Playing with Warped Lumber

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Forum topic by MaroonGoon posted 07-15-2013 04:01 AM 1052 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MaroonGoon's profile


281 posts in 2130 days

07-15-2013 04:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: trick oak

Well, I was out at my shop Saturday and looked through some of the wood I have been drying and ripping down to manageable boards and I found a piece that I had planed and jointed down that had bowed quite a bit. I did some quick research on my iPhone about bowed boards. After reading, I examined my board and sure enough, one side of the board was heartwood and the other side was mainly sapwood which was described in the research I did. I then did research on how I could fix it and came upon a solution many guys mentioned where you set the concave side down on wet grass and let the sun dry the board out. Well I did this and soaked the one side with water for a bit and let it dry out. Over just a few hours of sitting out in the sun and rewetting it once, the bow evened out. I am pretty pleased with how this technique worked. But who knows, the board may bow right back over time but I checked it today and it was still as straight as it was yesterday. Ill just cross my fingers and hope this process pays off :) here is a picture of both before and after the rewetting/drying process. I just felt like sharing what I was playing around with yesterday and possibly get some good insight and advice from the more seasoned woodworkers here!

By the way, try not to break your neck but I think these pictures will turn out sideways after seeing the preview.. I’m uploading them from my phone and I can’t rotate them :-/ sorry!

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

5 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2985 days

#1 posted 07-15-2013 05:30 AM

Start with dry lumber. Always dry to your final moisture content before milling. For hardwoods used for indoor furniture, shoot for 6-8% m.c.

I try to cut to rough length before jointing boards. That way they are easier to straighten.
Stacking and stickering freshly milled lumber will help keep it flat.

You can also mill, stack and sticker overnight, then re-mill the next day or two. Basically let the wood move and then flatten it again.

Finally, use quartersawn stock to reduce the chance of warping and cupping.

Good Luck

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View WDHLT15's profile


1786 posts in 2648 days

#2 posted 07-15-2013 11:37 AM

One good way to keep a board flat is to store it so that air can get to all sides of the board.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View MaroonGoon's profile


281 posts in 2130 days

#3 posted 07-15-2013 01:42 PM

Thanks for the info guys.

Just wondering, if I had a board that was 3’ long and 8” wide and another that was 8’ long and 8” wide and they both have the same MC, would one dry faster than the other if they were placed in the same conditions? Would the smaller board dry faster and therefore cause it to warp more than the 8’ board?

I’m just trying to figure out if I could go ahead and cut down some of the boards to a shorter length without losing any of it due to extra movement, or if I should just leave them long until they have fully dried and then cut them down and let them acclimate again.

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View fredj's profile


186 posts in 1989 days

#4 posted 07-15-2013 01:53 PM

Thickness has more to do with how fast a board dries than length. Cutting to a rough length shouldn’t cause you any problems. Stick the lumber so air can get to all surfaces.

-- Fredj

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3130 days

#5 posted 07-15-2013 03:33 PM

However it’s done re-moistening then redrying does work if done well; heating it to just below the point of scorching, then bending, will work too. Gotta be careful to not water stain it, and it’s best to pinch it down flat as it dries to help it hold its new shape. Looks good from your pics.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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