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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of getting ready to glue my project together but something has come up that i need some sense of direction or advice for next time, i had a 22" x 24" piece of laminated pine from which i cut 5/8" dados in it length wise. once the dados were cut i cut four 1" slats from the 22". so now i am left with four slats and a whole piece which measures 18-1/2" x 24". now i bought this solid piece of wood a few days back. and just yesterday everything including the whole piece of wood and the 1" slats that i cut are now bowed. while the piece of wood was stored it was layed flat on the top of my workbench. i was getting ready to prep the project for gluing and noticed this problem. when gluing i was gonna spring the wood back into it's straight shape and clamp it. is this not a good idea or what should i do? i had the wood lying flat and now it's bowed. any help from anyone on why this happened and if it can be fixed?

luckily this project is nothing more than storage bins (wood workers journal) that i saw in the magazine. this is my very first project that i have made and thought it was going real well till i saw this. sure this project wasn't that difficult but i did find a way to screw it up.

please help
reds_21
 

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Reds, what happened is moisture. We tend to think of wood as being dry, but it is more like a sponge only denser. As it dries the outside gives off its water first leaving the center still damp. If you have ever seen particle board that has gotten wet you know how wood swells with added water. It just happens faster with particle board. Your laminated pine was straight to start with, and the entire outside surface had slowly given off its moisture. When you cut your dado's you exposed the center of the wood which still had moisture and as it evaporated the wood shrank and bowed up. The way to prevent movement of the wood after cutting is to glue up your assembly right away. This seals the moisture into the "wound" in the wood. Your plan to spring the wood back while doing your glue up is fine. There is one other thing to learn from this moisture concept. When you apply finish to your projects you block the woods ability to let moisture move in or out of it. If you only finish one side you are encouraging the wood to move more on the other side or warp. To prevent this seal both sides. It doesnt need to be fancy, it just needs to be sealed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ANICE

but,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,i thought if you were to seal the project once finished gluing? i was going to leave mine natural and wasn't gonna varnish or paint. would this sealing add a varnish type look??? also should i varnish this project? it's only gonna be in the garage and it's used to store hardware. so in my opinion, no fancy finishing would be necessary. let me know your input on this one.......

thanks
shawn
 

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Shawn, the wood will continue to move with moisture in the air. This is why table tops and panels expand and contract. No finish should be fine for this project. The idea is if you finish one side and not the other you make big trouble for yourself. Take a piece of scrap pine and paint one side with any old paint or finish, let it dry and then put it outside. This will show you what can happen. You might want to use a 2nd piece of scrap and finish both sides for a comparison? There are clear finishes you can use to seal a project that are not noticeable such as sanding sealer. It's not decorative, just seals the wood. I have one suggestion for you, I know that a garage project doesnt need finish, but it offers you the chance to try out your finishing skills on something you wont be upset about if you have trouble. I made an awful mess of the finish on my first project and had to redo it. Think of it as free practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Mike. But After All Said And Done I Should Glue The Project Before Finishing Right???? If I Finish The Wood Before Gluing, The Glue Won't Stick Right?
 

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Yes, gluing should always be done with wood in the raw.


reds_21 said:
Thanks Mike. But After All Said And Done I Should Glue The Project Before Finishing Right???? If I Finish The Wood Before Gluing, The Glue Won't Stick Right?
 

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Bob, you are correct when you say the glue will not stick to any finish. Most projects are easy to finish after the glue up is complete. Some projects have special needs such as raised panel doors. It's ok to apply the finish to the raised panel since it is free floating and doesnt receive any glue. This way when the panel contracts you dont see an unfinished edge, or a blotchy finish.
 

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Moisture may be the problem or it can also be built in stress in the wood. This is not uncommon, I once was ripping a 2X4 into a two 2X2's (it was a 2X4 that was taken out when I opened a new door way in my home and had been stacked in my wood rack for years) as I cut one side was fine but the other twisted almost 90 deg, it started as I was cutting! This stress was built into the tree! I still have the twisted part in the shop to remind me.....

I have no experence with that type wood but I'm guessing they use presses to stick it together out of scraps of wood so who knows what's happens when you mess with it by cutting or other operations...... welcome to woodworking, the wood rules you are just along for the ride.

Ed
 

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Ed, These glued panels are made from what amounts to 1x2's properly edge joined with alternating grain patterns and decent sanded finish on both sides. As far as pine goes they are pretty stable. I have experienced very little movement on through cuts or when glueing shortly after cutting. These panels are economical and great time savers. The only downside to them is the grain pattern isn't as pleasing as it might be. Carried by both HD and Loews in several sizes. Give them a try this spring.
 

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I made a fancy tv stand out of rough cut pine thought it was dry enough wrong all the shelves warped and twisted I didn't even put a finish on it because it looked so good without one. Could someone point me in a direction for an inexpensive moister meter? Need and want one.
 

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finishing both sides of table tops,et.al. has always been contraversial. there are many antique pieces that have never had the undersides finished and are still in good shape. personally i finish both sides.
regards
jerry
 

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ejant said:
I can not speak of that tool or any other meter but if you don't have a book that talks about wood movement I would say that you need:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&cat=1,46096,46109&p=46281
Lee Valley Wood Movement Reference Guide

"Most woodworkers are aware of wood movement caused by moisture content change, but few know how much it can vary; for example, white oak can move over five times as much as eastern white pine. Even rarer is the woodworker who has this information readily available and has the ability to use it."

As far as I'm concerned it is more importain to know about how the wood moves and then what you do to let it do it's thing rather then fight it. Add a good book on joint design..... then start looking at wooden pieces that are hundreds of years old..... how did they do it?????? No meters, no routers, but a good knowledge of wood......

Ed
 

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reds_21 said:
I am in the process of getting ready to glue my project together but something has come up that i need some sense of direction or advice for next time, i had a 22" x 24" piece of laminated pine from which i cut 5/8" dados in it length wise. once the dados were cut i cut four 1" slats from the 22". so now i am left with four slats and a whole piece which measures 18-1/2" x 24". now i bought this solid piece of wood a few days back. and just yesterday everything including the whole piece of wood and the 1" slats that i cut are now bowed. while the piece of wood was stored it was layed flat on the top of my workbench. i was getting ready to prep the project for gluing and noticed this problem. when gluing i was gonna spring the wood back into it's straight shape and clamp it. is this not a good idea or what should i do? i had the wood lying flat and now it's bowed. any help from anyone on why this happened and if it can be fixed?

luckily this project is nothing more than storage bins (wood workers journal) that i saw in the magazine. this is my very first project that i have made and thought it was going real well till i saw this. sure this project wasn't that difficult but i did find a way to screw it up.

please help
reds_21
After reading this again..... something is troubling me..... Now I hate to ask this but which way is the grain running? Or maybe I should say which way or all the glued strips that make up the panel running, parallel to the 22" (now 18 1/2") or to the 24"????

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ed

the height is the 18" and the dados that i have cut are running vertically on that. so the grain pattern is running horizontally to the dados. i cut the dados on the overall piece then cut off the one inch strips for my slats. grain all running horizontally

shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
also, even though i realize there are probably tons of sealants that can be used to fix the pre-warping phase could anyone please give me some exact names of sealants i can use................

when you seal the ends, should you do it right after you make the cut so it doesn't warp or is that being a little to paranoid??? how long does it take for these sealers to dry to where i can continue. lets say i start a project and it comes close to the evening and i know it won't be done, should i seal it before closing up shop????? should i do everyside that is exposed or only two sides.........can you shed some light on the how to's of this??

thanks
shawn
 

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Moisture Meters

Fine Woodworking Magazine, Issue No. 156 (June 2002) did an article, comparison, of moisture meters.

~Julie~
 

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People, thank you for all the tips but we are talking about white wood fresh from HD or Loews. These preglued panels are fairly stable but will move if you make a dado cut and dont glue it or seal it the same day. This is not the solution for fine woodworking projects. This is an easy way for beginers to get started. The ability to work with solid wood in sizes ranging from 12" to 24" widths without a table saw or clamps is what makes these panels a great value.
 
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