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Twisted Wood! Please enlighten me.....please!

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Forum topic by emrhappy posted 04-01-2014 04:00 AM 769 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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emrhappy

62 posts in 1574 days


04-01-2014 04:00 AM

My fellow wood aficionados… I have some really pretty highly figured burl walnuts and quilted maples (see pics).

I bought these on ebay 2 years ago and they’ve been in my climate controlled shop/garage since. I don’t know the current moisture level, but it was already low enough when I bought them. They were originally a little less than 4/4 or there a bouts and today I decided I wanted to resaw and use them for a box that I want to build. I started on the bandsaw, resawed the walnut, surface jointed one face, then planed the other side parallel. By the time I was done I was down to 5/16 to 3/8 before it was s2s… 3/8” was ok, but now they’re twisted. This is lower than my smallest 3/8 dovetail bit, so I figured I’d have to box joint them together. I came out this evening and every one of them is twisted! Dangit!!! these are way too pretty to waste. How do I get dimensioned lumber (as this isn’t the first time I’ve dimensioned lumber only to have it a twisted mess)????? This is so frustrating! and any ideas on how to salvage these pieces?

Thanks in advance!
bill

-- I cut that thing twice and it's still too short!


7 replies so far

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

565 posts in 1398 days


#1 posted 04-01-2014 04:26 AM

Yep, that happens.

I made a tea box a couple of years ago from KD quilted maple,,ran a couple of duplicate pieces.

No complaints about completed box, but duplicate piece has twisted substantially.

Haven’t figured out the answer, but I’m thinking that stability may lie in an applied finish so that the moisture fluctuations are not “focalized” on the little patches of end grain.

The closest anaolgy I can think of is a bimetallic strip in a thermostat..One side of an individual “quilt” dries out, and the other side doesnt do so quite so much, The wood bends

put 40 or 60 individual quilts in a piece, each responding as their very own “bimetallic strip” inclination and who knows whats gonna happen. One goes one way, the next one goes the other…etc etc.

I figure spritz it with water, put in in a press for a couple of days, work it, fabricate and finish ASAP; HOPING that captured moisture will remain equalized.

But I’m just guessing.

Eric

-- Real_cowtown_eric

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emrhappy

62 posts in 1574 days


#2 posted 04-01-2014 05:16 AM

Thanks Eric.. So, if I understand correctly, you made the tea box, that has stayed ‘true’ (at least to your knowledge), but some extra boards you dimensioned twisted? I appreciate the suggestion…. I’ll try that. Heck what do I have to lost at this point?! Now I just go to find a press. May just put them under a bunch of lumber that I have in the racks.

Question is, how do I dimension lumber w/out this happening? I’ve got to be doing something wrong here.

Regards,
Bill

-- I cut that thing twice and it's still too short!

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

565 posts in 1398 days


#3 posted 04-01-2014 06:22 AM

you don’t really have to go looking for a press…two pieces of plywood and a half dozen or 8 c clamps should be sufficient., maybe clamp them to a flat surface, like a bench if there’s space to do that.

I watched a Japanese carpenter on you tube wet a plank and hold it over a kerosene heater to take the twist out of it…I don’t know if it actually worked or not. but I don’t think you have to go to that length.

Does what I described make sense to you?

I’ve got about 40 bm of figured maple naging around waiting for projects.

Regards.

Eric

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3548 posts in 1228 days


#4 posted 04-01-2014 12:07 PM

When you saw/re-saw a piece of wood, heat is applied to one side due to friction of the blade and thus the twist and bend occur. You maybe able to reverse those twists by introducing a little steam (use a coffee pot or a pan) and then press them down. I think if you press them right after sawing them, you will have a better result.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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emrhappy

62 posts in 1574 days


#5 posted 04-01-2014 02:25 PM

Eric… Yes, that makes sense. Admittedly, I had to google bimetallic strip, lol. But I see what you’re saying. Thanks again, I’m going to spritz and press these for a couple of days to see if they straighten out.

-- I cut that thing twice and it's still too short!

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emrhappy

62 posts in 1574 days


#6 posted 04-01-2014 02:28 PM

Eric,

How much figured maple do you have?

-- I cut that thing twice and it's still too short!

View emrhappy's profile

emrhappy

62 posts in 1574 days


#7 posted 04-01-2014 02:31 PM

Thanks mrjinx007… I think I’ll start doing that as my last step in dimensioning this lumber. Now… how to build a homemade steam press ;) Can one ever have too many jigs??!!

-- I cut that thing twice and it's still too short!

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