HELP! I'm warped and I can't straighten up!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by nobuckle posted 12-13-2011 06:42 PM 1342 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As you can see from the photos I have a problem. What you are looking at is the top to a blanket chest that I am making for my parents. Note the amount of light visible at each corner. It wasn’t like that when I first cut the material, which in this case is 3/4” Red Oak plywood from Home Depot. I cut the pieces for the carcase at the beginning of summer. About a month later I assembled the carcase and set the top aside until I was ready for it. Now, that Christmas is almost here, I am ready to attach the top. I want to make the top flat again but am unsure of how to do it. I’d thought about using a glue up of two 3/4” solid Red Oak to create a beam that would be about 1 1/2” thick, 2” tall, and almost as long as the inside of the carcase. What do you think? Would that be enough to flatten the top so I can attach it to the carcase with a piano hinge?

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

6 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3604 days

#1 posted 12-13-2011 06:52 PM

This can happen because your wood was not dry enough to start with or just that you left it in a position where one side was drying out more than the other. you can turn it over for a couple days and see if it straightens out or you can mist the concave side with some warm water and see how that works .If that doesn’t work mist the concave side with water an clamp it on some shims aka stickers with enough shims to over compensate for the bow and let it set at least over night.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2807 days

#2 posted 12-13-2011 09:26 PM

Doug, is the top H/D plywood or is it just the carcass ?
a1Jim’s got it for solid wood, but plywood shouldn’t have warped like that ?

Plywood can warp, but that’s a wack of movement that I wouldn’t have expected…


-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2720 days

#3 posted 12-13-2011 09:32 PM

I would have never expected banded plywood to do that. Is it the banding that’s drawing the plywood up?

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2840 days

#4 posted 12-13-2011 10:21 PM

I would screw cleats to the underside of the lid. Attach the cleats around the perimeter so you won’t lose any storage space. 1-1/2” high x 3/4” thick will be sufficient.
Best of luck!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3116 days

#5 posted 12-13-2011 11:38 PM

If all fails you can plane the chest to fit the lid.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2481 days

#6 posted 12-14-2011 01:08 AM

Put the lid out in the sun with the inside to the sunlight. Or you could put a fan blowing warm air on that side. The outside seems to have dried out and shrunk while the inside has retained its moisture. If this straightens it out put some kind of sealer on all sides to prevent this again. Plywood will still move just not as much as solid wood.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics