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un-warping wood

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Anonymous

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Reaching the end of a rather long and (probably needlessly) traumatic project (bookcases), I came to pretty much the final part - hanging a couple of doors - to find that one of them has warped slightly from corner to opposite corner. The doors are fairly thin (8-10mm) and solid. I tried clamping the door to a rigid board for a couple of weeks with a bit of cable underneath to try to remove this by warping it the other way. This worked well - for about 1/2 an hour, by which time the wood had reverted to its "original" state. Anyone any ideas how to get the wood to "remember" its shape whilst being clamped. I had thought of soaking the wood and clamping again while it dries off but really don't have any idea of effective timescales.:? Also wondered about some sort of steam treatment but don't reckon my kettle is really up to it!:oops:

Any suggestions most gratefully received!
 

tim

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BigPaul.

It depends on what the door is made from to some extent. I've had some luck in the past by doing pretty much what you have done but by making sure that the caul used is at least twice as big as the original warp ie if is 8mm out then use a 16mm batten.

Its probably easier to screw the opposite corners to the floor to provide the pressure (or blocks over the edge of the door).

Take care when doing it - don't crank it down all at once! and leave it clamped for a minimum of 24 hours.

Good luck

Cheers

Tim
 
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Anonymous

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Paul

seems to me that you will be storing stresses in the wood ready for it to move again at the slightest provocation.
 

JFC

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Ive found that its quicker to make a new one . Ive spent many days tweaking doors and in the end had to make a new one anyway . Seems to me if the wood wants to go that way theres very little you can do about it . :cry:
 
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JFC":8ksrhjfw said:
Ive found that its quicker to make a new one . Ive spent many days tweaking doors and in the end had to make a new one anyway . Seems to me if the wood wants to go that way theres very little you can do about it . :cry:
I had a horrible feeling someone was going to say that. Truth is, the doors are made of purple heart I managed to get from the recyclers and I don't have any more. Couple that with the fact that my workshop has now had to revert to its original state - ie the spare room and I'm a bit stuck :cry:
I agree with your comment, Tony but I remember seing a tv programme on making ice hockey sticks where they seemed to treat the wood with steam for a couple of minutes and then induce a bend. I just wondered if anyone knew of a slightly less industrial method??
 

tim

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BP

The method I described is well known and has been used for years. Documented in many stock texts etc.

Sure if you've got the risk of having to go back to customers in the future to repair/ replace or you have concerns about it doing it again in the future then it may be easier / safer to remake.

In this instance, you don't have any more of the timber so what have you got to lose?

Cheers

Tim
 
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Anonymous

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OK, cheers Tim - I'll give it a go, just need to use a bigger caul than last time. Do you reckon any form of soaking / water treatment will help the process, or is it likely to do more harm than good?
 

JFC

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How is the door constructed ? Can you not cut the joints and reglue with biscuits ?
 

Noel

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Paul, they usually laugh at me when I suggest this but whatever....
Right, to un-warp timber you need to introduce a little moisture into it. One way of doing this is to leave the timber out on the lawn for a few hours. Say about 6.00 am when there should be a heavy dew starting to develope. After the first hour or two you will see some movement. When the timber looks nice and true bring it back indoors and wipe it down and seal it really well to try and keep the moisture within the wood. If the moisture is allowed to escape it will most likely warp again.
Ok, this is a totally unscientific method but it does work.

Noel
 

Adam

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Noel":5ueqsa7r said:
Paul, they usually laugh at me when I suggest this but whatever....Noel
Not me, I've seen that recommended a number of times.

Adam
 
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Anonymous

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Hmmm sounds an interesting one - only slightly hampered by the fact I live in a top floor flat and don't have a lawn! :cry:

JFC Door is simply 2 fairly thin boards (when I say boards, don't get illusions of grandeur - the door is only 500mm x 250mm!) which have been biscuited together. It seems that the wood itself has warped rather than the joints, so I'm not sure cutting and re-glueing would achieve much.

I think what I'll try is tim's method of clamping it dry first, then if that doesn't work, I'll try leaving it outside on the windowsill overnight as per Noel's suggestion.

Further to that, if I bring the wood in when it's damp and (hopefully) straight, is there any benefit in clamping it to a flat board to remove the temptation for it to bend again? or is sealing the moisture in the most effective way?

Anyway, cheers for the advice - here's hoping!
 
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