Salvaging warped wood...

I'm making some huge poster frames out of walnut. An actual *commissioned* project, so I have to see it through to the end.
I made my list, checked it twice and figured out which bits were naughty and nice, and it all _just_ worked out in terms of yielding what I needed out of the board. There's not much left other than sawdust and shavings. All in all a good job of planning the cuts.
All except for the stress I unlocked in the wood, and the resultant horribly twisted pieces. The long ones are 42", and some of them rise as much as 5" in the middle. Adding insult to injury, many of them are actually bowed along two different axes simultaneously.
I've seen wood move a little before, and usually I could just fudge it into behaving by using some extra mechanical fasteners and lots of clamps, but that isn't going to work this time. These things pretty much came off the saw warped all to hell. Worse exponentially than anything I've ever seen before. Perhaps because these are so much longer than what I normally work with. Perhaps indeed.
I don't see any way to put them under enough tension to hold the bow at bay, and there's not enough wood to these things to plane them flat.
Is my only choice at this point to pretty much chalk it up to experience and make a lot of pen blanks out of these?
How can I avoid the problem in the future? Wider pieces? Let the wood season in my shop for a few weeks before cutting? Cut on a less rainy day? Choose lumber more carefully? Cut up shorter boards? Cut grossly oversized pieces and plan on planing 1/2 or more of it away to account for the inevitable?
I could use some real advice on this one. I can salvage some of these if they don't warp any worse (are they likely to?), but some of this stuff is practially little better than kindling. I'm going to go over budget on this one, and I want to minimize my losses.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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twisted pieces

carefully resaw the twisty stuff into strips and re-glue against a flat surface. i generally run the strips over my router table first and get fancy glue-lam frames. bob
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Minorite wrote:

Hrm... Not a bad idea. Having a bandsaw would be good about now.
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It's a tough one, Michael.
Bob suggested cutting your boards up and making laminates from them, and, in my experience, there's no other way if you don't have enough wood to plane flat. Badly dried timber case hardens. If it has been under pressure when it dries, then it will dry flat. However, it is in a state of tension, and the only thing that keeps it flat is that the tension on one side of the board equals that on the other, You resaw it, and you are removing that balance, so each half board will naturally warp, or bow, or cup or twist.
Avoid the problem in future by buying well-seasoned timber from a good supplier, very near to the finished dimensons you need, and conditioning it in an environment very close to the MC of its final destination for several weeks before you start work.
Salvage the existing situation by either making glued-up boards, or as you suggest, making pen blanks or laminated turning blanks.
Sorry to be so negative, but DAMHIKT, as they say.
Cheers
Frank.

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Frank McVey wrote:

That's a tricky one that comes up a lot. Season it in the outdoor shop, where it will sit for a week or two in various stages of completion, or season it in the house... I'll google back to see what has been said on that score before.

Or by putting truss rods into every piece. Yeah, that's the ticket. :)

'S OK. I need to learn so I don't repeat this. Doesn't matter if it was me or the wood or the color of mercury on the horizon, I just don't want to see carefully laid plans turn into a game of Twister like this again.
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Silvan responds:

In the shop. You're not machining it in the house.
Charlie Self
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Thomas J. Watson
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Frank McVey responds:

The first time you rip or resaw a board that turns into a wishbone as it passes the blade is a true awakening.

About all the OP can do.
If the cost is the driving factor, rip it down and glue it up. Otherwise, pen blanks will be about all.
Charlie Self
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Thomas J. Watson
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Just wondering what the actual dimen- sions are of the finished strips. Are they thin enough to be straightened out with some kind of laminated backing?
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BUB 209 wrote:

Oh. Duh. I didn't say, did I? They're around .75" x 1" x 42" and 29" respectively (long and short sides).
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Sorry you got bit. Hope it was some of that $1.25/bf gloat walnut that looks great in the stack. It would at least be a cheaper experience if that were the case. Good idea to try to always buy from a reputable dealer with well seasoned lumber.
Fairly informative article:
http://www.wwpa.org/techguide/shrinkage.htm#Preventing
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Swingman wrote:

Sure was, plus I, um, er, donated $3.45/bf to charity.

They're *supposed* to be reputable. Maybe this was just a fluke.

Sure was. Well, that's pretty obvious then. Bad lumber.
I won't give up on this dealer that quickly, but now I know this wasn't something I should expect to have to plan around with $4.70/bf walnut. I'm going to go talk to him, take some of these pretzles, and see what he says.
Thanks all for the info...
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On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 00:12:07 -0500, Silvan

Instant karma sucks, wot?
(P.S: Was it sold as dry/seasoned wood?)
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On Thu, 06 Nov 2003 14:00:42 -0500, Silvan

The kiln operator sped up the drying cycle to move inventory faster. The yard should have told you the wood was not seasoned properly.
About all you can do now is to use it in short enough lengths that it can be planed. And even then it might move some more.
Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a
"WooWooism lives" Anon grafitto on the base of the Cuttyhunk breakwater light
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mbefore cutting? Cut on a less rainy day?

While a lumber supplier might argue with you about grade questions - everyone would like to be able to get nice wide FAS boards at #1 Common prices - any reputable supplier would take that stuff back in a heartbeat. And thank you for alerting them to the problem.
John Martin
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