Curly Maple that is Curling

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Forum topic by Bob32 posted 02-17-2019 03:48 PM 463 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 394 days

02-17-2019 03:48 PM


I have a beautiful piece of Curly Maple that I want to use for the lid of a small trinket box.
It is approx. 10” x 12” x 1/8” (was 1/4”) thick.
The problem is, is that it is warped and twisted right out of shape. I tried to steam it with an iron and wet towel. This worked,...…… for a day. Then it twisted again.
I then wedged it up on a piece of MDF, to make it solid and sanded it flat in my drum sander. Turned it over, and sanded it again.
It is now 1/8” and twisted. (When you hold one corner down the other side is up about 1/2” and it is also warped in the middle.

As it takes very little pressure to hold the board flat and my questions are:

If I glue it to a piece of 1/8” Baltic Birch plywood, and then put it in a 1 1/2” in Jatoba frame. Will it stay flat. Or will it twist the frame in time?

I plan on using Tightbond 1 or 2 glue.

Thanks for your opinions.

7 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


2573 posts in 1520 days

#1 posted 02-17-2019 04:04 PM

A reasonably thick frame of straight wood should hold it flat as-is. 1/8” is a tad thick to treat it as a veneer but if you only center glued it to a piece of ply, that would give you the thickness and help with the twist.

1/8” is now a bit too thin, but typically what I do in those situations is DS tape it to a thick, flat board and re-saw off veneers. One on each side of a piece of ply would look just like a solid piece.

View Robert's profile


3315 posts in 1778 days

#2 posted 02-17-2019 05:19 PM

It’s basically thick veneer.

I would use a a hard setting glue like hide or resin glue and keep it clamped flat. The frame should take out any minor warp.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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4 posts in 394 days

#3 posted 02-18-2019 05:12 AM

Thanks for your thoughts with regards to the maple. I was thinking along the same lines. I was thinking the frame would hold it, but that last thing I needed was to have it pull it out of shape in a year or so.

I have never used hide glue. Do you have any suggestions with regards to a resin glue to use.
I was hoping that the frame would do the trick in keeping it flat. Thanks

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8 posts in 409 days

#4 posted 02-18-2019 05:57 PM

You won’t warp the frame.
I consider anything that I can push flat with my fingers to be flat.
A 1 1/2 inch frame is much stiffer than a 1/8 thick sheet. For a 1/4 thick frame it is about 50 times as stiff as the 10×12 x 1/8 maple.
Gluing it to 1/8 BB plywood will make it flatter (approximately 8 times flatter) and may help during assembly.

View Bob32's profile


4 posts in 394 days

#5 posted 02-18-2019 08:17 PM

Excellent. That is what I was thinking, but I wanted to make sure. I had no idea the numbers were that high. That is good news.

View Phil32's profile


461 posts in 201 days

#6 posted 02-19-2019 12:06 AM

There is always some uncertainty to correcting warping & twisting of wood. I have a 45-year old relief carving that I decided to reinforce against possible warping. Why, you ask? I was doing a similar relief carving and decided to put strips on the back. In the process I thought it would be a good idea to “fix” the old one. Then it decided to start warping, and I had to use a stronger method to correct what had never been a problem.

Another example: My kids gave me an antique box with bas relief carving on the top. It was from Poland according to the paper label. It had a slight twist in the lid. “I can fix that.” I said. I steamed and clamped it. It was straight overnight. Several tries later it is still twisted.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

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4 posts in 394 days

#7 posted 02-19-2019 01:07 AM

That is what I thought with this piece of wood as well. I thought no big deal…....ya right.
I think that I have it sanded thin enough, that when I attach it to some 1/8” Baltic birch plywood I don’t think it will twist any more. Also, it is going to be in a wood frame.

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