Repairing split table-top

Hi
I wonder if anyone could help me.
I've just taken our dining table out from the garage where it had been stored during renovations to the house. To my horror the top of the table has split down about 1/5 of it's length - the split is about 8 inches long and 1 inch wide at its widest point, with the table top being about 1 1/4 inches thick. The table top is made of solid oak in three sections (main central section which is split, with a narrower piece of wood on each end, tongue and grooved in). The whole top of the table can be removed because the table is extendable.
I know it was stupid to keep it in the garage but I am gutted because it is a lovely table (the only bit of furniture I have really saved up for).
So, any ideas for how I can at least try to sort it out? Is there some sort of clamp that I could use or is that a waste of time - any ideas would be appreciated.
Cheers
Ben
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Wed, May 2, 2007, 12:15am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@snh.gov.uk doth query: <snip> So, any ideas for how I can at least try to sort it out? Is theresome sort of clamp that I could use or is that a waste of time - any ideas would be appreciated.
I suppose nailing a piece of plywood over the whole top is out.
Bummer. Clamping was my first thought. My second thought was put it back in the house, live with the crack for awhile, let the table get re-acclimated to the house, and see what the crack does on it's own, before taking any other action. I'd go with my second thought.
That's as far as I'm willing to commit myself for advice, for now anyway.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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Ben,
From your description it is uncclear of you have breadboard ends or not. 1 inch wide seeems impossible. 1 inche deep (into the thickness of the table..sure. I picture would really help.
Post a picture to alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking and we can make a more informed assessment.
-Steve
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Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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What a downer!
My first thought was why did it split? There's a good chance that putting it in the garage just speeded up something that was going to happen anyway because of the way it's made.
As I understand it, the top is 1 1/4" thick x 40 or so inches long. The grain on the top runs lengthwise, and there is a piece on each end with the grain running sidewise, with a tongue and groove joint between the ends and the rest of the top.
Not seeing it, it seems to me like the top wanted to shrink widthwise because of temperature or humidity changes, and the crossways ends hindered its moving, until the wood finally found a weak spot and split.
But 1" wide is A LOT of movement.
I like the idea of putting the table back where it was and seeing if the wood will move back to where it was. If you force the crack shut and glue it, the stress is still there, and you will end up with another parallel crack at the next weakest spot.
If the crack closes, you could put a couple of butterfly dutchmen across it. They will hold the two parts in alignment.
The crack becomes part of the personality of the table.
You could remove the ends and rip the top to remove the crack, then reglue the top. Fairly extreme in my mind, and you will lose width.
If the table has value, I'd consult a person who does furniture restoration for advice or services.
Shame to lose a nice piece of furniture.
Good luck

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On 2 May 2007 00:15:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@snh.gov.uk wrote:

Sounds like the table will need a tablecloth or a new top. You can rip out the split section and replace it--this means the entire table will need refininshing. A piece of properly made furniture should not split if stored under cover. I wonder how the top was fastened to the base?? If that's correctly done, the wood may have some serious internal stresses with more splitting in the future.
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Ben: Looks like you have several folks trying to figure out the problem without actually seeing it. That's good. I would suggest submitting a few photos, in a reasonably small format, to alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking (aka abpw); or linking them to this newsgoup if you have a website or use a photo sharing service (ex. - Flickr). Pics of the top and from below, showing under-structure, would help.
It sounds like you have breadboard ends. Properly installed they are great. Improperly installed they can cause a crack to develop. But a 1" crack is huge even for a breadboard problem (no offense, but the horror of seeing damage like this can increase the size of the damage). Also, how old is the table? If it is fairly new you might have reason to go back to the seller.
RonB

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On May 2, 3:15 am, snipped-for-privacy@snh.gov.uk wrote:

1 in wide crack? Come on, that can't be right...
If somehow it really is 1 in wide you need to rip & joint into two pieces and re-glue or put carboard under the crack and fill the crack with some type of epoxy.
After re-acclimation of course.
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