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Bowed legs

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Forum topic by Mark posted 03-22-2015 06:45 PM 702 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark

818 posts in 1434 days


03-22-2015 06:45 PM

Morning all. I’ve started a hutch/ buffet build and I’m not off to a very good start. I laminated 2 pcs of 4/4 cherry to make the legs. After machining and hoping the mortices I left them in the garage for several days, and we’ve had a fair bit of rain. Looking at them today I see there is a 1/8” bow on each leg. These are the front legs and the bow bellies out in the middle (bowing out). I have them clamped together now in the furnace room. The question is: Am I waisting my time trying to straighten them or should I start over? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thanks

-- Mark


9 replies so far

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Fred Hargis

3925 posts in 1952 days


#1 posted 03-22-2015 06:49 PM

It’s never worked for me. I’ve always just started over if the bow couldn’t be straightened by a cabinet side or something in the construction.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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AandCstyle

2559 posts in 1716 days


#2 posted 03-22-2015 07:23 PM

Mark, were the legs laying flat on a flat surface like your work bench? Was the concave side up? If this is the case, they lost moisture faster from the exposed side and those cells shrunk more than the ones laying on the bench. When you milled the wood, did you mill one side and not the other? Freshly exposed cells will loose moisture faster. You can try laying the concave side on the ground and cover them with a sheet of plastic. The sun will dry the convex sides, shrinking them, and the concave sides will pick up moisture from the ground. I have never done this, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn last night. :D At this point, you have little to lose by trying. If this works, store them either standing on end or stickered. Let us know what, if anything, you try and if it works.

-- Art

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Mark

818 posts in 1434 days


#3 posted 03-22-2015 08:07 PM

Nuts!!!

-- Mark

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

808 posts in 1694 days


#4 posted 03-22-2015 08:33 PM

I had a terrible bow in some thick panels due to humidity in my shop where they resided overnight. I brought them in the house and they went back to normal in a few hours. I would give that a try. Let us know.

-- Jerry

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Mark

818 posts in 1434 days


#5 posted 03-23-2015 10:09 PM

Art, Jerry. I stuck them in the furnace room over night to no avail. I’ve made a new set. Even if they did straighten out, I’d be leery of using them. The old ones I’ll cut down for cutting boards, any thing left over will get tossed in the smoker with a big old pork butt. :)

-- Mark

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AandCstyle

2559 posts in 1716 days


#6 posted 03-24-2015 12:29 AM

Mark, trying the on the ground covered by plastic would be an interesting experiment if you are so inclined.

-- Art

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rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#7 posted 03-24-2015 12:33 AM

In a case like this one could try setting them concave (moistest) side up and putting a light or heat source on them.
I’ve “sorta” restraightened boards like this.

You probably had an additive effect with the two boards laminated: one side a little more moist, the other a little drier.

Sometimes if you pay a little closer attention to the milling you can glue up to counteract forces.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Mark

818 posts in 1434 days


#8 posted 03-26-2015 01:41 AM

Art. I’m darned tempted to try it …But this is March ….on the Wet Coast. I won’t see the sun ‘till mid May. :(

-- Mark

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AandCstyle

2559 posts in 1716 days


#9 posted 03-26-2015 11:32 PM

I can wait, but if you are in a hurry you could try putting them on a barely damp towel and use a heat lamp to simulate the sun. Maybe this is all too crazy! :D

-- Art

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