Warped Black Walnut

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Divotdog posted 08-03-2009 04:43 PM 1906 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Divotdog's profile


68 posts in 3464 days

08-03-2009 04:43 PM

I bought a piece of black walnut the other day – about 2 bd ft. After squaring it up a little I ripped about an inch off one side to use for a picture frame. I chamferd one edge and while rabbeting the other side I noticed it had already warped – at least an inch on a 4 ft piece. There is some twist in it, too.

I dont have a moisture meter but could this be caused by moisture? I tried to work with the grain on all the cuts. If I let it dry out a couple weeks, will I be able to work around this warp – will it stay glued up straight?

The board it came from is 15/16 so it will prob take a long time to dry out but will the 1” piece dry much faster?


-- David, Dallas,Tx - golf weather is warming up but it's cool in the shop.

6 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 08-03-2009 05:03 PM

It could be inner stress or uneven drying. If you left it laying flat on a bench three sides will dry faster than the one set on the bench causing warp and twist. You could try spraying or soaking in hot water and clamp straight and let dry and see what happens.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View commajockey's profile


16 posts in 3302 days

#2 posted 08-03-2009 10:06 PM

That’s a big movement, 1 inch across 4 feet. I’d concur with a1Jim above that it’s the result of uneven drying or a hasty trip through the kiln causing case hardening. I’d have my doubts about being able to get your 1-inch board significantly straighter without removing more material, although it’s worth a shot. Just clamp it with sufficient circulation so you don’t cause the same problem all over again.

Unfortunately, unless you know what you’re working with, you’re better off rough-cutting to larger-than-needed dimension at the beginning and then trimming/squaring up after you see what it does once the stresses are released. I’ve run into that quite a bit while working with hickory, a wood prone to harboring internal stresses.

-- Anything worth doing is worth redoing several times.

View Divotdog's profile


68 posts in 3464 days

#3 posted 08-03-2009 10:21 PM

Thanks, guys – I will try these ideas & cut larger next time.

-- David, Dallas,Tx - golf weather is warming up but it's cool in the shop.

View Ben Kahmann's profile

Ben Kahmann

231 posts in 3294 days

#4 posted 08-03-2009 11:04 PM

I’m sorry to say, but I do believe that board is a bad egg. My suggestion would be to get an entire new board and take a loss on that one. You’ll end up saving a ton of time AND aggrevation. I think a bad board has happened to all of all before. However, this is just one mans opinion

-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3826 days

#5 posted 08-04-2009 02:00 AM

I agree with Ben – life is to short to deal with crappy wood. Get a new board.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Divotdog's profile


68 posts in 3464 days

#6 posted 08-04-2009 02:28 PM

I guess I am as green as that board when it comes to picking wood. My hardwood source has boards in stacks just separated by type of wood. Some of them are pretty rough but they do give you one straight edge and one flat face. But I really can’t tell if they are dry enough (supposed to be kiln dried but I have my doubts). The end grain looks pretty dark and there is a 4” split coming from one end. Are these signs of moisture? Do most people use a moisture meter when choosing fairly rough pieces?

Thanks again – David

-- David, Dallas,Tx - golf weather is warming up but it's cool in the shop.

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