This past August we harvested lumber from a 100 year old granary at our farm. The lumber was plained on site and taken to an outdoor workshop where it was crafted into 4 beautiful 6’ x 3’ tables. Arranged together they make a stunning 12’ x 6’ conference table for our downtown Columbus offices.
Planks in the table tops were screwed and glued together and screwed to an Oak frame. The unstained tables were finished with tung oil to let the contrast of the Hickory, Red Oak, and Swamp White Oak planks stand out.
After a month or so in our conference room the tables began to split. All 4 tables have some splitting along the glue joints and or planks that have large splits. We pulled all the screws out of the table tops and now the tables are stacked in a storeroom as we figure out what to do now.
We have spoken with a number of people and received opinions as varied as “it should not have been framed, there was no way for it to shrink and expand,” to “that’s just what happens with Swamp White Oak, it always cracks,” to “it needed to dry inside the building for a year before putting the table together,” to “you can not mix woods.”
What is true? What do we do to stop further damage? How can the tables be repaired?