i have a leaf from an oak dining room table that has warped very
noticeably. i have no way to replace it. does anyone have any ideas as to
how to straighten it out? please e-mail at email@example.com.
Only two, neither very painless, and it may be cheaper to buy a new table at
local upper-end used furniture place:
1. See if local custom wood furniture repair shop has a steamer, and can get
it flexible, and dry it back out while keeping it clamped flat. Of course,
if it gets damp again, it may curl right back up. Refinishing the leaf, and
probably the entire table to match, will be called for. For a dining table,
I'd figure a hundred bucks minimum, based on stuff I have had done before.
2. Gusset the bottom with a steel or aluminum plate that is stronger than
the wood, and lotsa short screws. This will likely require notching out the
pull-apart rails so it can sit flat. On garage floor or other hard flat
spot, lay down a plywood scrap, put the leaf upside down over it, lay the
gusset plate over that, and stack weight on it till it goes flat. Then,
working around the weights, start drilling and screwing. Remove weights, and
if it doesn't curl right back up, add more screws where the weights were.
I have done it, but requires the finish on the concave side be stripped.
Lay wet towel on the concave side. Let it soak until the board
flattens. It works rather fast, so you need to keep an eye on it. When
it returns to flat position, brace with a couple of straight pieces of
wood and clamp it. Be careful not to clamp it until it is flat,or you
will crack the leaf. Let it dry few days, then finish both sides so it
doesn't warp again.
I used a similar method once and it worked like a charm. The finish has to
be stripped from at least the concave side of the warped piece. I soaked a
spot in the yard, then laid the top concave side down right on the grass in
the sun and kept an eye on it. Eventually it came to very nearly flat. I
took it inside and let it stabilize a couple of days so the surface was dry
and then refinished (not waterborne finish). I did this job 20+ years ago
and it's still flat.
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