Acclimatization and twisted boards

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by shauny87 posted 03-14-2013 10:13 PM 1080 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View shauny87's profile


6 posts in 2409 days

03-14-2013 10:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cedar hickory twist warp

I am a beginner wood worker. I’ve got some basic hand tools. I want to build something. So i buy some boards (cedar and Hickory). Both about 17mm thick, i decided i would rip them in half and then plane them flat. I did this but after a few hours the hickory twisted. so i planed it again. and it twisted again. I decided to move on to the cedar and put the hickory to one side. Cedar went fine its still flat. The Hickory has been left a few days now in side and it has become less twisted. I think i should have left my wood inside for a few weeks before doing any thing to it, but I’m impatient. Can any body explain why the hickory did this and the cedar is ok. Also hickory tore out like crazy i had to plane against what i thought was the correct grain direction.

5 replies so far

View kdc68's profile


2867 posts in 2760 days

#1 posted 03-14-2013 11:30 PM

Kind of a loaded question….perhaps the hickory’s moisture content was a bit too high to begin with. If don’t buy from a trusted lumber distributor, invest in a moisture meter. The mc should be below 12%....
Follow the thread below…similar circumstances

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 2960 days

#2 posted 03-15-2013 12:38 PM

Yes, the moisture content of the hickory was not in equilibrium with the in-use environment, and the moisture content was changing.

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

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3787 days

#3 posted 03-15-2013 09:21 PM

What they said! I’m supposed to replace kitchen doors and drawers with hickory. Even dry – 5+ yrs in heated storage after solar kiln, I have a heck of a time getting rails and stiles, and panels true. Tried some of the other recommendations of others multi planing, stored under pressure/weight, or rip and reglue to relieve the stress in the board. Only option left is to make an appointment with the psychologist for the hickory—stress relief. Always good smoking wood. Good luck. Steve, On Wisconsin.

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3424 days

#4 posted 03-16-2013 03:08 AM

Cutting and planing wood induces stress in the wood. Depending on the environment, grain, moisture content,... the wood will ‘relieve’ the stress by moving some direction.

The ‘proper’ way to flatten a board is to buy it 1/4’ Thicker than needed. Then 1)Joint the faces and plane the other face flat but leave about an eighth extra. Let the board sit overnight to release the stress. You can help it release the stress by dropping the board on a cushioned surface like floor mats. Then repeat the process again until you have it at the right dimension.

I was building flush mount doors for a curio cabinet out of cherry. I had to make them 3 times (starting with new wood) before I got flat doors. It’s best to use very straight grained wood for rails and stiles.

Hope this helps

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2672 days

#5 posted 03-16-2013 05:48 PM

My guess is that hickory is more likely than some other woods to contain stress. If it was from a poor tree, it will twist no matter what you do. Good technique will help, but it may be that the hickory is not salvageable.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics