Splits in beach worktop

My 4 month old new 40mm solid beech worktops have started to split in a couple of locations all in the same general area.
It is close to a 90 degree joint in the woktop (they only ovelap 100mm), and what appears to have happened is the 90 degree section has shrunk along its length (above dishwasher, so gets warm), and dragged the other worktop withit, until it wouldn't move anyfurther, and then started to split.
The splits are along the joints of the staves, the worst is 5" long approx 1mm wide at worst. The other 2 are quite fine but noticeable.
I have a choice, remove the dishwasher and slacken off the worktop bolt which joints the 2 worktops at 90 degrees, and see if they go back naturally. The problem here is the joint is also glued so releasing the bolt may have no affect.
The other choice is to monitor the splits to make sure they dont get any worse (I am assuming most of the shrinkage has now been taken up) and then fill them, resand and then oil.
I was thinking about mixing pva with sanding dust from an off cut, filling the splits, sanding then re oiling, or mixing the dust with the worktop oil (good cour match?) allowing to set slightly then filling etc. Last choice would be propiertary filling kit but I'm dubious about getting a good colour match.
Any ideas/experiences?
thanks
Justin
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Hi Justin,
Sounds like you've got a bit of a nasty mess there. First 2 ports of call would be the place the worktop came from and the person who fitted it. It definitely sounds like the heat from the dishwasher has caused it and it may be that there isn't enough air circulation to let the heat out so the wood is absorbing the heat and it's drying the wood out, or that the underside of the worktop hasn't been protected from the dishwasher. I am not sure what you can do to make it better, but consulting the fitter and the manufacturer to see what come back you have would be a good idea, if that doesn't get you anywhere then find a local steel supplier and get a piece of thin stainless sheet cut to size and fix it to the underside of the worktop above to protect it from the heat, this would at least stop it getting much worse. From then you could try forcing moisture back in to the wood and then sealing it in with a few good coats of oil or wax. If you want to fill it then steer clear of mixing wood with PVA, wood mixed with a cellulose base or a bleached shellac, or some 2 part polyester makes a better filler.
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Justin > wrote in message ...

Also, it's unlikely to have been affected by a local hot spot. It tends to acclimatise to the average conditions in the room assuming a normal circulation of air. Sounds like the wood wasn't sufficiently dry, which is always a risk. Large batches are dried to an average moisture content, and nobody can predict which bits will play up. All you can say is that it has probably settled down now and if you fill the cracks it won't move any further. That said, winter is coming and those cold, crisp days create the driest indoor conditions of the year. I find plastic wood the easiest to colour match.
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