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Twist in wide boards

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Forum topic by jonsprague0000 posted 04-17-2016 12:30 AM 773 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jonsprague0000

103 posts in 1310 days


04-17-2016 12:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: curly cherry figured wood twist warp cup lumber rough

I have some wide 4/4 curly cherry boards rough cut that I will be building a dresser case from. The boards are 20” by 4.5’ which will work perfect but they have around a 3/8 twist to them. Any tips on how to work with these?

My plan was to use a router sled to flatten one side and then send it through a drum sander to get a perfectly flat board. The problem is the final thickness needs to be 3/4. If I did this to get out the twist then the board would end up being to thin. What should I do?

I noticed that I could clamp the boards down pretty easily on opposite edges and the boards would bend removing the twist. When unclamped the twist would pop back. Have you all ever just forced the twist out when doing the final glue up?

I got the lumber a week ago and left them in my garage for a week to acclimate. I’m not sure if the twist is new or was always there.


15 replies so far

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AlaskaGuy

3053 posts in 2030 days


#1 posted 04-17-2016 02:03 AM

So we have a better understanding give us you lumber dimensions in a better format. Lumber has 3 dimensions usually written in this order…...... thickness by width by length.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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jonsprague0000

103 posts in 1310 days


#2 posted 04-17-2016 02:30 AM

Thanks for the help Alaska. Sorry I wasn’t very clear earlier. The lumber is 1 inch thick X 20 inches wide X 60 inches long.

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sras

4548 posts in 2850 days


#3 posted 04-17-2016 02:40 AM

When I deal with twisted lumber I cut it down to near finished size – 6 inches too long and a 1/2 inch too wide. Sometime that cuts away enough wood to reduce the twist.

If not, another choice is to rip the wood into narrower pieces, flatten, true up and re-glue to full width.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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AlaskaGuy

3053 posts in 2030 days


#4 posted 04-17-2016 03:05 AM

Never done it my self but I have seen a number of LJ use a router sled for flattening wide stock. Like sras says…cut you pieces to ruff length first, but I think 6 inches per piece is a little much. Assuming your case has four sides you’d be wasting 4×6’’ =24 inches of nice cherry. Just cut them an inch so long.

What are the finished dimension of your case going to be?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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jonsprague0000

103 posts in 1310 days


#5 posted 04-17-2016 03:09 AM

Thanks sras. I have cut down the wood as close as I can to the final dimension and there is still twist.

I was able to rip the back and bottom into thinner pieces, reglue, and flatten, but am hoping there is another way for the sides. The pieces are so nice and are big enough to make the dresser sides out of one solid piece. I really don’t want glue lines or a mismatched grain flow.

Has anyone ever just dovetailed the ends and forced the boards into shape through strong joinery? Or is that a terrible idea?

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jonsprague0000

103 posts in 1310 days


#6 posted 04-17-2016 03:13 AM

The case sides are going to be 19 inches wide by 48 inches long. I could rip and then reglue but that would defeat the reason that I bought a really wide board.

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AlaskaGuy

3053 posts in 2030 days


#7 posted 04-17-2016 03:26 AM


The case sides are going to be 19 inches wide by 48 inches long. I could rip and then reglue but that would defeat the reason that I bought a really wide board.

- jonsprague0000


Nobody’s talking a about ripping any thing at this point. Were talking about cross cutting the board/boards to ruff length before using the router sled. Shorter pieces require less stock removal to get the stock flat.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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jonsprague0000

103 posts in 1310 days


#8 posted 04-17-2016 03:33 AM

Sorry, I misunderstood. I checked the wood right where I would cut it at 48” and there would still be too much twist to use a sled.

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Aj2

1051 posts in 1519 days


#9 posted 04-17-2016 03:48 AM

Trying to dovetail the twisted boards for side will be difficult and you will end up with a twisted case.
There is no secret you have to start with well behaved stock for solid sides.If you rip face and joint them back you will have good stable sides .
Just remember to cut them long so you can match up the grain.
Don’t cut corners do it right.

-- Aj

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AlaskaGuy

3053 posts in 2030 days


#10 posted 04-17-2016 03:58 AM


Sorry, I misunderstood. I checked the wood right where I would cut it at 48” and there would still be too much twist to use a sled.

- jonsprague0000


Some how I don’t think we are on the same page. This video shows a router sled for flatten stock.

BTW 3/8’’ twist is going to leave your board under 3/4’’ thick by the time you get it all flat.

https://youtu.be/J0SDvKHcL5M

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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jbay

1574 posts in 620 days


#11 posted 04-17-2016 04:21 AM

Using the wood with the twist could be possible but it would depend on a lot of things such as the back, how thick and how it’s attached, the bottom attachment to the sides. whether or not there is a face frame and how big the stiles and rails are. How much pressure is in the twist, are both sides twisted or just 1? Placement of the twisted wood, etc. etc..
What I’m trying to say there are a lot of variables but if the construction was right you could probable pull the twist out.
For me, I would have to be the one building this and would have to have the wood in front of me to make the decision on whether I think I could or not. Pretty hard to tell somebody else.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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sras

4548 posts in 2850 days


#12 posted 04-17-2016 04:33 AM

Can you live with thinner stock?

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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jonsprague0000

103 posts in 1310 days


#13 posted 04-17-2016 06:41 PM

Thanks everyone. I wish I could thin the stock more but I’m not sure how the dresser would look and function with less that 3/4 sides.

The bad twist is mainly only on one side edge. Has anyone successfully clamped the boards and dampened a side to try and get twist out?

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Lee

82 posts in 599 days


#14 posted 04-17-2016 07:48 PM

If you have a band saw here’s another idea that I’ve had to use, rip the 20” boards in half, cut 1/8” thick veneer slices, clean the veneer up in your drum sander, and glue them to the sheet goods of your choice. the thin veneer even if still twisted will flatten out easily, not putting any stress on the frame. And you still have the beautiful cherry showing.

-- Colombia Custom woodworking

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Dan Krager

3593 posts in 1955 days


#15 posted 04-17-2016 08:54 PM

I’m with jbay on this one, but like he said, I would have to see and feel the situation and be able to make adjustments as new discoveries are made. Wood is never as stable as it’s made out to be. Clipping off the corners of a twist does not make the board stable. It does allow you to assemble without so much current tension, but if you’re not building to accommodate tensions that develop in solid woods over time, then it just doesn’t help that much. Design and then build by “reading the wood” so you can accommodate the tension required to assemble the piece and see to it that there are sufficient counter tensions and mechanical joinery capable of handling the stress until it can settle down over time and basically acclimate, if it will. If it doesn’t then there is learning potential. I am so tired of repairing badly made furniture that I have raised my repair rates to the moon. I’m sure I’ve repaired split table tops that the maker thought would never happen because his wood was “stable”. What he failed to do was accommodate the tension that developed over time and his piece self destructed, i.e. giving him the benefit of any doubt, it was perhaps temporarily acclimated, but things changed and he didn’t plan for that.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com Instructions are that which will be read as a last resort.

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