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Oak warping - is it too dry?

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luke1i1

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Hi all

I'm new to the forum and I really need some assistance!

I am trying to make an Oak cake stand for my wedding in August 2019.

Being new to woodworking I did not realise the importance of ensuring the wood was fully dry before turning/planning it. I bought a slab of Oak from Ebay several weeks ago to which I was advised was air drying for approx. 1 year. The seller assures me the moisture content is < 10% however I do not know if this is the surface temp or the internal core temp of the slap :?

The problem I am experiencing only occurs after I have cut out the round blanks from the slab and planed or turned these flat (I faced the end so it will sit flat on the table). The piece slowly cups over the course of a couple of days and I cannot think why (I assume the inside of the wood is wet or at least has a higher MC then the surface and when this is cut into and then dries causes the cupping to occur).

I kept the wood in the same environment to which it cups for approx. 2 weeks before planning/turning it.

Does anyone have any advice as to if this is the cause and what I can quickly do about it as I need to have this stand made in the next month or so :( :(

Many thanks for your assistance

Best wishes

Luke
 

MikeG.

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Welcome Luke.

That's what wood does when it isn't dry, I'm afraid. Which means the seller's assurance of the moisture levels are ..........erm.....optimistic.

With a wedding coming up shortly I would advise you to just go and buy an off-the-shelf cake stand. There are loads of people supplying rounds of wood for that purpose (florists often have them, for instance). Taking a risk on this damp tree stump you've bought is not going to end well.
 

El Barto

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The general rule of thumb for air drying is one year per inch of thickness.

Could you buy some kiln dried oak in the meantime and let this one dry properly for use down the line?
 

luke1i1

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Thanks both for the reply. I was looking into buying some kiln dried Oak. Do you think that would be better? How close does it need to be to EMC before it is ok to use?

Thanks
 

luke1i1

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Hi all

Thanks for the reply's so far.

So I have bought some more Oak this time Kiln Dried. My moisture meter is having difficulty reading the MC but I believe it to be approx 5%.

Is this going to be alright to use? Also how long would it take to reach EMC?

Thanks
 

MikeG.

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5% is extraordinarily dry, and fine to work with straight away. Being that dry suggests it might have been overcooked, so watch out for splinters.
 
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