Have the 6/4 piece of cherry that's 5 7/8" wide and ~7' long. Had it
finished to S2S and and edge.
Then I cut it in half lengthwise. The piece w/the jointed edge was
fine. The piece with the one rough edge (that I then sawed off to
make 2 even width pieces) warped (bent) along the long axis. This is
no good, needless to say.
Why did only half of a single board do this?
How do I fix? (I've got i clamped down o try to ingrain a new memory
of straightness into the board, but this may take forever. A more
timely/effective soltution is desired).
If you look closely at the grain of the two halves, you will probably note a
significant difference. If this piece of cherry came from a large limb or
from a trunk that had grown out at an angle, one part of the board would
have grown under tension, one side under compression. Ripping the board has
now removed one half of the force that was helping to maintain equilibrium
and it warped.
That's one possibility. Another is that one board has picked up or lost
more moisture on one face than the other. Dampen the concave side and lay
it on some stretchers so air can get at all sides evenly and place a weight
on it to help. Amount of weight you ask? Leeseee...less than the weight of
a car engine but more than a loaf of bread.... 30-40lbs should be about
Worth a shot since what you have now can only be cut to make smaller pieces
> Why did only half of a single board do this?
Because wood comes from trees, and trees grow differently depending on if
it was a wet year, or if that side of the tree is shaded by other
vegitation, etc. This results in differing desities throughout the board and
corrsponding internal stresses. Sometimes, this results in what you
observed. Careful stock selection (clear, straight grain) can mitigate this
risk, but not totally eliminate it.
In short, it was probably not preventable, sometimes that just happens.
"Training" a board doesn't work. You can remove a cup temporarily with the
application of a little moisture/sunshine (leave a board on the lawn in the
summer and it will cup down. But that is just temporary until the moisture
content equalizes again.
1. The expensive option is to buy a jointer.
2. You can configure a router table fence (with a slightly offset infeed
fence and the outfeed fence tangent to the edge of a straight cutter) to
function like a jointer
3. Fasten the bent board to a straight one such that the straight board will
ride along your table saw's rip fence, while just the bent board makes
contact with the saw blade.... rip away.
hard telling. wood is a natural material, so it's properties will vary
from point to point. the wood closer to the waney edge was a different
age than the wood closer to the center of the tree. how the wood was
stacked for kiln drying can make a big difference, as can how fast it
generally speaking you can't.
if you can, use that piece in a location where it will be held
straight by other pieces, or cut it into short enough pieces that the
warp ceases to be a factor.
alternatively, you could try ripping it in half, reversing the halves
and gluing them back together- so they will pull each other straight.
given the history of this board, I doubt that the two halves will have
equivalent warpage, however.
if I were trying to coax it back to straight with clamps I think I'd
overshoot the curve by a fair bit.
whatever you do, if the board is going to have to hold it's own shape
(freestanding it's length, not bound to another member) within the
finished article let it sit unrestrained for a while before using it.
it would suck to get it bent back to straight and make the door stile
or whatever out of it only to have it go wild again a few days
Aaaahhhh! You folks gotta stop abusing... I better stop here since
I'm sure anything I say will be convoluted further.
I can cut it up to nice 18" pieces and throw it into the fireplace
this evening. Supposed to get a nice little snow storm.
Actually, I'm debating whether to try and salvage it. Over a 80"
length, the bend start about 3/4 of the along and bends out ~1" by the
end. This wood is going to be fastened to the side panel of an tv
armoire, partly in an effort to restrain the panel from bowing out
where the large opening for the TV is. I'm thinking I'm going to
rabbet the piece and fasten it w/biscuits to the panel. Where the
bend in the wood is, the panel will be stiffened by two shelves about
14" apart, which would restrain the wood from it's desire to bend.
I'm just a little concerned about unthought of stresses from which I
might find undesireable consequences later (like, when the dang thing
The piece that bent have sapwood in it? Good bet that'd bend.
Were the annual rings consistent in interval? Difference is what you see
if you have "reaction" wood.
Did you rip close to the heart? Smaller radius rings pull harder.
It's wood, so you take your best shot based on what you observe. If any of
the conditions above pertained when you evaluated the wood for cutting, you
might well have thought of using the piece at its largest. I mentally
discard the heart (pith) and sapwood as I plan the cuts.
I've tried this many times, with very limited success. As other posters
have noted, the plank had inbuilt stress, probably through bad seasoning.
By ripping it, you've released that stress and the two halfs have now found
their equilibrium. All you can do with the bent one really is to leave it
as is is and cut usable bits from it now that it is stable. And that isn't
to say that, if you rip it again, you won't release a bit more stress...
The answer to that is yes, you can. Steaming relieves the stress in the
wood. However, there's usually some spring back when you take it out of the
clamps, so you'd need to guesstimate it and overbend slightly. It might be
worth it if it's a particularly precious piece of wood.
: You can steam wood to bend it. Can you steam wood to straighten it?
I believe that kiln managers can recondition timbers, but if tried on a
home-workshop basis, I reckon that the item would need to be under pressure
during the steaming/drying cycle.
I've often thought of it, but never tried it - possibly because the process
is likely to require greater control than possible in the workshop.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email address is username@ISP
username is amgron
ISP is clara.co.uk
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.