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Forum topic by SeaFriar posted 04-27-2018 03:45 AM 591 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SeaFriar

5 posts in 433 days


04-27-2018 03:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: milling squaring warping question

I have a very elemental question. In working on several projects I cut and square materials to the size required. However, at some later time when I’m assembling the project I find the material is no longer square, usually bowed in some way. I know cutting the wood relieves stress in the wood and the wood changes shape.

What I want to know is how woodworkers, more experienced than I, handle the situation. Is the wood cut to a larger size and recut after some period of time?

Thanks,
Wayland


10 replies so far

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Andybb

1144 posts in 690 days


#1 posted 04-27-2018 04:15 AM

Are you resawing? If so you need to cut a little oversized and sticker it immediately. If not, tell us what you’re doing and how it’s bowing. Pictures?? Plenty of posts on this topic.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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JohnDi

53 posts in 1520 days


#2 posted 04-27-2018 04:23 AM

It’s a common practice to cut pieces slightly oversized and let them acclimate for a day to see if the board will move.
Milling boards slightly thicker gives you the chance to flatten if the the cup or bow isn’t too severe.
Are you milling your own stock?
If so, how you mill it could cause cupping or bowing.
Did you let the wood acclimate to your shop before milling?
There are a few factors that contribute to your stock moving after it is milled.

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SeaFriar

5 posts in 433 days


#3 posted 04-27-2018 04:42 AM

On one project I was using Alder. It had been in a local supply store for some time and was in the shop several days before milling. On another I was using Koa. It was in a friends supply for many years (smalll pieces). I milled the Koa about three months ago. Both, the Alder and Koa, became bowed along the grain.

Milling process: Squared one edge on a jointer, cut to size on a table saw, then run the material through a planer until acheiving the desired thickness. The wood was not resawed. On a eight foot piece of alder the bow was about 2 inches. On a 22 inch piece of Koa the bowing was about 1/4 inch. Sorry, i don’t have pictures.

How much extra needs to be allowed?

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Woodknack

12246 posts in 2467 days


#4 posted 04-27-2018 05:50 AM

Best defense against wood movement is wood selection but even then it seems like sawyers are rushing the kiln drying process and selling wood that is improperly dried, the moisture content is uneven so when cut, it immediately moves. That doesn’t sound like your problem though. Are you leaving the wood laying flat on a table or floor? That can cause cupping or bowing. Always sticker the wood to allow even airflow and don’t wait more than a day if possible to use it.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View msinc's profile

msinc

481 posts in 590 days


#5 posted 04-27-2018 10:48 AM

How big is this project? To me and as above, the biggest thing you need to pay a lot of attention to is wood selection. This, to me, means several things. Other than the obvious {type of wood, thickness, etc.}, it needs to be wood that is cured completely and properly. This usually means you will need your own moisture meter. Next, I want to select wood that is straight and true after curing/drying. Wood that warps will always want to warp, wood that tends to stay flat and straight tends to remain that way or, if it does move, it wont move very much. The last “line of defense” is to rip it down and glue it back to help stabilize it even further.
In example, if I have a project {this is why I asked, how big?} that has side panels 12 or 13 inches wide no matter how figured the wood was I would not use it solid. it would be ripped to 3 or 4 inch pieces and glued up. Seems like a lot of work, but how much is it compared to having something all finished and it warps into ruin or splits apart.
I saw my own logs and routinely have nice flat wide boards, often 16” or better, but I never use it solid like that. Been bitten too many times. One other thing…planers do not make wood flat, they set the thickness, hence the name “thickness planer” unless you are using a sled.
You are on the right track…you always want to build/work with wood that is flat and square on all four sides, just don’t try to use it too wide.

Edit: I left out an important tip…once you have the wood flat and square and ripped to the slats you want to glue up, don’t play or quit till tomorrow or otherwise set them aside for later. When they are ready, glue them up right then. If you have to work with some of those boards that “want to warp” you really want to get them glued. Even if it was nice and flat you still will want to get them glued. Wood moves when it is left to do so.

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bbasiaga

1239 posts in 2082 days


#6 posted 04-27-2018 12:21 PM

After all the Paul sellers videos and books by various woodworkers, I have come to the impression that the real trick is that you cannot rely on the wood to stay flat. It is really the joinery that keeps things in place. The advice to mill it and join it the same day pops up a lot. Probably for this reason.

Breadboard ends, mortise and tenons, dovetails….they all help resist wood movement in some way.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

9889 posts in 1573 days


#7 posted 04-27-2018 12:35 PM



After all the Paul sellers videos and books by various woodworkers, I have come to the impression that the real trick is that you cannot rely on the wood to stay flat. It is really the joinery that keeps things in place. The advice to mill it and join it the same day pops up a lot. Probably for this reason.

Breadboard ends, mortise and tenons, dovetails….they all help resist wood movement in some way.

Brian

- bbasiaga

Pretty much ditto.

I’ll skim it with the planer and let it sit for a couple weeks. Once I do final milling I’ll use it ASAP.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

800 posts in 1306 days


#8 posted 04-27-2018 03:13 PM

Milling process: Squared one edge on a jointer, cut to size on a table saw, then run the material through a planer until acheiving the desired thickness. The wood was not resawed. On a eight foot piece of alder the bow was about 2 inches. On a 22 inch piece of Koa the bowing was about 1/4 inch. Sorry, i don t have pictures.

How much extra needs to be allowed?

- SeaFriar

something you may want to do is run a face of the lumber across the jointer,then plane to thickness. planing lumber without doing that can keep defects in the wood-like cups,bows, and twists.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1144 posts in 690 days


#9 posted 04-27-2018 04:49 PM

I’ll skim it with the planer and let it sit for a couple weeks. Once I do final milling I’ll use it ASAP.

- TheFridge

ASAP = my 9/16” stickered board is final planed to 1/2” on the same day I am going to put the project together, hopefully within hours as the joinery well help to keep it from moving.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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MrRon

4928 posts in 3330 days


#10 posted 04-28-2018 03:29 PM

I think wood from first growth trees will be more stable than wood from second growth trees. Unless you can find first growth wood, you will have to take all kinds of measures to get your wood to stable conditions. This includes drying, aging, resawing, planing which adds up to a long time before the wood can be used. We are much more in a hurry to build something, but the wood isn’t ready to be worked. Patience is a hard virtue to embrace. Maybe that’s why the Japanese craftsmen can produce such fine work. I can’t imagine me with that kind of patience and devotion to anything.

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