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Warped Oak

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  • Warped Oak

    I'm building a crib for a new granddaughter that is due next month. It is just a small swinging crib that many of you have seen plans for. The problem is one of the vertical risers that support the crib is warped. I've already glued and screwed the support frame together. I didn't notice it was warped until I hung the crib. Now the crib rubs against the riser. It seems like I read somewhere that you can steam oak to bend it. Anyone no of a remedy?

  • #2
    Is the wood finished yet, that makes a lot of difference. You could steam it if it isn't finished, but it depends on thickness too. Also, most of the time, without support after, the steamed would will still go back to its original shape.

    Some people\'s lack of a sense of humor ruins life for the rest of us.


    • #3
      Problem with steaming is, when it dries out again, no telling which direction it will go.

      I highly suggest start over, and look closely at the wood grain of the wood you purchase.

      Alternates would be putting a spacer between the feet near floor level, in hopes the straight end is stronger than the warped end to help keep it aligned.

      A Month isn't much time, and they grow out of them so fast!
      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


      • #4
        Woody wrote:

        "...look closely at the wood grain of the wood you purchase."

        I was wondering if you could expand on this and explain some of the things you would look for to ensure a quality purchase?

        Best regards,



        • #5
          Look for wood that is more Quartersawn than flat sawn as it will not change as much with humidity and will be stronger. Flat sawn wood tends to warp, bow, twist, and shrink/expand far more than quartersawn wood.


          • #6
            I purchased the oak at HD and I'm not sure I know how to tell if it is quartersawn. It seems that I have taken enough warpage out of the riser so that it doesn't rub. I'm in Phoenix and we have had temps of about 105 the last few days. I clamped the riser tight enough to put a slight bow in the opposite direction and left it clamped for about 48 hrs. The temperature in the garage is probably 110 during the heat of the day.That seems to have helped. I don't know if the high temperatures had anything to do with that or not.


            • #7
              if you got it a HD you dont have much choice in what you get also look really closely at the wood if it was in wide boards say 8" or more it may be a glue-up piece they do a pretty good job of grain matching but alot of the hardwoods are glue-ups at HD menards and lowes


              • #8
                In response:

                Look at the end of the board, at the growth rings. If you see the rings directly perpandicular to the top and bottom of the board, it's a good one. If you see the growth rings arched, or at an angle, it will have greater movement, especially at points where knots are, and woodgrain changes.

                If you desire a wide board, I suggest select narrower boards and a glue up to achieve this. It's more time consuming, but the results are much more satisfying, and healthy (mentally).

                That's not to say, you should not look at wider boards. Just last Saturday, I purchased 2, 12" wide boards that where flat sawn and full of knots. The knots where through the center, and basically 1/4 sawn on both sides. I needed 7'6' x 2 1/2" for tall narrow raise panel type doors. Taking the sides off for the rails, and using the center sections between the knots for the stiles, I saved over $50 versis purchasing narrower boards of select to gain the same results.

                One needs to understand wood movement, how it comes about, and prediction. When you look at purchasing wood, you need to know every action, and every reaction of the wood, and it's relivence to it's location in the project.

                It's not rocket science, it's just woodworking, but there are rules to follow, just as there is with liquid oxygen or end up with a stable finished project that will make it past lift off, and well beyond.

                Yep, I've played with model rockets since the early 70's.
                John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                • #9
                  Woody...I'm going to print your post and take it with me the next time I buy wood.


                  • #10
                    Thanks Woody!

                    So, what do you think happened in the following case: I was cutting .75 x .75s of maple to edge some plywood. Jointed and planed a 1 x 6 flat and square. Went to rip a piece and half way through, I was smoking the blade. I thought my rip fence had come loose. Stopped in mid-cut and found the whole 1 x 6 was bent with about a 1/4" bow in it. Took it back to the jointer, flipped it end for end and ripped down the same side and it came out straight. Hmmmm....

                    Here is a link that explains quarter sawn:


                    Best regards,


                    [ 09-30-2003, 12:41 PM: Message edited by: Henry Anthony ]


                    • #11
                      Cutting wood actually relieves internal pressure, generated by the growth rings. Alot depends on how it was sawn when the tree was cut down. How it was stored, and for how long before this process. Kiln dried wood is precissionally stacked, weight, and heat/air forced dried. If larger boards are then sawn to smaller sized, milled, stacked, and banded for shiping, it's almost like treated lumber. When you unband it, use it, or it will go wild on you.

                      With Maple, from my personal experiecne, it's almost better to have a wild woodgrain apperance. Meaning, the way the board is sawn at the mill, if you get highly figured woodgrain, especially with birdseye, the more stable it is. On the other hand, with curly maple, it's the opposite. The straighter the grain, the more stable it is, as with most speicies's.

                      Maple is real dense, it can be drilled and tapped for threads for light fastening. Therefore, it burns easy. Don't let sawing or machining maple with burns scare you; it's the nature of the beast. Just be prepared to sand aggresivly to remove the burns.

                      Reversing direction of machining, and having reverse effects on the wood movement is one of those totally unpredictabilities wood has. For those who have thousands of hours, and thousands of board feet under their belt, I'm sure it's better understood. The best I can offer here is imbed mental notes of how the wood was dried, how it was sawn, and what results where with different approaches. Every piece of wood is a new learning experience. It's like mistakes. Learn from them. 20 years from now, you'll be able to identify the same wood, and know what it will do in the many different ways it can be divided up into.

                      It's a knowledge database in your own mind. You have to make space for it, and you have to want to accept the knowledge, and store it. And be able to recall it when you want to. For me, I can never stop learning about wood, and every little detail pertaining to it. Sometimes; I'm almost glad I have 1.5 hour drive to/from work. It gives my mind time to work on ideas about things as I set the cruise and drift into a freeway knumb. A 70mph brain wave is hard to pass!
                      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>