Keep in mind, the art work is created on actual used Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Tops. So, for usually around 4 years they have been secured to the top of the bourbon barrels under great pressure with a metal hoop ring. Also, the top is absorbing and releasing the bourbon whiskey with the extreme cold and heat seasons of Kentucky. So after the bourbon barrel has been emptied and the contents processed, some barrels are broke down and repaired or disassembled if it has been determined that the barrels will not be re-sold. These are the tops that become available to me for my art work. While efforts are made to prepare the tops used for Mattingly Sign Art by disassembly,  gluing, and clamping. The wood on the barrel tops has a mind of its own coupled with the fact that they no longer hold the bourbon liquid, they dry out and there is an amount of shrinkage that occurs. This will result in some of the tops having small gaps at times between the white oak planks of wood. In my opinion, this actually adds to the aged antique look.