Getting cherry strips to "relax"

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Forum topic by gct posted 09-05-2010 11:30 PM 715 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2236 days

09-05-2010 11:30 PM

I jointed/planed some cherry up in the pacific northwest and cut it into to 1”x1” strips. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do anything with them before I packed up and moved back to the midwest. So it was 3 or 4 months before I could get back to them and in the meantime they temperature and humidity’s got them bowing pretty good again. Is there any trick I can use to get them to “relax” back into roughly th shape I had them? I was thinking a most towel and an iron might do the trick…

3 replies so far

View lew's profile


11261 posts in 3172 days

#1 posted 09-06-2010 12:01 AM

I recently had a similar thing with a cherry buffet top. It bowed lengthwise. Made it pretty wet and weighted each end and raised the middle. Took out a lot of the bow- not perfect but manageable- I hope!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View rance's profile


4243 posts in 2577 days

#2 posted 09-06-2010 02:52 AM

I suspect you cut the 1×1 strips from a larger piece. Imagine cutting into a larger board, the inner layers will be moister than the outer layers. As you cut the strips, you exposed new surfaces with different moisture content. As those new surfaces normalized with their surroundings, this MAY have caused the bow. And then moving them to another environment could have further affected them. Yes, you can ‘bend’ them back using whatever procedure of water, heat, and forms, but will they stay. Maybe so. In the future, if you are planing down a board, try to take equal amounts off both sides rather than all on one side. Not a solution, but maybe a better understanding of why and how to prevent it next time.

I had the same problems with some cherry lids I had made for some boxes. I relegated them for another project.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View gct's profile


8 posts in 2236 days

#3 posted 09-06-2010 03:40 AM

Thanks for the tops guys. I did cut them from a larger piece I can’t remember how I did the planing though, I imagine I flipped them over to try to take from both sides, since that’s what I normally do. I think I’ll try a little moisture and heat tomorrow and see if I can get them to stay.

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