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I think it's in the extent of compression too...

John in NM
My dad was one of those ax head soakers - it never bothered him that it didn't work, he would do it anyway.

I've also seen biscuit shaped indentations in a table top - they finished the top in a hurry (that shop was always delivering at the last minute) and after a month or so had to make a new top for the customer - biscuits dried out and shrunk, pulling the outer surface back with them.

On the other hand, we had a planked and caulked row boat when I was a kid. Throw it in the water and it would promptly fill up with a foot or so. Bail it out after three days and it was tight for the rest of the summer. I think the planked bottom did not swell so much as to crush the fibers, just enough to squeeze the caulking material really tight. It was some kind of cotton as I recall.

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