warped wood

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Forum topic by Jim K posted 11-26-2009 09:45 PM 2001 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim K

94 posts in 3160 days

11-26-2009 09:45 PM

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Tis the season.

Having watched the parade and before I sat down to read the paper. Taking an hour or two in my shed trying to piece together another attempt at a mitered corned small box. The front and back are the same size as the left and right or too. when i started to dry fit them I found they would not line up. The wood has a slight twist to it. Could i sandwich my pieces between plywood and clamp them and straighten the wood flat again or get some different wood and start over again?



11 replies so far

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4192 days

#1 posted 11-26-2009 10:15 PM

I’ve not had very good luck trying to straighten wood by clamping. It would just warp again in time I’d start over.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#2 posted 11-26-2009 10:32 PM

if you can lightly joint the wood ,
and then lightly recut the miters ,
maybe you can save this ,

if not use this wood for a different project ,
and start again !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3309 days

#3 posted 11-27-2009 04:20 PM

This brings up a good point. What I see here is the importance of checking wood before you mill it.
Often you can take care of this up front, usaually with a little hand plane use. Once you have cut miters, it is very difficult to deal with. patron had a good response, as did the others, My question is—How important is it to you to salvage the wood. If you have more, I would start over. If not, try Davids idea. If the box can be a bit smaller it will make it easier to fix. I would not try to just clamp it tight. The box would likely separate when you unclamp it. It seems like most often when I try to get away with something like this, it rarely works and I must start over anyway

Good Luck


View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3309 days

#4 posted 11-28-2009 08:11 PM

bentlyj—My response was based on my personal experience with joints that don’t fit. I believe I said I would not try it . What the Op does with that or any other information is up to him. I thought questions like this were usually soliciting our opinions, based on our experience. Sorry, I was not thinking about a twisted box working Ok. I was thinking in terms of keeping the box flat on the bottom, therefore the joints might pop loose. Why is it Ok for you to give recomendations on what to do, but not the rest of us.


View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3548 days

#5 posted 11-29-2009 04:51 PM

Wow!. It’s just a simple question that requires simple answers, and not ego related problems. What is going on here lately? There’s too much online aggression…..Must be the cold weather….

For a small box like this I would suggest just starting over as the time spent messing around trying to get this one fixed might not work, and would be ultimately frustrating.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Jim K's profile

Jim K

94 posts in 3160 days

#6 posted 11-30-2009 03:46 AM


Guess I opened a can of worms here didn’t I?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4241 days

#7 posted 11-30-2009 04:11 AM

Okay, I’m going to step in here and say that Kent and bentlyj are both right! :-)

I agree that Kent answered the question correctly by saying that he had not had much success clamping warped boards straight, so he wouldn’t bother trying. That is his recommendation based on his experience. Perfectly good answer.

On the other hand, I, like bentlyj, have had success quite a few times clamping joints that don’t quite meet up due to a slight twist in the wood.

The biggest factor is how much pressure we’re talking about. The best way to learn how much you can get away with is through trial and error. That’s why I’d say go ahead and try it. Just don’t put Grandma’s ashes in it and put on the mantle until you’re sure it’s going to hold. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#8 posted 11-30-2009 04:30 AM

Hey Jim
I will address the possible problem to start. These problems occur for one or all of the following reasons.
The wood was not dry. You did not let the wood acclimate to it’s environment after rough cutting your material. or let your wood set with one side on the bench and the other side up allowing one side to dry more than another causing twist or cupping. Besides the other suggestions you could a mist with moisture on both sides and clamp Flatt with none of the wood exposed to air like a plastic bag or do the same and clamp so both sides are expose to air buy clamping with stickers.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jim K's profile

Jim K

94 posts in 3160 days

#9 posted 11-30-2009 03:30 PM

bingo a1Jim was right.

I just a piece of 1×4 i found in my basement that had been leaning upright between the freezer and the wall. how long it had been leaning there lord knows. This house i call it The “hand Me Down house”. Me I’m the youngest of five and the only boy. 1978 the folks bought this sixty acre farm with 2 house on it. Three of my 4 older sisters lived there at one time or another since 1978. I lived in little cottage next door to the main 1994 to 1998. Moved to main house 1998. I married in 2005. 2007 the folks and I quit farming. My wife and I got these 2 house and 13 acres of swamp in trade for my 23 years of work on the fruit farm. Its still full my of junk all of my three older sisters left there junk behind. from 07-09. learned being a homeowner is very different.


View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3915 days

#10 posted 11-30-2009 04:13 PM

I can simplify it further. Firewood is the only good use for a board with a twist.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3309 days

#11 posted 11-30-2009 04:36 PM

bentlyj—I do apologize for offending you. That’s not what Lj’s is all about. Your response to mine simply hit me wrong. I don’t usually react that way. Your advive was valid, I just didn’t think of the solution in the same way. I’m used to running a production shop with several employees. I guess it’s hard to get past that. We are all equal here, so keep responding. I’ve always respected your responses, and felt you were one I would like to get to know. Again, I’m sorry.

Charlie M—Thank you for your response. I think that covers it well. That’s really what I meant all along. All comments are valid and should also always be taken by the Op as only our own opinions. Mine are certainly not any better than any of you.—Just ask my wife!!!! Sometimes in a forum, discussions don’t come out in the manner they were intended. If we were having a real life group dicussion, we obviousy would not always agree, but it could be dealt with a liitle easier in person.


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