Reply by Woodknack

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Posted on keeping small table flat

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12927 posts in 2920 days

#1 posted 09-15-2016 08:25 PM

Yeah there is no reason for dried, milled, and finished wood to warp except through moisture exchange and Flexner has written previously that different finishes impede moisture at different rates. It was proven a million times over for hundreds of years before Flexner was born. Myth busting can be fun and no doubt gets website clicks but it’s possible to get carried away and start busting truths and that’s what happened here. I suspect antique tables with unfinished bottoms only survived because houses didn’t have conditioned air and the finish was shellac which isn’t a particularly good moisture barrier anyway. Set a table with an unfinished bottom near a register and see what happens … I can tell you from experience that in short order the top will cup. Same spot but a table with a finished bottom doesn’t cup.

-- Rick M,

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