Highly Esteemed Galoots,
I need some sage advice before I
attempt to to repair and refinish an Oak table, but there is a
hitch in my git-along here.
Long before there was Dollywood,
when Gatlinburg, TN was still a quiet little tourist trap, my
wife and I stopped by a little place, a house really, that
appeared to be sliding down the side of the mountain.
This was summer 1974. But,
the magnetic draw was the unfinished Oak furniture being made by
a man named David C. Crick who appeared to have come straight
from the hills and hollows. And since the house way off
level, his tennies were sort of slopped over to match the lean.
He was a man of skill and his corpulent presence limited his
working area as well. My size now!
To shorten this story... My
wife of two years fell in love with a 48 inch round table and
six ladderback chairs. We were driving a VW Bug. So
for a phenomenal fee, by 2nd year school teacher standards, they
tried to deliver them to my classroom! But, I got that
stopped and we finally got them to the farmstead where we were
abiding amongst the only field of feral pear cactus I had ever
seen in Illinois. But, I digress.
This table survived 3 boys and 2
grandchildren until about a month ago when I was just standing
by the table with my hand casually on its top whilst talking
upon the phone. The next thing I heard was a noise very
akin to a rifle/pistol shot at very close range! I know
this sound experientally having fired an unloaded pistol through
the hall wall and into my sister's closet in my adolescent
years. So I ducked... Just in case.
When I regained my wits and stood
up I immediately noticed a large ugly crack in the Oak table
following the vertical grain in one board. It extended
from one side of the table to the other. If I lift the table up
on the side closest to the crack I can make it close up pretty
much. I have not yet tried long clamps, mostly because of the
fear of damaging the table.
So here are my questions:
1. Has anybody experienced an
unexplained crack in solid White Oak that has been in service
for 35 years more or less?
2. Any thoughts on how best to
fix the crack without causing more problems or just transferring
stress to another board that may be weak or stressed?
3 After all these years the table
has a beautiful patina. It has been treated with linseed
oil and turps several times a year. After the repair is
there any reason why I should consider some other finish?
And no, we ain't gonna Polyurinate on it either. There is only
two of us and my wife isn't too messy and she is good to clean
up after me.
4. The matching chairs exist only
in the rafters of the garage. They were pinned with metal that
loosened beyond being usable. Pretty to look at, but unstable
and I haven't felt like re-building them yet.