Bowed Table Top

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Forum topic by Quailguy posted 02-21-2015 06:41 PM 908 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 1192 days

02-21-2015 06:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: joining

I’m building 2 cherry nightstands and have developed a problem that I can use some advise from the more experienced. The solid tops are made up edge joined 7/8 thick cherry, 26 inches wide and 16 inches deep.. About a week after glue up, I found that one top has bowed across its length, about 1/8 – 3/16 of an inch. I can pull it down with screws, but was wondering if that is a good idea, or will it do something bad later on. Due to the availability of mediocre boards only, I was unable to alternate the growth rings to help alleviate the problem. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

6 replies so far

View jmartel's profile (online now)


7900 posts in 2151 days

#1 posted 02-21-2015 07:02 PM

Try spraying the concave side with some water, and place it so that the concave side faces up and let it dry. It may bring itself flat again. I’ve done that with a cutting board I have.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4142 posts in 2310 days

#2 posted 02-21-2015 07:15 PM

How did you store the tops during the week before you noticed they had cupped? If you laid these panels in such a way air could not get to all sides there’s a very good chance that’s why they cupped.

I’ve made a lot of panels. I never alternate growth rings and don’t have problems. Best grain and color match is the way to go. In my world I consider alternating growth rings an “old wife’s tail”’

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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56 posts in 1192 days

#3 posted 02-22-2015 03:11 AM

My shop is also my garage. Had the cherry in my shop for a few weeks before milling, then waited another week to cut it up. Only one panel bowed. I’ve heard of shop demons before, guess my traps didn’t work. Thanks everyone.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1223 days

#4 posted 02-22-2015 03:45 AM

If the stands have thick enough aprons you could cut a dado in it then mill a block you can screw into the bottom of the table top and into the dado. This should hold the top down and allow it to move laterally.

-- I meant to do that!

View pintodeluxe's profile


5664 posts in 2814 days

#5 posted 02-22-2015 05:28 AM

Attach the top with figure 8 fasteners. They allow the wood to move, and will pull the top flat against the frame.

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

View Quailguy's profile


56 posts in 1192 days

#6 posted 02-23-2015 10:49 PM

So, this is my first shot at flattening this top; I installed a rail around the inside of the top, drilled 3 holes on each side and used drawer front fastening screws along both sides. I widened the holes to allow for expansion. They pulled it down pretty good, so I’m hoping it won’t cause any issues later on. Thanks for everyone’s help.

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