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Prevent walnut from warping

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Forum topic by Nik433 posted 04-27-2019 11:58 PM 542 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nik433

3 posts in 52 days


04-27-2019 11:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut warping

I purchased a very large piece of raw edge milled walnut that I intend to turn into a coffee table within the next couple of months. The piece is about 60” long, 22” deep and 2” thick. The lumber guy I used had milled the wood himself, dried it manually and then had it stored in his pole barn. I picked it up and he said to let it rest inside for at least 10 days, not on its sides but flat, and gave me some small scrap pieces of wood to set it on during that process. My home is air conditioned right now, will the shock of going from outside to inside cause my wood to warp? Should I be letting it rest a different way or is flat the best? Is there anything else I should do to prevent it from warping? This is a beast of a slab, I can’t even believe it could warp, but he said all wood can so I’m worried. Definitely have no idea what I’m doing. Help!


11 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2266 posts in 2186 days


#1 posted 04-28-2019 01:49 AM

Sounds like good advise to me.
The only thing I can add is sticker it in a flat spot.
No direct sun light.
Natural air flow no fans.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

418 posts in 1073 days


#2 posted 04-28-2019 12:39 PM

I’m think the advice he gave you is right. I’d put it inside somewhere flat on stickers and expect some movement as it loses some moisture. I’d also give it a little longer than 10 days to acclimate personally.

Honestly, if it wants to move it’s going to move. I’d spend less time trying to control it and let it do what it needs to do. Once it’s stable in your house you’ll be good to go

View LesB's profile

LesB

2089 posts in 3831 days


#3 posted 04-28-2019 04:36 PM

You do not indicate where you live that needs air conditioning at this time of year. In the humid South the air conditioner will also act as a dehumidifier but in the desert you may have a system to increase the humidity some. So storing the wood in the area it will eventually be used in before you begin the build is a good idea.

-- Les B, Oregon

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1816 posts in 2864 days


#4 posted 04-29-2019 12:17 PM

What does drying it “manually” mean? Air dried? 2” thick walnut takes 2.5 times as long to dry as 1” thick walnut. 2” walnut will not acclimate to your in-home environment in 10 days. Putting it inside as described is fine, but you need to allow much more than 10 days for the piece to finish drying. If it was air dried to 15% to 18% for example, it will need to dry down below 10% to get into equilibrium with you home. It will take several more months to finish drying in your home.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3409 posts in 1775 days


#5 posted 04-29-2019 12:30 PM

Get yourself a moisture meter to see get an idea how dry it really is. As noted, use stickers to elevate it off of whatever you have it resting on. I’ve seen too many people mill a board and then set them on the workbench overnight only to come out the next morning to find that the board has warped due to uneven moisture loss on the top vs. bottom.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3398 posts in 1869 days


#6 posted 04-29-2019 01:11 PM

As long as both sides of the boards are exposed to air (that’w what stickers are for).

Can’t tell you anything about acclimation without knowing how long it was air drying and what the current moisture content is.

My advice: don’t be in a hurry. Even if it was in his shed 3 years, I’d give it at least 6 months inside the house.

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

View Jordan123's profile

Jordan123

55 posts in 490 days


#7 posted 04-29-2019 01:14 PM

I would recommend standing it on edge in the center of the room. This way you get equal airflow to both sides of the slab. Do not lean it against the wall or put it down against the ground. Its best practice to allow your wood to acclimate to the environment it will be in anyway. Is the slab already flattened?

View Nik433's profile

Nik433

3 posts in 52 days


#8 posted 04-30-2019 12:38 AM

Thank you for the advice and support, everyone!!

So to answer everyone’s posts all at once: all his lumber is kiln dried and then stored in his pole shed. I now have it the room with blinds closed and no direct air blowing on it. We live in Virginia and it’s been reaching the near 80s off-and-on so some cool air flow has been necessary. We’re not living in an igloo, just a comfortable 68 degrees. I do have the wood slab up on stickers, if what you mean by “stickers” are the 1” x 1” wood pieces. I have no way to stand it up in the center of the room, unfortunately. Is the way I am storing it adequate to prevent warping? I will probably be waiting at least one month or longer before starting my project, simply because I don’t have the free time right now.

Should I expect any issues given my current situation:
kiln dried walnut
face down on stickers
no direct sunlight, no direct air flow
68 degrees air conditioned room
previously stored in a pole shed
4-6 weeks of rest before movement

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2266 posts in 2186 days


#9 posted 04-30-2019 12:43 AM

Thumbs up here.

-- Aj

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1816 posts in 2864 days


#10 posted 04-30-2019 11:42 AM

Yep, you are doing all the right things.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View Nik433's profile

Nik433

3 posts in 52 days


#11 posted 05-08-2019 05:56 PM



Thumbs up here.

- Aj2


Yep, you are doing all the right things.

- WDHLT15

Thank you both! This puts my very novice mind at ease that I’m not going to ruin it before even starting the project.

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