"Twist" and Shout!!!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Bob A in NJ posted 01-04-2009 04:34 AM 1239 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1232 posts in 4177 days

01-04-2009 04:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: twist oak hope chest

Hi guys, I need some help

Recently helped a friend make a really nice hope chect, similar to the two hope chests I made for my kids. His is made with oak. The project came out beautiful, we’ll post it soon. The problem developed after the finish was applied. The top twisted and lifted about 2” on the front side so now it does not sit flat anymore. Prior to finishing the top was perfectly flat and looked great. The design of the top of the chest is like my “More Hope” project.

So the question …... Can one remove atrwist after the stain and poly is applied? I’m thinking cleats might not hurt but probably won’t help much either. The cleats I’m thinking about are like the one’s on the new cover of Fine Woodworking. My buds Hope Chest is about the same size but all glued up solid wood.

Anyone have any suggestions?



-- Bob A in NJ

7 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4052 days

#1 posted 01-04-2009 08:34 AM

I can see why you would want to shout. What about adding battens to the under-side of the lid?

-- -- --

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4157 days

#2 posted 01-04-2009 09:04 PM

Hi Bob;

Any chance of seeing the pictures?

I’m not sure the cleats / battens will work for you, since that’s a pretty big twist. You may end up just splitting the top.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Randy Moseley's profile

Randy Moseley

113 posts in 3617 days

#3 posted 01-05-2009 03:41 AM

I agree with Lee. My fear with cleats would be it’d split the top. Is to possible to make another top, using 3/4” oak plywood, and put solid wood rails around the edges? The plywood wouldn’t twist/warp.

Good luck!


-- Randy, DeKalb, Illinois

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4052 days

#4 posted 01-05-2009 04:14 AM

I agree that there is a real possibility that cleats or battens may split the top. I haven’t seen pix, but if the warp/twist (cup? which way is this thing curved, anyway?) occurs in a small area, you’d almost certainly split it, and even if the curve is spread across the top, you still might split it. The only other option I see is to replace the top, so I don’t think that you have much to lose by trying the battens.

-- -- --

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 3991 days

#5 posted 01-05-2009 05:34 AM

I think that a post-finish easy fix doesn’t exist for this. I’d take the top off and get ready to cut, join, and redo a top. I’d add battens underneath, and breadboard ends, and I’d only put it together after rough cutting it and then letting it sit to get it’s twist out.

When you finish the new top, finish all the sides and ends. Sometimes people don’t finish the underside of the top, that means that the top of the top is moisture proof, and the bottom of the top isn’t. That creates an instability.

If it was a small problem, you could do something else, but a 2 inch lift requires bigger solutions.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3866 days

#6 posted 01-05-2009 05:41 AM

Was the stain and poly applied to all sides of the top ?
Did you bring it into a dry , heated area , from a cooler area ?
Do you have anyplace to rehumidify (?) the top ? Steamy bathroom perhaps ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1232 posts in 4177 days

#7 posted 01-06-2009 06:58 AM

Guys, All good suggestons. The top has breadboarded side pieces, custom molding for the front ad sides. We used biscuits to attach them to the 3/4” top. It was stable and very flat for 3-4 months, until we moved it to my basement which has a slightly higher humidty factor than my garage. The same finish, wash coat of shellac, soak minwax stain, and three coats of wipe on varnish was used on both sides of the top and the egdes. This wood has been air drying for years and I considered it very dry.

I like the idea of adding some additional humidity into the board, perhaps leave it it the bathoom and run the shower with hot water. The other idea I think makes the most sense is rebuild with oak 3/4 ply and use the same style molding.

Thanks to all for the suggestions.

-- Bob A in NJ

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics