<img class="lazy" height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg'%20viewBox='0%200%201%201'%3E%3C/svg%3E" data-src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=376816859356052&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
 In Shop Blog

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.


Most repairs to furniture during the construction process are a drag because I am kicking myself for making an error in the first place. Not so when adding wooden keys to a slab tabletop.

Big wood tends to split. And left unchecked, the split can continue to open during the seasonal expansion and contraction cycle. The traditional fix is a wooden key that looks like two dovetails kissing. Or a butterfly. Or a unicorn sparring with its sacred mate.

While I am sure someone has written rules and regulations regarding wooden keys, I have yet to read and obey them. I make mine so they have the same slope as my dovetails, and they are thick enough to reinforce the slab.

How thick? I’m patching a split in some 12/4 oak in this example. My key is about 1/2” thick. Depending on how I feel, I might put a key on the underside as well.

(Note there are non-traditional ways to keep a split in check.


By registering, I acknowledge and agree to Active Interest Media's (AIM) Terms of Service and to AIM's use of my contact information to communicate with me about AIM, its brands or its third-party partners' products, services, events and research opportunities. AIM's use of the information I provide will be consistent with the AIM Privacy Policy.

Start typing and press Enter to search