Arrrg...WARP!

My wife wanted a sink in her laundry room. OK, NP...I made lower and upper cabinets, made and fitted the doors in my shop, all was well.
I then removed the doors, brought the cabinets inside and we hung them. A day or so later I rehung the doors. The upper cabinet doors didn't fit well. There are two cabinet sections, each with two doors, each door is approximately 15" x 39". The problem is that one inside corner of each door stood off from the face frame by 1/2" or so. That standoff has now worsened...in some cases to more than an inch. The cabinet is quite solid, wasn't wracked when hung.
The rails and stiles for the doors are 1 1/2" x 3/4" and were ripped off of "whitewood" 2x4s; the panels are 1/4" birch ply. Rails/stiles are hooked together with 1/2 x 1/4 tongues and grooves, panels set in the groove. I've made many doors in a similar fashion before with nary a problem.
WHAT WARPED? There are two possibilities...the stile(s) or the plywood panels. I'm leaning toward it being the ply. What do you think? Any way to tell for sure?
HOW TO FIX? 1. I've thought of misting a bit of water along the groove where the ply is and then clamping the door flat for a week or two.
2. I've thought of ripping off 3/4" along the inside stile and then afixing a 3/4 x 1 1/2 or so strip along it so that it stands proud of the outside door edge by 3/4". My thinking is that the 1 1/2 width would better resist effort by the ply panel to bend but I have no idea if it would be sufficient.
Any other ideas? All are welcome, I really don't want to remake the doors and I can't stand them as they are.
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dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote: ...

I'd bet about 100% other way -- 1/4" ply isn't strong enough and is well-dried, stable material.
The "whitewood" 2x are construction-grade lumber which is rarely dried to anything close to really dry.
I don't see much other than making a new set of doors of stable material being likely to be a long-term solution.
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dpb wrote:

And, I'd guess it's the top and bottom rails that twisted, not the stiles.
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Hi dadiOH
Condolences on a fine project going to he!!.
I used white wood a year ago to make some boxes for a grandchilds toy train, and I was disgusted. It warped when it looked at it, it dented and just plain wasn't stable. Not sure if it was moisture, or what, but I felt like I wasted all my care and (semi-) skill.
For my next project I used aspen from a local sawmill and have been much happier. I'd have used poplar but they didn't have any.
I'll NEVER use whitewood for anything important again.
Old Guy

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Old Guy wrote:

I don't like it either. Unfortunately, it is just about the only thing available locally, no lumber yards within an hour's drive and I didn't want to deplete my smallish on hand supply of white oak. The improvement stores have a (limited) supply of over priced red oak and (sometimes) poplar but since I had used it previously for identical purpose I went with the $$ saver :(
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dadiOH
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Yeah, it would be the construction grade material you used, the Whitewood 2x4's.

If you want to do it right, I suggest rebuilding and use Poplar as a cheapo paintable wood for the frames. Leave the construction grade lumber for stuff that does not matter.

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dadiOH said:

Take them apart. The ply will spring back into shape unless it's been a long while. Plywood is extremely resistant to warping - there is no consistant grain structure to cause it. Your problem was in using using construction grade wood which is not only too wet, but is generally veneer cores which contain a lot of twisting annular grain.
You CAN use construction grade wood, but it has to be selected for cut by looking at the ring pattern on the ends. Around here, 1 out of 20 sticks will usually contain usable WWing wood. Then it has to be dried further before machining. I have made a lot of shop cabinets, moldings and such out of generic 2x4s with these guidelines. The problem then becomes "why am I spending so much time working with this crap wood when labor is by far the largest cost factor. Availability is the major reason for me.

It won't stay that way. You have now reached the wood's natural state at household moisture levels. But due to the annular grain, it is far more susceptable to warping with each minor seasonal moisture change.

The ply is actually resisting the frame's effort at warping further.

Unfortunately, you have just answered your own quandry. The only lasting fix is to remake the doors. It can be done with matching wood, as long as you select it carefully.
Here is an example of a bench I built out of construction grade SYP five years ago:
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/Bench1l.jpg
It lives in a sporadically heated garage shop and is still rock solid, the top is still flat, and it is truly a tank that has withstood pounding, welding, transmission overhauls, as well as woodworking.
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/Bench21.jpg
Moldings:
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/Wall_Cabinets_3l.jpg
Anyway, good luck!
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Can't :( ____________

One would think so but in my experience it frequently wants to wind. Usually NP as it is either screwed/nailed/glued to something or is contained within stout lumber pieces. _________________

You lost me here with "veneer cores". You're talking about the ply? I used to use a lot of lumber core ply but have never seen it where I live now and have never even heard of it in 1/4" ply. The ply I used was probably BC, lower limits of each, never heard of other ply designations other than core, faces, glue. The whitewood was #2 common which - around here at least - is AKA "construction grade". _________________

I don't think so either. But I still think it is the ply bending, not the frame. All lumber frame elements are still nice and straight. The rails *have* to be twisted in order for the door to warp as described but that twist is too little to see with a straight edge. ________________

Thanks
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dadiOH
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dadiOH said:

Veneer cores are the wood left over when peeling a tree for veneer which is then used in plywood. If you will note at your local lumber store, most of the 2x4s are from at or near the center of the tree.
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

OK, gotcha. Thanks.
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dadiOH
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