Intro: Bread-board Ends for Cracked Natural Edge Slab Tables.
Working with large natural edge slabs of wood can be both a blessing and a curse, more so when they are thin. In the hard woods (especially the fruit woods) there can be a tremendous amount of tension in the fibers. The slabs tend to split throughout the hart wood right down the center. Now you can overcome this by cutting traditional dimensional edged lumber and not slabs, by making slabs thicker or by just accepting the wood loss. Lots of times we get fruit tree wood free from someone doing some pruning, who cares if some of it splits? Well I care. It is wasteful and with drying loss as high as 50% in woods like apple and pear, 75% in mulberry and almond we are talking about a substantial amount of slabs. I have shown how to hold them together with epoxy but that is expensive and messy, this is another way, a simpler way. Adding the bread board end gives even the thinnest of slabs a tremendous amount of strength. You are capping a board across it's weakest direction with another in it's strongest. The ends hold twist prone slabs flat and gives them the kind of strength even thicker slabs can't hope to match.