Fixing Broken End Tables

Awhile back, I made some end tables out of a couple of old pallets that were hanging around my workshop. Unfortunately, due to an inherent flaw in the design of these tables, one of them developed a pretty serious crack after just a few months of being inside of my house:

In order to fix the crack, I had to cut the table top apart and replace the broken pieces, and then rebuild the mitered maple frame that encircles the piece. Speaking of the frame – commenters on both Reddit and YouTube helpfully pointed out that it’s actually the cause of the issues. Basically, the laminate pieces that make up the table top will expand and contract across their grain as the humidity in the room changes. The maple frame that encircles the table top holds them in place, preventing them from moving. If the forces within the table top get too strong, the wood will crack to relieve the pressure. So, stay tuned for part three of the end table saga wherein I totally rebuild the table tops? We’ll see how long they go before cracking again.

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