Glue up went bad-compressed wood

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Forum topic by kennyc posted 12-08-2011 01:27 AM 1970 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2361 days

12-08-2011 01:27 AM

I recently did a glue up for a cutting board. I did not use cauls, which I usually do. The problem is that I used too much pressure on the clamps and the wood is compressed (basically dented) and the lines are wavy. I tried hot water and to some extent it helped, but it’s still off.

Any suggestions before I throw it into the fireplace?



14 replies so far

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2968 days

#1 posted 12-08-2011 10:18 AM

Wet a rag, place it over the dents and press a hot iron down on it. Should pop back out.
Hang on, that’s only for the surface, I think you’re screwed.

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261 posts in 2678 days

#2 posted 12-08-2011 04:29 PM

I’ve used the hot iron trick and it works great. Hope it works for you.

-- New Auburn,WI

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986 posts in 3525 days

#3 posted 12-08-2011 11:34 PM

do you have any pictures of what happened?

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841 posts in 3540 days

#4 posted 12-09-2011 07:18 AM

Square it up on the table saw. Dents gone… I bet once it’s finished no one will ever notice the “wavy lines” except you ;-)

-- Childress Woodworks

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73 posts in 2461 days

#5 posted 12-09-2011 07:42 AM

I cant say I have ever seen this problem. I would love to see a photo and look forward to hearing if you find a fix. Just remember dont push it to far…that never ends well…

-- ~ ~

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6 posts in 2361 days

#6 posted 12-09-2011 02:32 PM

Thanks for the replies.
I tried the iron trick and it helped a bit. I usually do use sticks to apply the pressure evenly, however I rushed the glue up and learned yet another lesson ( after all my mistakes, I should be pretty smart by now. Hahaha)

The lines are not straight because I applied too much pressure. Here is a shot of the wavy line l
As you can see, I trimmed a bit off to show the compression. I will make my final cuts and see what I wind up with. It doesn’t look like I will get it perfect.

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3259 posts in 2674 days

#7 posted 12-10-2011 05:56 AM

I can’t tell from the photo. Do the wavy lines cross the board or so they stop after the 2nd or 3rd course of blocks? If the stop why not cut the glue line and glue on some more blocks? You could salvage some of it and move on. cut it and clean up both sides and re-glue the same piece back on after you straighten the glue line. Would you ever really notice that it is 3/16 smaller in this area????

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#8 posted 12-10-2011 06:04 AM

I kinda like the wavy lines (a nice ‘design feature) and would leave it. But then I like wierd stuff. People will wonder how you did this. Tell em its a trade secret and costs extra.

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

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2849 days

#9 posted 12-10-2011 08:24 AM

If you clamped enough to distort the wood in that way, I’m wondering if you simultaneously created a glue starved joint. If the board for yourself, you’ve got a laboratory project in progress. If it’s for somebody else, it might be time to start over and consider the extra time just tuition for learning something new about clamping.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3159 days

#10 posted 12-11-2011 12:37 AM

Cut a shallow kerf down that line and inlay a 1/8” x 1/8” stick of contrasting wood. Do em all if you have to make it look uniform.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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54 posts in 3333 days

#11 posted 12-11-2011 05:52 AM

When aunt Edna is cutting the Zucchini she wont notice the wavy lines. Can you say merry Christmas?

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4769 posts in 3242 days

#12 posted 12-11-2011 06:18 PM

Why does everything have to be symetrical? A few wavy lines adds character and says “I made it”; not from a high tech factory. A small blemish here or there can serve as a personal signature. Everything I make has my personal signature on it somewhere.

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2656 posts in 2922 days

#13 posted 12-12-2011 01:03 AM

I’m with Lee. Too much pressure can be just as bad as not enough.
Tell people those are there for “character”.

-- Life is good.

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6 posts in 2361 days

#14 posted 12-14-2011 06:05 PM

Thanks for all the input and help!
I finished the board and learned a valuable lesson in not rushing a glue up.
The board is not square and I am definitely concerned about the glue starved joints. I will be keeping this one for myself.
I did the best I could and put some mineral oil on it.

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