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Wood countertop gaps

Anyone know what I should use to fill the gaps in the wood countertop I have. It is made of 4" Ipe boards and the gaps were originally filled with wood filler, but now are cracking due to expansion and contraction of the boards. I'm looking for suggestions on a stainable substance that would hold up to the movement of the boards throughout the season. Also any thought on what I should put on it to finish it would be helpful as well. Thanks in advance.

Re: Wood countertop gaps

Absolutely nothing will overcome the natural expansion and contraction of wood used in this format. If the wood would have been air or kiln dried to the proper level and then either biscuited or splined prior to assembly into a counter top there may have been a chance. Short of disassembling the top and performing the above described methods I am afraid that any stop gap fillers etc will always show the gaps as the board shrinks in winter.

Re: Wood countertop gaps

Before you give up, and if it's not too late as months have passed, verify that the counter top is mounted to the sub-structure in a way that allows it to move. You should have slide bolts or something so that the counter can move. Over the years as moisture and natural oils leave the wood, it will move less and less.

If needed, re-mount the top so it can move, then fill and seal it again. The other writer is correct that certain measures can be taken during construction of the top to make it a "good quality" top, but no construction technique can guarantee against joints opening if it's not properly mounted.

Best of luck.

Re: Wood countertop gaps

my guess is that it is allowed to move, otherwise I think the top might actually split...and assume the counter was made with separate boards and what you're showing isn't a split.

I've made table tops out of separate pieces of wood using splines (between boards) with tenons meeting a breadboard edge....nothing glued but one (of many) peg (into breadboard and tenon) on each end of the table. The individual boards were allowed to move..you will see the breadboard edge either be wider than the table (boards shrinking), or shorter (boards expanding).

I wouldn't probably build a counter top like this simply because of the food that will get into the edges.

I agree that this top should have been glued, and, the top allowed to move. You would have to make sure you finish all surfaces to try to prevent cupping.

You might invest in .....stone... I always wanted to try concrete countertops??? :)

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