Wood movement


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Established Member
25 Oct 2020
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Gerrards Cross
I made a box as a gift in my unheated workshop, all looked fine and brought it indoors. Couple of days later lid has warped slightly ( enough to brass me off) so that it is no longer flush with base. Obviously the change in humidity , annoying, but it’s wood so live with it. However I also made a second box exactly the same design , and as yet it had not had the lid cut off and is still in the workshop. My question is therefore two- fold. Could I have done anything different to avoid the lid movement with box 1 ( gift straight from the workshop is an obvious solution) although this type of movement has never happened in previous builds.
Secondly , should I bring box 2 inside to acclimatise before I remove the lid,if so for how long?
Any help appreciated, or am I just being too anal😂

First 2 photos pre movement, latter 2 post


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The box looks amazing, such a shame about the slight movement. Are you able to save it? Could you put a shim under the corner that is touching, and clamp the corner with the gap, this stretchers/pushes the wood the other way and after a few days/weeks stays flat. I've had good success doing this to doors that have started to twist.
Nice box!
I'm not sure how much help acclimatising will be as the tensions are there in the box, waiting to be released. However, it wouldn't do any harm and might well work.
Re the first box, is there any reason why you can't plane a little bit off the RH front corner, so as to close up that gap?
You need a heated workshop.
Maybe you should have first acclimatised the wood to the indoors.
Failing that, adjust the lid to fit, after it has warped and acclimatised.
I guess your second box will warp the same, as the stresses are built in.
Cut the lid off, take it all inside and fit the lid a few weeks later, when it has stopped moving.
PS could be the relatively thick piece on top of the lid moving and causing the bend ?
er... who knows? :unsure:
Last edited:
PS could be the relatively thick piece on top of the lid moving and causing the bend ?
er... who knows? :unsure:
Almost certainly that, the essentially trapezoid and thick zebrano pieces being wetter when the item was made, then drying out with the subsequent cupping of the zebrano(concavity upwards) being stronger than the box lid sides can resist. Note also that the glue bond has broken and zebrano is breaking away from the maple(?) box lid side, see image 157785.

I'd say there's nothing much you can do to ensure similar doesn't happen to the second box. You'll just have to cut the lid off and take your chances.

For the future you might consider making box lids weaker by making them thinner. Thinner lids have less strength if they attempt to cup as the moisture content changes - see a couple of examples below. Slainte.