dealing with cupped wood

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Forum topic by need2boat posted 07-18-2011 04:51 AM 3065 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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544 posts in 3605 days

07-18-2011 04:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cherry wood planer plane woodworking cupping

Over the weekend I bought about 400 bf cherry.

This was stored inside a barn for better then 25 years. The price was less then a 1.00 a bf and I’d say better then 3/4 of it is usable to some degree. Most of it is cupped some worse then others. 90% of it is right at 4/4 or just under and around 5 feet long. Most boards are 10-12” wide a few 18” and really nice color. I would guess iit’s all from the same tree and each board was then cut in 1/2.

After unloading and finding a place for it I pulled a few and tried a few things. I tried it cup down, and also ripping it in 1/2 them planing. The issue being I got it mostly flat but one piece still had a twist. I’m new to dealing with rough cut lumber, this is the second batch I’ve bought locally and really hadn’t planed on buying this many Bf but figured I can hopefully use it, if not it will make good firewood. ;-)

Should I built a sled of some type to support the wood when it’s being planed to off set any twist. I have a jet 15” planer.

I snapped a few pic while I was sorting out where to up in. ;-)


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

9 replies so far

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1921 posts in 4584 days

#1 posted 07-18-2011 05:13 AM

Since you got it all tied down in your truck, I can relieve you of all the grief of flattening those boards!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Woodowl's profile


19 posts in 3420 days

#2 posted 07-18-2011 05:27 AM

That is some good wood. Don’t you burn it now

View ajosephg's profile


1890 posts in 4473 days

#3 posted 07-18-2011 06:03 AM

I think ripping warped and twisted boards down is the best approach. After that you can plane it. You MUST make a sled or you’ll just end up with thin twisted boards.

For a sled, I just use a piece of plywood slightly larger than the board and put shims to support the twisted board and then screw the board to the plywood, and plane the up side flat. Once you get that side flat, remove the sled and plane the opposite side. (Make sure you put the screws in a location that will be cut off or won’t show in the completed project.)

-- Joe

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 3967 days

#4 posted 07-18-2011 03:51 PM

You don’t need a sled if you have a jointer or access to a jointer. Planers make wood thin, jointers make wood flat.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4585 days

#5 posted 07-18-2011 03:56 PM

Thats to good of wood to burn, build a sled for your planer.

View Loren's profile


10784 posts in 4560 days

#6 posted 07-18-2011 05:11 PM

Rip and joint the straight cupped boards. The twisted ones, hunt down
the problem areas and crosscut through the worst distortions.

I’ve become pretty good at making these assessments with my eyeballs
but I still usually use a 78” level and sometimes winding sticks to help
me decide. A lumber crayon comes in handy too for marking out the
cuts. Sometimes a rip cut to get around flaws runs from corner to
corner in the board. You’ll make some odd cuts, but you’ll get a higher
yield of top quality lumber.

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 3605 days

#7 posted 07-18-2011 05:23 PM

Joe and Loren,

thanks for the tips. Joe when you screw down the boards do you just counter sink them correct..

Loren, due to these being mostly short boards I’d like to avoid crosscuts but I’ll give them a better look before I start planing it sounds like the key is to have a plan before you plane.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View ajosephg's profile


1890 posts in 4473 days

#8 posted 07-18-2011 07:45 PM

By all means, counter sink (the sled) or else you’ll scratch your planer big time.

-- Joe

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 3605 days

#9 posted 07-18-2011 10:15 PM

Yea for sure I don’t want to do that. I retrofitted a bird hexicoil cutting head on it just a month ago and so far it’s been a great.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

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