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Warped board from humidity after a few weeks of flat, it never ends

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Forum topic by Eric_S posted 07-07-2010 01:33 PM 2032 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


07-07-2010 01:33 PM

It seems to be never ending issues for me with these nightstands. Most of the build I had very little problems. But with the heat rising I seem to be having more and more. The latest issue for me is this. I milled, flattened, and jointed some cherry boards for a shelf in a nightstand(2x). They were both perfectly flat and have been for a few weeks now.

I forgot to restack them this weekend to allow air to circulate after working with them, they were just stacked on top of each other on my workbench which has dog holes. Well, this morning I thought I’d just peek my head into the shop to say hi to my wood lol and see how humid it was in there. Glad I did. The bottom shelf sitting on the workbench was still flat but the one on top of it was cupped upward since there was no pressure on top but lots of airflow and no air below it. I went ahead and stickered the pieces again and put some weight on top of the wood but I don’t know if that is enough. The garage is going to be really humid for the next week or so it sounds like. Is there anything I can do to fix this shelf or is it a lost cause? I’m unable to mill any more wood off to reflatten it.

Any suggestions? Would bringing it into the house with A/C help at all? Can I put it in a press(clamps and cauls) to flatten it?

Thanks.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN


11 replies so far

View tnwood's profile

tnwood

249 posts in 2554 days


#1 posted 07-07-2010 02:29 PM

There is no definitive answer to your question. I would just stack them with stickers and weight and see what happens over the next few days or weeks. You don’t say whether the cherry was kiln or air dried which will make some difference in what you can expect. Basically you probably have a board or boards that weren’t fully stabilized by drying after milling. Once they have re-equilibrated if they are warped, it is unlikely you will get them perfectly flat again except by milling. In general, you should not fully mill wood to final dimensions without a wait before taking them to final dimensions. Depending on how the wood was dried, its thickness, where in the tree it came from, the current temperature and humidity, etc., it will either stay fairly flat or it will move. I had a cherry top that I milled up a few years ago that cupped on me. I tried removing the cup by equilibrating both sides of it, clamping it, applying battens and nothing worked. So I ripped it apart at the glue line, remilled it to remove the cup, reglued it and it did the same thing again. So it became firewood and a new top was made. The last one was fine and came from the same tree but a different part of the log.

This is just part of the game. Compensating for wood movement is something you will learn from experience. Many of my early pieces have cracked and split because I didn’t use the right technique in construction. Live and learn.

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BertFlores58

1684 posts in 2389 days


#2 posted 07-07-2010 02:29 PM

I am not sure if this will work on your place. But right now, it is humid out there.
Soak the cherry with water evenly. Get a flat surface and flat and strong cover. Squeze tightly with clamp but before clamping wrap it with dry newspaper. Note some glue may not be good when wet and so it weakens. I have done this several times here and in some cases, it springs back to the same warping after drying. If this happen, you need to brace the wood underneath by inlaying wood into the warping area with a cross slat but limit the depth not to reach to top surface. Use a router.

Next time, preserve your work with oil… if its gonna be finished with oil.. or a thin coat of sanding sealer to prevent unwanted warping. I hope this will work on your weather condition.

-- Bert

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#3 posted 07-07-2010 02:42 PM

Sorry, the cherry was kiln dried to 6%.

Tnwood, I milled the wood a while back leaving 1/8” extra. I let it sit for at least a month. I removed the rest of the extra thickness a few weeks ago and again let it sit stickered. It was perfectly fine until I set laid it on a piece of wood blocking airflow to the bottom but not the top.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1684 posts in 2389 days


#4 posted 07-07-2010 03:16 PM

Okay, but the 6 % now is no longer even in your warp area.. It changes because it has already absorbed or evaporated the 6 % remaining water on different areas or spot. If you use water based poly.. there is no warping because you apply it evenly… but the moisture content has raised up.

tnwood, I agree with you in some points … it is really a hardpart.

Eric,

It is up to you totally, you can experiment on other stuff not the finished product… You know what, I have exactly the same situation as yours today 2 night stand top is underway. Yours is cherry… mine is NARRA .. I am already solved and done with the warping 7/8” thick 20×18 .. thats why I am trying to help you our because it took me about 3 days .... Wet today, next day drying, wet again, then dry again… and the wood I am using is about a hurndred years old… a former door of an enchanted house … LOL.. truly it is a reclaimed wood from a cupboard.

-- Bert

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#5 posted 07-07-2010 03:30 PM

Thanks for the help bert. I may just do a new piece or cut, flatten and reglue. Not sure how much wood would need to be removed if I cut the boards to flatten them. I wont be able to do anything until the weekend, but at least I have some ideas now. I really don’t want to have to soak the wood, that just sounds like I’ll introduce new warps no matter what. I just want to finish up this project as easily as possible and in the near future would be good.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1684 posts in 2389 days


#6 posted 07-07-2010 04:11 PM

Send it to me Eric and I’ll fix it. You pay the shipping and my labor is free ….. LOL. thats a joke.
REPAIRING, RESTORING, RECYCLING, and MANY OTHERS REWORK IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN MAKING A NEW ONE… GOOD DECISION… IN FACT RECURRENCE MAY HAPPEN and THE CLIENT MIGHT PUT YOUR QUALITY WORK DOWN.. CHEERS.

-- Bert

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#7 posted 07-07-2010 04:19 PM

Luckilly this work is just for our house, so I guess the client is my wife. I’ll give her the perfect nightstand, I’ll take the one with the imperfections, but I don’t consider a warped shelf passable so I need to still fix it.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#8 posted 07-07-2010 04:41 PM

Well, this morning I thought I’d just peek my head into the shop to say hi to my wood

Ah yes… I remember the good old days when I used to say hi to my wood every morning.

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

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#9 posted 07-07-2010 05:01 PM

Lol Charlie. Yeah, its all still exciting to me.

Has anyone heard of putting a wet towel on the warped side and ironing the towel? http://www.ehow.com/how_2078078_repair-warped-wood.html

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2641 days


#10 posted 07-07-2010 05:27 PM

Eric: Please re-read Charlie’s post.

It’s even funnier than you thought ;-)

Charlie: It IS he** getting older ;-)

-- -- Neil

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#11 posted 07-07-2010 05:34 PM

Lol oh I understood the joke. I was just trying to be mature lol since this forum isn’t only for guys.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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