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Old 07-08-2014, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default lynx portrait fretwork problem

just got the summer issue of SWC and i am scrolling the lynx portrait on a 1/2 '' piece or cherry wood 11'' x 17'' . I have a good 2 weeks into this and the piece is starting to warp on me and i hope it doesn't warp too much more because i am just about done the lynx inside cuts and i wonder how much more it could warp when i start the large outside cuts .has anyone come across this problem and if so can i warp it back to flat with moisture and weight or should i use a thick piece of BB as a backer when the work is completed any feedback would be appreciated thankyou. BTW i am donating this piece and i want it to be one of my best pieces to display .
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:03 PM   #2
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Dan, I'm sorry to say that I don't think there is any way to straighten out a board that has already warped.
The same thing happened to me earlier this summer. I took a perfectly flat board from my storage closet (which is humidity controlled) and started working on it in my shop which, at the time, was not humidity controlled. After an hour or two of work, I started noticing that the board was warping. I knew, of course, that humidity would cause that, I just didn't know it would happen that quickly. It was a very thin board - I guess that's why. I ended up throwing that board out, and starting the project over again -- but before it did that, I went out and bought a dehumidifier for my shop. Fortunately, my shop is small, so a small dehumidifier was all I needed. (Did I just say "fortunately my shop is small"? I didn't mean it.) Anyway, I have not had the problem since.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:26 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, fixing a warping project is difficult if not impossible. I'm always cautious about using hardwood for intricate pieces. Wood naturally expands and contracts through the seasons even in climate controlled locations. We had an intricate fretwork basket at our office that literally burst itself apart in a year. With thin wood (1/4") you can sometimes get away with it because the wood is small enough that the movement is minimized. Unfortunately, with thicker wood, not only are you dealing with the standard wood movement, but when you remove wood from inside the blank, it changes the direction of the moving force... the wood is going to warp in the ares where there are frets because it's the path of least resistance. It's only going to get worse when you cut the larger frets.

The backing board might work; Baltic birch plywood is basically as stable as plastic. But you're going to need good glue joints, and that means masking off the areas where the wood will attach when you spray the backing board black. And you're going to really need support in the fragile areas, so the bridges and fretwork should be glued to the backing board. You might be better off attaching the fretwork to the backing board and then hand painting the black carefully inside the frets... which would be more time consuming than starting the cuts over in my opinion...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...

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Old 07-09-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
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thanks for the feedback from both Jim and Bob i put the piece inside the house and the warping is very minimal which i suspected it would since im weakening the piece everytime i cut more of it out but the wood has been dry for many years and i have done another project with a thicker piece 3/4'' and not a problem.just hoping it will not warp any more than it has. i will post some pics when completed and hoping for the best thanks again.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:30 AM   #5
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This happened to me and this may sound crazy but I put the finished piece in a tub of water and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Then I put to sticks under it and two on top and then weight on top of that and let it dry. Worked for me. Thing is if you just finish it and it warps more the intricate cuts will start to crack. Hope this crazy suggestion helps. Ray
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:33 AM   #6
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try these.
Pacifism is great, as long as everyone is participating.


The Southern Arizona Woodturners Association
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:51 AM   #7
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I had this happen on my latest project (the wedding cross). I stacked a bunch of wood on top of it & put a cinder block on top of that. After a couple days it was back to somewhat flat. I put the backboard on after that & it's been fine ever since.
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