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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 02-11-2011 05:26 AM 796 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14929 posts in 2109 days

02-11-2011 05:26 AM

I have several 4×4 sheets of half” plywood that has bowed BADLY. Is there any way to flatten it back out or is it trash?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

4 replies so far

View Bernie's profile


416 posts in 2256 days

#1 posted 02-11-2011 05:41 AM

Plywood isn’t too expensive so you may want to replace it (although oak 3/4 sheet is about $70). I remember, a long time ago, I read about how to flatten a bowed table top. They suggested waiting for a warm sunny day, wetting a flat patch of grass, and laying the top down weighing the ends of the bow with heavy rocks or whatever. I know you can bend wood by submerging it in water and applying pressure to it in the direction you want to bend it.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 02-11-2011 07:33 AM

On small pieces of ply I have also dampened them, placed them on the garage floor and let them dry. They need to be used soonest before they wrap again…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Don's profile


514 posts in 2491 days

#3 posted 02-11-2011 08:12 AM

It’s definately not trash.
You can also flatten it by just building faceframe cabinets out of it. The faceframe and back will hold it flat.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 2193 days

#4 posted 02-11-2011 09:13 AM

Trash no way. You can try and flatten it or you could go with the bend and make something cool.I worked for a finish carpenter we were doing crown molding and base board anyway we had a curved wall.We all thought we were going to kerf it.He had me put it on saw horses and put weight in the middle of the Base board .Then we got it wet and put white vinegar on it. everyday I got it wet and put more sauce on it where you want it to bend and ad more weight little at a time. it took about a week let it dry and wamo it worked great. A Little spring back but not much.

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

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