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 Post subject: wood cracking
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 278
Location: Hamilton, MS
Several years ago a friend of mine cut down a huge cedar tree and took it to a band saw mill. Some of the boards were
12 to 14 inches wide. He finished the inside of his basement man cave with this wood. Rough cut, no joining, planing, or sanding. Looks good, even with all the knots, bad spots, etc. He likes the way it looks, but it would not be my thing.
Now I am using that same wood to build a corner display cabinet for his knife collection. It will be finished on the outside with natural stain and poly. I am joining, planing, and sanding the wood. It will have a top door with glass to view the display on glass shelves inside.
I am having a problem with the wood cracking. I cut the four pieces to make the glass framed top door. I didn't get to
work on it for a couple of days and when I went back one of the pieces had a crack the entire length of the board. It
didn't look big and wide, but it did go all the way through the wood and just a little pressure would break the piece at
the crack. I worked glue into the crack from both sides and left it clamped for two days. It held good. But when I started
to put the frame together I had the same problem with another piece of the frame. Another day or two lost waiting on glue
to dry. Happened on three of the four pieces. Other pieces I am using in the construction are doing the same thing so this
project is using way to much time repairing the boards and waiting on the glue to dry. WHY! is the wood cracking like this.
I think I now know, but I want your thoughts. I found out last night the tree was dead before he cut it down. Could this
be the reason for the cracking. The wood has been laying in covered shed for several years and the shed it large enough
that the wood has never been subjected to the rain and other elements. It was also covered. The wood is mostly straight
as it was stored properly not just piled up random. Of course, his rough looking finished man cave it doesn't matter if the
boards crack since it is really rough looking.
Your thoughts please.

 Post subject: Re: wood cracking
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 1:01 am
Posts: 11273
Location: Hamilton, MS
George, it seems to be a combination of 2 things. The width of the wood and how aggressive your sanding was. Aggressive sanding will heat the wood and it will cool quickly, which in a wide board could cause the cracking. I'd suggest ripping the wide boards to 6" or less before sanding and joining.

Note that I did not have a cracking problem with red cedar on the weapons display I made a few years ago - All the boards were between 1"-3".


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