care of crotch mahogany/will cracks worsen?


Old 07-25-08, 05:01 AM
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care of crotch mahogany/will cracks worsen?

We're considering purchasing a crotch mahogany dining table but it already has raised hairline cracks which we understand can result if the table is not properly cared for - salesman explained that we would need to not let it dry out by using the correct polish/creme/conditioner monthly.

We are wondering if, with proper care, the cracks will stay as they are, or if they will get worse over time no matter what we do. Salesman could not tell us. Anyone know what we can expect? Care tips if we purchase? As the item is the floor sample and being sold as is, there's no warranty. (I've e-mailed the manufacturer, Bernhardt, with these same Q's, but have not yet rec'd a reply.)

It's a unique table that we'd love to purchase, without regrets a few years from now... Any advice is much appreciated!
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Old 07-25-08, 06:40 AM
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Crotch or burl wood cuts in particular need to be perfectly dry before laminating as veneer in furniture. From your description it appears the veneer wasn't properly dried or the substrate moved and caused cracks in the veneer.

The top can be stripped and refinished to eliminate the hairline cracks.

It is impossible to predict whether the cracks will enlarge if left alone, or will reappear if the top is refinished.

The finish on furniture is there to protect the wood. Application of polishes, cremes, waxes, etc., do nothing but clean the finish, not protect the wood. The single exception would be application of a good furniture wax over bare wood, and that offers very little protection from moisture.

Caring properly for furniture includes cleaning, wiping up spills, etc. Equally important is maintenance of a controlled environment - temperature, humidity, etc. Storing furniture in a shed without temperature control is a sure way to quickly ruin a finish.

To phrase it delicately, the 'salesman' didn't know what he was talking about.

Last edited by George; 07-25-08 at 12:29 PM. Reason: additional information
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