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Removing Twist From a Live Edge Slab

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Forum topic by JustinTyme posted 10-12-2016 01:34 AM 3042 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JustinTyme

15 posts in 872 days


10-12-2016 01:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: live edge slab wood slab twist router sled question shaping milling

I am currently working with a live edge slab from a sweet gum tree. The whole stack was left with a good sized twist.
I have a router sled to flatten my slab. The issue is that I have a 6/4 board and when I split the twist I end up with a 1/2” gap on my high corners. I would like to keep my slab as thick as possible. From now on I will mill all of my slabs much thicker :p

When I flatten this slab I will end up with a reasonably thin piece. I saw a process where stress grooves were cut on the underside and then strengthened after with inlaid wood over the grooves to prevent an excessive loss of thickness. So my questions are:

A) Is there a Better/Best practice to remove the twist without a massive amount of thickness?

B) If I end up with a 1/2” slab should I re-stack and sticker the slab or kiln dry the slab to ensure the twist does not return?


15 replies so far

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1360 posts in 1303 days


#1 posted 10-12-2016 01:38 AM

If it’s a decent width, you can rip it into 2-3 pieces then flatten each piece and then reglue it back into one slab.

That way, each of the individual pieces will have less material needing to be removed.

I would also recommend restacking and letting it rest a bit because once you remove the material, you may have exposed some higher moisture wood from the inside and will try to twist some more. You can sticker and dry the individual pieces or the reglued slab but make sure you put plenty of weight on top. Some species really do need as much weight on top as you can muster.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29651 posts in 2417 days


#2 posted 10-12-2016 01:46 AM

Your first problem is Sweet Gum. It’s known to twist and warp.

I have used cuts on the back for stress relief. It does work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1761 posts in 2555 days


#3 posted 10-12-2016 01:49 AM

Sweetgum has spiral grain which causes flatsawn boards and slabs to warp and twist. Unfortunately, I have not been able to flatten a warped and twisted sweetgum board and have it stay flat, unless it was quartersawn. It reverts back to its twisted, warped, spiral grain, state. That is why I do not saw and dry sweetgum. Very pretty heartwood, but too difficult to work with for me. Hopefully, you will have better luck with yours.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View JustinTyme's profile

JustinTyme

15 posts in 872 days


#4 posted 10-12-2016 02:24 AM

WDHLT15 ~ Thank you. I am having issues with it. This project is making me regret drying this at all. I agree with you regarding the heartwood being gorgeous, but she does not play well.

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JustinTyme

15 posts in 872 days


#5 posted 10-12-2016 02:29 AM

Monte, I am going to try the relief cuts with a inlay to strengthen it on the back side. Plus some of the warp is literally in just the corner.


Your first problem is Sweet Gum. It s known to twist and warp.

I have used cuts on the back for stress relief. It does work.

- Monte Pittman


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JustinTyme

15 posts in 872 days


#6 posted 10-12-2016 02:32 AM

I have seen this method work with removing cupping. Plus my mentor me of this method. I had not seen any successful examples of this method removing twist yet.


If it s a decent width, you can rip it into 2-3 pieces then flatten each piece and then reglue it back into one slab.

That way, each of the individual pieces will have less material needing to be removed.

I would also recommend restacking and letting it rest a bit because once you remove the material, you may have exposed some higher moisture wood from the inside and will try to twist some more. You can sticker and dry the individual pieces or the reglued slab but make sure you put plenty of weight on top. Some species really do need as much weight on top as you can muster.

- AZWoody

View kryptix's profile

kryptix

89 posts in 670 days


#7 posted 10-14-2016 01:28 PM

Just a thought, does the underside need to be fully flat for your design? You could have a corner that is thinner as long as the attachment points are flat…

View JustinTyme's profile

JustinTyme

15 posts in 872 days


#8 posted 10-15-2016 11:20 PM

Unfortunately I am crafting a waterfall table where I will need a rather straight slab. I am going to fiddle with the Sweet Gum as a side project and switch to a more reliable black walnut.


Just a thought, does the underside need to be fully flat for your design? You could have a corner that is thinner as long as the attachment points are flat…

- kryptix


View BongoB's profile

BongoB

1 post in 146 days


#9 posted 03-20-2018 09:17 PM

I have come up against this same problem a number of times, and couldn’t find much good info on it, so…
I made a video all about removing twist from a large slab, without sacrificing much thickness. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/hfm54Ry9zKo?list=PL95ElZTgRGGtIZ4aWsRRxoK3GaavMZJVf

-- Bongodrummer http://www.FloweringElbow.org

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12210 posts in 2459 days


#10 posted 03-20-2018 09:45 PM

There is a train of thought that twisted wood will keep twisting. I was taught to avoid it and only once did I try it and even after cutting it up, the reglued board twisted. Then I cut it up again and reglued it QS and it still twisted a little bit.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

576 posts in 1548 days


#11 posted 03-20-2018 09:51 PM

I wonder if you could, with a suitable sized chamber, steam bend it back to flat? Heat up and steam the entire slab with a couple thousand pounds of weight on top, and then let it cool with the weight on it.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View FloridaCracker's profile

FloridaCracker

12 posts in 503 days


#12 posted 04-17-2018 05:00 PM

I know sweet gum as a maple tree.

-- FloridaCracker

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1761 posts in 2555 days


#13 posted 04-18-2018 11:24 AM

That is confusing. Sweetgum and maple are entirely different trees, nothing alike. The spiral grain in sweetgum makes it very difficult to dry flat unless quartersawn, and it takes a large tree to make quartersawing practical.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3032 posts in 1559 days


#14 posted 04-18-2018 01:32 PM

+1 on splitting slab.

Relief cuts are best for cups.

Sweet gum is an issue.

Sweet gum is not a maple.

I am from Florida & I hate Sweetgum trees. I remember in college I went to one of my professor’s house to “split” a sweet gum tree he had cut down.

Its like Live Oak the axe just bounced out of the wood…......I think I saw him in the window laughing his ass off.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View FloridaCracker's profile

FloridaCracker

12 posts in 503 days


#15 posted 04-18-2018 05:19 PM

Was checking, People i know call them sweet gum maples but i looked them up there actually sugar maples. Acer saccharum. I will be cutting two down this year and i was planing on milling them. So thanks.

-- FloridaCracker

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