Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

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treetall100
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Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by treetall100 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:49 pm

I checked the boat out today and found 3 cracks in my decking...NOT HAPPY!!! :evil: The picture below show the worst one.

I brought the wood into the shop for a week and a half to let it climatize and but it still moved. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Has this happened to anyone else? Any advice?

There is no substrate (plywood)...it's just edge glued with epoxy across the span.
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28. CRACK IN DECK.JPG
Patrick Morais
~ Lo Voltage ~
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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DaveLott
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by DaveLott » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:20 pm

Patrick. A couple of questions that will help us. This is fixable.

Ok, so you did not install a subdeck under your deck strakes. Is that a true statement?

Are you planning on laying glass down on your deck?

What is the thickness of your deck materials?

dave
Dave

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treetall100
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by treetall100 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:25 pm

I guess I wasn't too clear. My fault. I have a plan of attack to fix already, just wondering if it's happened to anyone else and if the know why it happened.

Thanks
Patrick Morais
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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DaveLott
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by DaveLott » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:31 pm

oh, yes, I have 3 cracks like that in my cover boards. I just filled them in with epoxy and kept going.
Dave

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red
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by red » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:02 pm

the only thing i can think of is the wood moister content was still a little high and when you brought it in the shop into a climate controlled enviroment it dried out some more and shrank unless it was already stored in your shop before you started your boat. Your boat is turning out beautifully by the way sorry this happened it can be fixed but it still tics you off ive had it happen a few times as well

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vupilot
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by vupilot » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:24 pm

Kinda along the same lines, my king plank popped up at the seam. http://glen-l.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php? ... ank+popped
I think in my case it was caused by a epoxy starved joint but I think the cause is the same. Not enough room for the wood to expand and contract with the inlayed strips like you and I have done.
I've noticed my deck is still a living thing. A couple months after I finished the boat I noticed my deck got 3 or 4 hairline cracks about 3" long within various joints between my basswood and mahogany after it was in the sun for an entire weekend. Hopefully, now that its aged if I were to recoat like I plan to this fall these cracks wont reappear.

In your case I think maybe you can fill the crack with a mixture of epoxy and sawdust from the same material or maybe its large enough you can get a sliver of the actual wood in the crack and epoxy/sawdust mixture it in place. Should be a lot less noticable once you have encapsulated as the entire surface will be darker. Cracks give the wood character, at least thats what I tell myself.

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treetall100
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by treetall100 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:35 am

Well guys thanks for all the input..glad to see I wasn`t the 1st and it might be a semi normal thing....especially with a solid wood caulking-look effect.

Thanks for the the link on your issue vupilot!!! I think I`ll be using epoxy and sawdust and just fill her up and then see what happens!
Patrick Morais
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Oyster
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by Oyster » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:39 am

I would load the seamline with varnish, taping off the crack and doing so a little bit at a time. Unlike epoxy, spar varnish even thinned with some turpentine is wood friendly and something that you can deal with if the wood moves again or dries out.

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treetall100
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by treetall100 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:50 am

I can see where you are coming from but my thoughts are.. I want to lock it down and not allow wood movement anymore. When I do varnish down the road I don't want that crack to move again and creat voids, cracks... Or in my eyes CRAVASSES!
Patrick Morais
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Onplane
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by Onplane » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:55 am

Sorry to do a little hijacking here Patrick... but I am considering doing something similar for my Malahini. Light colored wood strips between the mahog strips, all epoxied to a plywood substrate.

Is the cracking issue more prone to occur in these applications vs. caulked joints that might allow for greater movement? Or, since you are epoxying it down over a substrate, might you still have an issue with expansion and cracking?

I was under the impression that once encapsulated, the wood would no longer be taking in or giving off moisture, so that would "seal it in" and you wouldn't have to worry about movement?

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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by Oyster » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:00 am

treetall100 wrote:I can see where you are coming from but my thoughts are.. I want to lock it down and not allow wood movement anymore. When I do varnish down the road I don't want that crack to move again and creat voids, cracks... Or in my eyes CRAVASSES!
Sorry but straight resin along a seam line does not lock much of anything when you have two wood grains exposed on both sides. what you have experienced is wood curing further after downsizing it from the plank. YOu really need to at least apply even a thin coat of varnish thats thinned to the running stage with at least mineral spirits if nothing more to the wood now. This way you can always go back and sand smoothe for the finish coat. YOu climate right now lends itself to further movement in raw wood. just my .02 worth.

Oh by some chance did you seal the back side with anything? I would probably prime the backside with regular paint primer too if its not seen.

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treetall100
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by treetall100 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:18 am

Well I would certainly do it again Onplane. You will have a substrate under yours so that is a bonus for you. I think in hindsight I should have cut my thin maple strips a week earlier too and let them climatize. I did them the day before and I think that was my problem.

Definitely sealing them would help since I am a while away from finishing it, i thought about a preliminary seal coat to stabilize!
Patrick Morais
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Bob Perkins
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by Bob Perkins » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:01 am

it sounds like you did not use plywood backing? Is that correct?
What thickness are the planks?

My planks were 1/4" on top of 1/4" plywood.
Image

The original runabouts were just planked on frames. The white lines were caulking to allow the planking to move a bit.
It may be difficult to lock up everything w/o planning for moisture. You are essentially making a 6' wide board that will get a lot of sun on one side and higher humidity on the inside.
If you are on a plywood back, then this is not an issue.
Not sure if this helps
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harpoonhedd
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by harpoonhedd » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:05 pm

new guy here...similar problems have developed for me . especially in area of lots of stress...like main sail rigging points or mast attachment etc...if you can dig out the caulking and drive a shim in between after smearing some epoxy in the groove( before the shim, which should close it up) it should fix it...then recaulk...(glue the shim too)

but in my experience another one will probably pop up somewhere else...there was probaly a check in the stock an inch or so away before milling or the cut...and the grain was predisposed to follow that line, even though it wasnt present at working...

very nice workmanship! especially with such a close up photo...
Image

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sschefer
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Re: Cracks in Deck....Grrrrr

Post by sschefer » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:35 pm

Your cracking issue is normal and something that fine wood workers have been fighting for years. It's the number one reason that most production cabinet shops float the panels in cabinets and doors. If you think about it, you could easily float the decks on a boat, it's the coaming and transom that's tieing it all together not the decks.

Climatizing wood has always been a subject of controversy umongst fine woodworkers. It's a hit and miss thing that changes throughout the year, actually it's almost daily in some areas. The best thing you can do is measure the woods moisture content and match it to the surrounding woods optimum content. There's several charts that describe species and optimal moisture content for wood working.

O.K. all that is good in practice and like was said in a prior post, it's a living breathing thing, sort of. You seasone, you dry, you climatize, you cut, you fit, you glue, you sand, it's beautiful and then all of the sudden it's not. It's just the way it is sometimes.
Steve Schefer
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