surface.

Client came, loved it and we loaded it up in her vehicle for it’s journey home. This was 4 weeks ago.

Fast forward to today and a “Houston, we have a problem” email. The table top has a lovely side to side split in it, following a joint. Something I did? Humidity change? Wondering if she left it in her vehicle for a while or in a cold room then brought it inside where it was nice and warm?

Thoughts??

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca


34 replies so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1159 posts in 628 days


#1 posted 12-02-2013 04:47 PM

I could be wrong but I think that looks like abuse. I was expecting the crack to be along the glue line, but it continues into the end grain of one of your pieces. It looks like it was dropped or hit or something. Hopefully you can glue and salvage it

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

312 posts in 909 days


#2 posted 12-02-2013 04:48 PM

If she’s using it as a tabletop, maybe she screwed it down without allowing any room for wood movement?

-- Rex

View Don's profile

Don

492 posts in 1901 days


#3 posted 12-02-2013 04:53 PM

She said that she didn’t screw it down, even though she intended to. I told her not to screw it down as it weighed a ton and wasn’t about to go anywhere.

My initial thoughts were either dropped or left in the vehicle and brought inside but I’m not sure the humidity change would cause this or even drastic temperature changes.

I stand behind my projects so I told her that I would make her a new one and will have to salvage this one by making it into smaller cutting boards….

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1159 posts in 628 days


#4 posted 12-02-2013 04:58 PM

Well at least you can still use it Don. Hopefully you get your money out of it and then some. Sorry for that. Your a good man for sorting it out the way you are. That would tick me off.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1472 days


#5 posted 12-02-2013 05:01 PM

Nice of you to make it right for the customer.
I think there is inherent weakness in end grain tops. Just like screwing into endgrain is weaker than screws in long grain. We don’t notice the weakness in a cutting board because of its relatively small size.

There is always the possibility that the joint was starved for glue, or perhaps the temp was <45 degrees?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 731 days


#6 posted 12-02-2013 05:02 PM

It really looks dropped, or stood on, or something. It is a weird failure because you can see where the glue stood up well. Was the base flat and substantial enough to hold this? All kind of questions. Good for you for re making it, there is no good way to end that argument, but without more information it is hard to see what caused this failure, and I can’t think of anything that hasn’t already been pointed out. I will be watching for more information once you get the slab back.

-- Who is John Galt?

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1128 posts in 2529 days


#7 posted 12-02-2013 05:06 PM

” I wrapped the table top in Maple to make it look more finished.,”

Your statement above is the issue, Odds are you glued the band , thus not allowing the board to move, and when it got inside , and began to dry out .. it started to shrink.. End grain or not , wood moves.

most of the modern-day adhesives are stronger than the wood itself, so it cracked in the direction of least resistence ..

I would imagine if you cut the band off and work some glue into the crack it will close and be fine.

View Don's profile

Don

492 posts in 1901 days


#8 posted 12-02-2013 05:14 PM

It really ticks me off and baffles me at the same time. This project was a PITA from the moment I started it but I saw it through. I’ve never seen a board react like this, which is the baffling part.

I suppose the one joint could have been glue starved but it’s never been the case before. If anything, it’s always been too much glue and clean up afterwards.

With about 4 years to go before retirement, I really have no other choice than to make this right with her. I can’t accuse her of dropping it or using it as a Frisbee so I have to suck it up and redo it for her and hope for the best.

At least I learned a few things while doing it and hopefully the smaller boards will sell to cover the cost of everything.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Don's profile

Don

492 posts in 1901 days


#9 posted 12-02-2013 05:19 PM

That’s funny Charles but I actually thought of that as I was attaching the edging but dismissed it as a possibility for future problems.

This is the first time I’ve ever used any kind of edging on a ‘cutting board’ but thought it needed it to finish it off.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Homebrew's profile

Homebrew

64 posts in 845 days


#10 posted 12-02-2013 05:27 PM

I’m pretty sure Charles is on to something here. How did you “wrap” the edges in maple?? The very first end grain board I did, I too wrapped the edges in maple (cherry center). I wrapped with the maple’s edge grain facing up and within a few weeks, blam. Cracked just like yours even though mine was much smaller and thinner. You could try to epoxy it, but if you did as I did, and wrapped the edges not using endgrain, either the epoxy will not hold or something else will happen, like it will crack somewhere else, or it will bow, etc. It will either pull the center panel or not give it any room to move.

With that being said…maybe bread board ends? Those should work. Only glue the corners.

-- Scott Rieman

View Don's profile

Don

492 posts in 1901 days


#11 posted 12-02-2013 05:38 PM

Well….I think the mystery has been solved…it was my stupidity that did it! Well, maybe not stupidity but a rookie mistake…didn’t think it through.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 731 days


#12 posted 12-02-2013 05:41 PM

I missed the part about the banding. I seems the likely cause… or we can still say she jumped on it.. just to protect your ego!! I swear I can see a foot print in the photo. ;)

-- Who is John Galt?

View Don's profile

Don

492 posts in 1901 days


#13 posted 12-02-2013 05:42 PM

“I swear I can see a foot print in the photo” We need a ‘Like’ button in here :o)

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View laketrout36's profile

laketrout36

141 posts in 685 days


#14 posted 12-02-2013 06:01 PM

Maybe a simple project for many but to others it might be just the opposite. I think it takes a lot of guts to take on a large project. Confidence, experience, skill, ability, etc… This would be a fear of mine. Make a larger project for someone and then BAM! something happens.

Some of you truly show your kindness with expressing your helpfullness here. This has to be a factor in why so many woodworkers come here.

View Don's profile

Don

492 posts in 1901 days


#15 posted 12-02-2013 06:07 PM

On the surface, this seemed simple enough…a lot of work but a much larger scale of what I do for my end grain boards so certainly not out of my field at all. The issues came after I accepted the job and then started thinking just how big of a job this was going to be for a one man show in a 2 car garage.

This site is fantastic as we all come here to show what we do, accept our due praise ;o) , praise others and at times give and seek help.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

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