What to know
what to expect....
when purchasing solid wood furniture compared to a veneered product the care and responsibility of your price is quite different. Here I will list some common happenings to solid wood tables, what to expect and how it can be remedied.
Firstly what are bread boards you say?
Bread boards are a solid plank that goes in the opposite direction of the other planks on the ends of the table top... this is the best way I know how to describe it. They're simply aesthetic and are really about what you find looks best. Our rectangular table extensions look like a bread board when they're connected to the table so this is something you will want to consider. Do you always want your table to have the bread board look or only when you add your extensions?
many clients choose to have bread boards on the ends of their table tops. This feature is strictly aesthetic and as wood is a natural product and the fact that these boards are running in the opposite direction of all the other boards you will notice that in dryer months of fall and winter that your breadboards can start to hang over the edge by up to 1/4" at times. This process is completely normal as wood really only shrinks one way. We tell all of our clients of this in our after care instructions however some still panic. Now we tell all of our clients to wait for spring and summer to see if the table swells back or to meet the bread boards. Typically this is what will happen however if that table doesn't expand back to meet the length of the bread boards then we would simply come out to cut them flush and touch up the cut with stain to match.
Here is an example of what normal over hang of bread boards will look like over the winter months. This is a photo I found on google and this is quite extreme.
Cracks & splits
Here at HOG we take as many precautionary measures as possible to avoid any climate damage to our pieces. We purchase kiln dried material and take all the measures to alllow the wood to breath and move through the seasons as it should without causing damage. Even though we take these measures we are working with a natural product that will make us eat our words when it likes to do so... in 99% of cases if the wood is going to shrink and split for any reason it will do so in the first 1-3 years. There are many approaches we will take to remedy splits or cracks and each time it is decided in a case by case basis.
Here is an example of a serious split in a table top due to climate changes,
photo courtesy of google images.
What do we do to try to stop this you say? Well I'm most cases the main reason that this is happening other then having a wonky board is how we attach the tops to the bases. Here in the photo below is an example of using table mounting brackets from lee valley to attach a table top which still secures the top to the base but allows it to move as it needs as to not cause splits or damage.