Over the years, timber has gained quite a lot of popularity, so it’s not surprising to see it being used more frequently than ever.
But as it became more and more popular, learning how to prevent wood from warping inevitably became kind of a big deal.
Maybe you bought wooden furniture online. But when it finally arrived at your door, you realize that your long-waited wooden furniture is distorted due to warping.
Maybe you left the board on a benchtop overnight, and humidity in the air got to the upper exposed surface.
Either way, you don’t want that to happen. So, you’ll have to learn how to prevent it.
Here you will learn what might cause wood warping and a few ways to keep it from happening.
Why Does Wood Warp?
A lot of people do not realize that wood moves. One day you may have a rectangle with flat faces and square edges, but the next day it could become cupped.
Fresh-cut wood is loaded with water. So, wood warping occurs every time one part of a wooden board dries faster than another.
This is why some boards may twist or bow along their length, and they can even develop a curved edge or a crook.
How to Keep Wood from Warping?
Now that we have a better understanding as to why our wood warps, we’ll walk you through a couple of methods to keep wood from warping.
1. Proper Storage
It’s not surprising that big manufacturers spend millions of dollars in keeping their wood in a warm, cold, and dry space to avoid warping. So yeah, learning how to prevent wood warping is quite useful.
Also, it would be catastrophic if you found out that half of your lumbers are warped due to improper storage.
So, here are a few tips to help you save up tons of money and time:
- If you have a large amount of wood and want to keep it from warping, you should consider placing heavy weights on a stacked lumber pile. Doing so will prevent cupping.
- Place it somewhere that is clean, cool, and dry. This will reduce the amount of moisture that is absorbed by the wood.
- The wood also needs proper ventilation. Structures that are close to the ground with poor ventilation are more likely to warp.
2. Kiln Drying
This kind of drying is the most popular among wood manufactures, as it brings the levels of moisture in green wood down exponentially.
Kiln drying also helps speed up the seasoning process and achieve a better overall end product.
Manufacturers also use kiln-drying as to keep costs of moisture-related issues down.
What Does Kiln-Dried Wood Refer To?
It is virtually dried wood that they put in a large oven and then gets moisture content removed out of it to prevent wood from warping.
While all kiln-dried wood will still acclimate to the humidity of its environment, it still is an excellent solution to warping wood. And in addition to that, it helps prevent insect activity.
It is also a quicker method of drying green wood than air-dried lumber.
3. Timber Coating
It is widely popular in architecture, objects plus it’s also used in furniture making and construction (houses, balconies, timber decking, you name it).
But as you may know, all materials need maintenance, and timber is not an exception. So now is when a timber coating comes in handy.
Coatings are designed to reduce the amount of moisture that is absorbed by the timber, and it helps extend the life of the wood.
Types of Coatings
Before getting a timber coating, we need to know if the look of the timber needs to change or if a natural look is preferred.
- The stain is recommended if the results need to look different from their original appearance.
- Water-based oils are also a great option as they are more durable and longer-lasting than traditional oil-based coatings.
Wood that is less likely to warp
Learning what type of wood is less likely to warp is super helpful when choosing the right wood.
Not only is it helpful when trying to prevent wood from warping but also when you want to sleep well at night knowing your wood is as safe as it can get. So, here are some of the best woods against warping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now, here are some questions that may relieve your doubts. Take a look:
Does staining wood prevent warping?
Stain acts as a layer that prevents moisture absorption. Here’s how you need to apply it for best results:
- Sand the wood lightly.
- Use a rag to apply the stain.
- Rub it back and forth with medium pressure.
- Remove any residue with a dry cloth.
Does humidity warp wood?
In short, yes it does. Leaving your wood outside at night could severely damage your wood. The humidity in the air gets to the wood which causes it to warp ruining its natural beauty.
This happens because of uneven drying rates. Your wood is pretty much a sponge, it expends as it takes in moisture from the surroundings.
Your wood then proceeds to shrink as it dries out unevenly. This then leads to both twisting and warping around your wood.
What causes timber to wrap?
Fresh-cut wood is loaded with water. So, as a result, the wood dries unevenly. However, warping can also occur in wood that is considered dry.
Moisture related problems can cost up to millions of dollars. This is why it is essential to have proper storage for timber, especially if you are a manufacturer.
Does sealing wood prevent warping?
Sealing wood can help prevent warping produced by uneven drying. So, you need to seal it as soon as you get it to control moisture.
How do you apply a sealant?
- Sand the wood until it is smooth.
- Remove any residue from the surface with a rag.
- Stain the wood to change the color.
- Wipe the stain and let set it for a couple of hours; this may depend on the wood you are working on.
- Keep in mind that this does not make your wood waterproof, but it does make it water-resistance.
Can you fix warped wood?
The easiest way to fix warped wood is to use an Iron, as it can help us steam the cup away. This is what you need to do:
- Dampen a towel large enough to wrap up the whole wood.
- Wrap up the wood.
- Place the wrapped wood on the ironing board.
- Set the iron to its highest setting.
- You want to be precise and not hold it in one place too long as this could cause burning.
- Unwrap the wood and check if the wood is no longer warped.
How to prevent wood from warping may seem like a tedious and never-ending task. However, spending a few hours trying to keep your wood from warping will save you a lot of money, time, and effort in the long run.
Hence why you should always pay close attention to where and how you store your wood. Don’t forget to always keep your lumber inside a warm and dry place to prevent warping.
That is not to say that lumber will be moisture-free, but instead, this will help you tremendously in the long run.