warped cherry cutting board

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Forum topic by Murf2499 posted 09-19-2010 03:15 AM 1558 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 3046 days

09-19-2010 03:15 AM

I recently made a 18”x18” cherry cutting board for a friend. I purchases 5/4 cherry and ripped it into 2” x 20” slabs. i ran each slab through my jointer to ensure squareness. I decided to do two glue ups using tite bond III, because my planer is 13” and I wanted to clean up the glue up with a few shallow passes through the planer. After assuring both sides were flat and clean i did my final glue up bringing the two sides together. I trimmed up the board to 18”x18” using miter guide on table saw. Sanded from 80 to 400 grit after routing the edges. So far everything looks great. This morning I actually put the board on my pool table and showed my wife how perfectly flat it was. Over the course of about 15-20 minutes I applied mineral oil, coating the board to the point it was getting pretty well saturated. Being a very sunny day, and knowing cherry darkens up nicely with a little sun exposure I decided to put the board out in the sun to darken a bit. By the end of the day the board warped significantly and at the very end some of the glue joints are coming apart slightly. my thought is too much mineral oil too quickly and then compounded by “heating” everything in the sun light. What are your thoughts??? Help!

-- Murf, Clifton Park, NY

8 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3887 days

#1 posted 09-19-2010 03:21 AM

had a similar thing. finished cutting board (half cherry) applied a ton of mineral oil (as it kept on sucking it all in). then put in the sun since I wanted to tone up the cherry. it was a hot day, and it seems like it leaked quite a bit of the mineral oil. it was scorching hot to the touch as well when I got to it. I put it to cool down back in the house, and it slightly warped out of flat. nothing severe though, you almost cant tell. I left it to cool down, and soak up the oil over the next several days, and it eventually flattened itself back to ‘normal’. I think it still has a minimal bow to it which would be easily planed down if I feel it needs to.

It could very well be because of inconsistent absorption of the oil. for now, just let it be, and let the oil saturate in the board till it balances out. if then it needs some work – just plan it slightly, or put feet on it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 09-23-2010 02:05 AM

I think it has more to do with the sun than the oil. I would advise to not expose any of your wood projects to direct light like that. Even a table sitting in a window will take a major beting in short time.

View PBthecat's profile


53 posts in 3289 days

#3 posted 09-24-2010 08:31 PM

One thing about mineral oil, make sure you are using the “heavy” version which is injestable. The “light” version contains petroleum distillates and is not appropriate for anything contacting food. My experience has been that the heavy oil does not saturate the wood, it just helps show the grain…

-- "Every hundred years, all new people"

View Ken90712's profile


17614 posts in 3427 days

#4 posted 09-26-2010 02:15 PM

I had the exact same thing happen with 3 boards. 1 Purple Heart and Maple, & 2 Black Walnut and Maple Boards.

I put them out on my counter on our outdoor kitchen because I was spraying in the shop and had just finished sanding them. I came back less them 2 hrs and cried! They were warped about inch too two inches. No cracks but at first I was so mad because I thought they were ruined. Blondie told me calm down have a drink and put them in the formal living room on the table (this surprised me, her allowing me into the Formal Living Room), LOL, and forget about them.

The next morning they were back to being perfectly flat. It has to be the direct sun, as I had not put any oil on them.

Hope this helps, sorry to here we had the same problem.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Murf2499's profile


20 posts in 3046 days

#5 posted 09-27-2010 07:30 PM

Thanks for all the helpful information. After bringing the board inside, i put it in the dining room table propped up on some rubber feet to allow air to circulate all arounf the board. After 24 hours the board looke dmuch better and after 48 hours it was back to flat. Lesson learned. Thanks!

-- Murf, Clifton Park, NY

View Ken90712's profile


17614 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 09-27-2010 09:52 PM

Cool I laid mine on the glass tale flat. I didnt think about the air circulating as I was too mad! Have fun.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3344 days

#7 posted 09-28-2010 02:15 AM

I had this happen to my last ZigZag board. I know it was flat when I oiled it. I had had to sand off the glue creep ridges and re-oil. I sold it at a craft show-to an old friend and when I saw it on her counter, it was warped a bit. She didn’t care because it was going to hang on her son’s wall!. I cared. It had hung on a rack at a show and had some sun on it. I had not had this problem before. (that I know of)
Wood!! I’m glad others have experienced this, although also sorry you had to experience it. Thanks for posting the issue.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4131 days

#8 posted 09-28-2010 04:41 AM

End grain boards will always bow when left laying in the sun. But, they always tend to go back flat when they cool.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

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