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Can this maple be flattened in time for Christmas?

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 12-07-2010 09:18 PM 1779 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1803 days


12-07-2010 09:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: twist twisted cupped curly maple panel max glue press system bookmatched

I ran into a problem a couple of days ago after resawing some curly maple.

I am wanting to make a serving tray out of this curly maple, so I resawed it on the bandsaw, then ran it through the drum sander to bring it down to 1/4” thick. I am wanting to bookmatch these two pieces as they will be a nice frame around the inlay work that will be going into the center, which will be the PSU Nittany Lion.

The one board cupped a little bit, but the other board twisted/cupped. I’m thinking the cupped-only board can probably be slightly wet down, and made to comply, but I’m wondering if the slightly twisted board is going to be able to be put back in-line?

My biggest dilemma is that I don’t have more than a few days, at the most, as I need to continue on with this project since it’ll be traveling before Christmas. I am going to try my hand at router-based inlay, if I can get the maple to cooperate. If not, I’ll have to compromise and go get a sheet of maple plywood, since I know it won’t be moving at all.

Whether I use these to pieces of curly maple glued together, or a piece of plywood, I will be cutting a dado all the way around the tray sides to support the maple (whichever route I go). So, that’ll somewhat help keeps things in-line, but I’m afraid that the twisted board will do nothing but twist once it dries again, if I mist it a bit, then put all sorts of weight on it.

I was thinking the best way to try and fix the problem is as follows:
Cupped board: mist crown side and set out in the sun, or a sunny window, cup side down, wet/crown side up.
Twisted board: maybe mist both sides, then wrap in newspaper to help absorb any “extra” water, set on workbench or TS and put a lot of weight on top, like a stack of bricks.

If there is a better/faster way, I’m totally open to suggestions. I’m concerned that since it’s winter now, these methods will take a while to work, if they work at all.

I don’t have a moisture meter, but I do have some more curly maple, although I don’t have any with this striking of a pattern to bookmatch. I have checked a couple other similarly-sized section of curly maple boards, and the one also seems to have a bit of a twist to it after resawing.

Maybe I should just go get a sheet of plywood and keep the project moving forward? The thing that scares me with that approach will be when I either go to sand or scrape the veneer flush with the plywood is going through the veneer, so that’s why I thought it would be not only more economical, but a better bet overall if I can somehow fix the boards I have.

I also neglected to mention that I just got a Panel Max Glue Press System. I haven’t used it yet, but was going to when edge glueing these two thin pieces of curly maple together. I’m wondering if I can somehow use this particular tool to my advantage in this situation by wetting the wood down a bit before glueing and clamping it down in this press? Maybe I can run a fan on it, or stick it near a heating vent, or even hit it a bit with a blow dryer? Not sure if it might also be more beneficial to sandwich the boards in between a couple of pieces of MDF after the glue has set up a bit?
Here are a couple of links to the Panel Max Glue Press System:
http://www.ptreeusa.com/panel_glue_up.htm
http://www.advmachinery.com/pdfs/plano.pdf

Any and all thoughts on this are welcome.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."


12 replies so far

View los's profile

los

49 posts in 2302 days


#1 posted 12-07-2010 09:55 PM

Jonathan,

I have had the same issue when resawing…..the way I have tried to prevent it is to wait a few days after resawing to bring to final thickness….....hopefully someone can offer some fixes for you. I’m sure I can use their suggestions as well.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1803 days


#2 posted 12-08-2010 01:53 AM

Los, thanks for the reminder on not going to final thickness right away.

I can always go a touch thinner on the boards, but there’s enough of a twist that it needs to be fixed before trying to go any thinner.

I didn’t really think too much of it, as the curly maple is only 4/4 stock and had been sitting in my basement for probably 5-months now. I will have to take that into consideration next time. I might resaw a few more boards, then let them sit before running them through the drum sander.

Anybody have any thoughts on trying to use the two pieces I have cut already with the great grain pattern?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2428 days


#3 posted 12-08-2010 08:44 AM

let us know what happens. I’m a newbie too ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1803 days


#4 posted 12-08-2010 09:14 PM

Just a quick update: Before going to work this morning, I ran both boards through the drum sander about a dozen time on each board, taking about 1/32” off or so on the crown side. After that, I clamped them to each other, with the cups facing eachother/crown side out since that was the freshly removed side. I’m hoping that in the next couple of days, the additional drying and clamping will help flatten them out a bit. I did not mist them at all.

The boards that are being used for this tray bottom will be thin enough by the time that I have the final depth established that I’m hoping I’ll be able to more or less cure any little bend that may still be left in the boards since they’ll be completely surrounded by dados. I’m going to put a bead of silicone caulk in the dado as well in order to help hold the boards tight, but still allow for expansion and contraction.

If I can’t get this figured out in the next day or two, I’m putting this project on-hold and will make them something else for Christmas from my back-up list. It’ll probably be a bandsaw box with beetle kill pine along the front and back, if not all the way through, then I’ll probably woodburn the Penn State Nittany Lion onto the front of the box. Might also add something else into the mix. I still definitely want to make them this tray, but it might have to wait until next Christmas.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1633 days


#5 posted 12-08-2010 11:06 PM

I had the same exact thing happen with curly maple. I resawed a piece and one of them cupped really bad after a couple days…. I fixed it by flattening each side with my hand plane. I did that about a week ago and the piece is still flat so that is an option if you have a hand plane. However curly maple is pain to plane because of the wild grain.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1803 days


#6 posted 12-08-2010 11:37 PM

Thanks for the information Dan. I’ll have to keep that in mind. I’ve got one cheapo bench plane (Buck Bros. that I picked-up at a garage sale for $5 before I knew any better) that I need to either swap the steel out on, or just get rid of all together.

Hand tools are something I’m wanting to try and learn more about and slowly procure a few, then begin to use them. That would also come in handy when I’m up really early and my wife is still sleeping. I can go down to the basement and plane away without disturbing her, something not possible with the drum sander, or any of the other power tools down there.

If after coming out of the clamps, the wood is not quite as bad, I’m thinking about the possibility of really running it through the drum sander to take it down another 1/16”, or more, if necessary. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I only want to go so thin. I just really liked the grain I found when I cut into the board… one of those happy accidents. If the board is twisted, it’s probably going to want to stay twisted, due to internal stresses and growth issues.

I guess I’ll find out tomorrow or the next day. I’m sure the cup will have more or less gone away, but the twist, probably not.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2428 days


#7 posted 12-09-2010 11:39 AM

Jonathan I was just reading a little Tage Frid. He says to steam the concave side. Hurry up and cut the joints while it is flat. The boards will go together flat because they were cut that way. Not sure if it really applies to you, but thought I’d mention it just in case it helps. Good luck.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2428 days


#8 posted 12-09-2010 11:53 AM

Dan Was that kiln dried or air dried? Have any idea what the moisture content was?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Jonathan

2605 posts in 1803 days


#9 posted 12-10-2010 04:34 AM

TopamaxSurvivor,

Thanks for the idea there. I’m going to give it another couple of days. I took it out of the clamps for a minute this morning to look at it. The one board seemed to be less cupped, but the other board was still twisted. I might have to try your steam idea?

I do think that although I’ll never be able to get the twisted board completely flat, it’s thin enough that I can coerce it to a reasonably flat state, by the time it’s glued to the other flat board and held in place by the dados. That should more or less keep it in-check.

For now, I’ve put this tray project on-hold. I plan on completing it but don’t need any more headaches between now and Christmas as I’ve got numerous projects to either finish or begin work on. And I’d like this to be an enjoyable occasion, not one that I dread again in the future.

So, instead, I’ve begun a bandsaw box with a similar theme. I glued up beetle kill pine this morning and will be making an oval shaped bandsaw box. I am going to woodburn the Nittany Lion onto the front of the drawer. This’ll be my first bandsaw box and I’m looking forward to it. I will probably begin cutting the bandsaw box tomorrow morning as I’m still at work right now. I just need to trace my design onto the wood and begin cutting.

Thanks for the advice along the way and I’ll keep it in-mind for future reference.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View ChuckV's profile (online now)

ChuckV

2487 posts in 2279 days


#10 posted 12-10-2010 05:07 AM

I have had some success untwisting resawn pieces by twisting them slightly in the opposite direction and clamping. I put the board on the bench with some shims under the low corners and clamp the high corners down.

But, sometimes, the wood has its way. I made this candle box with a sliding curly maple lid more than a year ago. The top still cups and straightens depending on the weather.

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

View oaklee's profile

oaklee

12 posts in 1796 days


#11 posted 12-13-2010 10:56 PM

Johnathan,

Do you have any instructions on how to assemble the Panel Max system? I bought this system and there are no assembly instructions. I have asked Ptree for instructions and I have not gotten a reply. I know this is a side bar to your topic. I just don’t know where to turn for this.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1803 days


#12 posted 12-14-2010 12:58 AM

oaklee,

Try following this link and scrolling down to the bottom, under the “Manuals” section. Then go to the second from the bottom product and click on the PDF file for “PLANO Instruction Manual” and download it:
http://www.advmachinery.com/T-manuals.aspx

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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