Old oak table with cracks

kweenannSeptember 17, 2013

I have a round oak dining table, I bought from two old ladies.
I love the table and have had it for 30 years now, but the top needs refinishing.
The problem is since I have owned it, the seams have opened up on the top of the table, probably due to the dryer air in my house, and salt and pepper and crumbs get in the cracks.
I would like to seal up these lines before I put a finish on the top.
What would you reccomend?

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Unfortunately it looks like the wood is separating at the glue joints. It will need to be cut apart, and reglued before refinshing

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Most any short cut filling of cracks will only detract from the wonderful wood caracteristics. The table is worth saving wherther that means leaving it as is or disassembly and reassembled.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:19AM
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This is quarter sawed American oak and probably around 100 years old. It's too late now, but if you are using it as a dining table it should have been covered. This is probably not a job for an amateur. Would suggest you discuss your problem with an antique dealer that specializes in wood furniture.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 10:57AM
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With all due respect, Texasredhead, you've got a couple of posts warning about "destroying value of antiques" by doing a repair.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 10:07PM
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With regard to the table in question I said it was probably not a job for an amateur. IMO, there are antiques that are mainly used for daily purposes and then there are professional level antiques. I have both. If your purpose is utilitarian, refinishing a piece to make it look better for your use is perfectly acceptable. Recently saw one of the Kino twins appraising a game table from the 18th century. He appraised the table at $250,000 to $350,000. He said it would be worth an additional $100,000 plus. if it had not been refinished.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Flexner's point is that it may have probably needed refinished, and leaving it bare and in bad condition (after all, finishes are meant to protect the wood) may have contributed to its more rapid deterioration. You never hear the Kenos say something like, "This was a nice piece, it's too bad someone hadn't taken better care of it because it's in really bad shape now and worth very little without extensive restoration work." Those just don't make the program nor the high-end auction house they work for.

I hear people all the time worry about destroying the value of their $50 table. I'm tempted to ask them how much they think it might be worth, then say I have a minimum of 20% of the retail value for any work on it.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 11:02AM
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I don't think the table is rare nor unusual but is good quility that is worth being properly rehabed rather than patched up or sent to the landfill. IMO it would be a great project for the above average hobbiest woodworker . Actually,a jointer,some cabinet scrappers,sandpaper,steel wool/scotch pads,yellow glue,clamps and good quility oil base finish would be about all that is nessary. My advise to the owner is get an estimate for repairing it and decide if they like it well enough to pay. If the cost of repair is too much,sell it to somone who will pay or has the ability to repair it.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 11:45PM
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