Help! My cutting board is warping!

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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 09-01-2011 03:38 AM 1185 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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142 posts in 2620 days

09-01-2011 03:38 AM

About 2 months ago, I made a large cutting board for my daughter to use over one-half of her kitchen sink. Simple board: about 22” x 18” x 1 1/8” thick, made from alternating 3/4” wide strips of cherry & maple. I used Titebond II glue throughout, and finished it w/ a mixture of mineral oil & paraffin (both sides). I put “feet” on one side to hold it in place on the sink, and it’s supported on all four sides by the edges of the stainless-steel sink. She has used it constantly, getting only one side wet, and it’s never been submerged in water.

The first problem I noticed is that the board “grew” in a direction perpendicular to the strips. We realized this when the feet would no longer fit down into the sink. Simple fix: I just removed one of the feet and replaced it w/ another, putting it closer in. Problem solved, and now I know that boards grow!

The current problem is more serious. The board is starting to warp; it’s curling up in a direction perpendicular to the strips. My plan is to resaw the board into strips about 2-3” wide, run the pieces thru the planer, and square up all the edges. Then I’ll add new strips as needed to make up for kerf losses, and re-assemble it.

Will this prevent future warping? I have my doubts, since I’ll still have essentially the same type of board I started out with. The only new idea I have is to pre-drill the strips at each end, then align them by inserting metal rods 1/2” – 3/4” in diameter as I do the final glue-up. The rods would, of course, remain embedded in the board.

Does this make sense? And will it work?

-- Jim in Tennessee

2 replies so far

View lew's profile


12018 posts in 3721 days

#1 posted 09-01-2011 04:20 AM

Our cutting board (Wood Whisper’s style) sat in some water over night (no feet on the board).
In the morning it looked like a checker bowl. I put it in the oven- on the lowest temperature- for several hours. Took it out let it cool and repeated the heat/cool cycle. It returned to almost flat. Probably won’t completely solve your situation but it might be a way to extend the life of the board.

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

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2659 days

#2 posted 09-07-2011 04:48 PM

From what you’ve said (I think I’m reading it right) It sounds like the water is swelling one side and not the other.. From the application, it sounds like this is a hazard of its duty

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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