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Old 07-24-2014, 09:27 AM   #1
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Hi, I'm a newbie; not only on this site but to carpentry as a whole. I have been able to put together a maple w/cedar kitchen table top. My problem is that the wood (cedar which frames the table) isn't as tight against the table as I would like so there is tiny cracks/gaps (less than 1/8")between the framing and the table. How do I fix this. The sides are already glued on and in place. I'd like to post pict(s) but not sure how to do that as of yet. Once I figure that out I'll do it. My table is 56.5"x56.5" with 4 large squares of Maple connected by 2 strips (centered) of Cedar and framed by the cedar as well. I hope this helps picture what the table looks like.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, in advance.

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Old 07-24-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Really going to need that picture, going to need at least 5, post before posting one.
There trying to keep the spammers at bay.
Main issue with filling gaps on a clear finish (not painted) surface is there going to stick out like a sore thumb.
There is no stainable filler despite what the labels may say.
The trick was getting a tight fit before the glue up.
Tools like a jointer, and Kreg tool are often used to get a tighter fit.

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Old 07-24-2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Joe is correct about getting the joints right to begin with.Maple and cedar together is also a bad combination as they will not move equally with changes in humidity .In general it's not a good idea to join hard and soft woods together.
I know a few tricks which may help but need a pic to see exactly what your dealing with.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


I wanted Maple and Walnut, I sent my wife to Windsor Plywood and she came home with the Cedar. The salesman at the store said it was a good choice. Mistake number one and two. Sent my wife and I didn't take the cedar back when I should've.
I have posted some pictures, it appears I can only post 3. Not that it matters, the 3 show what needs to be seen.
Thanks again for your help and information.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:20 AM   #5
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


If I've done this right there should be at least two Picts.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:21 AM   #6
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Hmm, k guess 1 @ a time then...
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Another one.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:23 AM   #8
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Lastly.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:25 AM   #9
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Hope these help, on a side note though... What can happen from joining soft/hard wood?
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:43 PM   #10
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Soft and hard wood react differently to weather changes.
If you have some of the cedar scraps left start sanding them to get some cedar sanding dust.When you get a pile of it in a container start mixing in a little bit of clear shellac (not amber) and mixing until you get a paste.Using the edge of a credit card or something similar work this paste into the cracks.Start at the edge of the maple working towards the cedar trying to get as little as possible on the maple.
Sand and finish.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:53 PM   #11
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


I you chose to use my method you'll have probably bough t a small can of shellac and only used a little of it.I would suggest using the leftover as your first coat to seal the table top.Cedar is a lot more pourous than maple and will suck up a lot more finish so it's a good idea to seal the top.Shellac is a great sealer and is compatible with most topcoats.It is alcohol based and dries quickly so don't try and over brush it.Try to lay down one solid coat.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:39 PM   #12
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Fill gaps/cracks in maple/cedar table


Thanks a lot Mako1, I will definitely try your suggestion. Fortunately I have a pail full of Cedar dust. I actually had planned to use a shellac (wasn't sure/clear as to which to use though (I am now)). I will post when I've completed this table.
Thanks again for your help!

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