Warped Poplar 1958 TableTop - How can I flatten this? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-24-2009, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Warped Poplar 1958 TableTop - How can I flatten this?

This used to be a desktop, and it had a walnut veneer on it. I liked the look of the poplar boards, and removed the veneer. Now that the veneer is gone, it has become mildly warped. (3 days ago it was amazingly flat)

I plan on setting this on top of a 42" wall for a bar-height table.

A couple factors could have been involved
1) removing the veneer
2) being outside while sanding it - 50*F temp, then moving inside
3) maybe other things?

What can I do to get this thing flat enough for a table top?
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-24-2009, 04:41 PM
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Question....

Since you removed the veneer, the table has no real value on its own and poplar is very cheap, why not just buy a few board feet of poplar and save yourself lots of potential problems in the future?

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-24-2009, 04:48 PM
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Did you just sand the one side? Or both sides?

You have exposed wood that has been covered
for years and it soaked up the local humidity.

If you sand both sides and let it set, it may
straighten it self out.

Set it on end as straight up and down as you
can where it can get air on both sides.


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post #4 of 10 Old 11-24-2009, 04:55 PM
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You didn't say where you're from ...

And humidty level is important to this project, but since the veneer is off, why not just saw the boards apart and reglue in the traditional way alternating the grain. The wood should acclimate for a while to the humidity level in the location of use, then you can proceed. As posted above you can always start with new wood, but I sense you'd rather "save" the wood you have? bill
BTW did you use any water or chemicals to remove the veneer? This may have affected the wood.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-24-2009, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the quick replies. I am not much of a woodworker, just a hobbyist that has gotten into fun projects.

I realize I made a mistake here by removing the veneer. No water or chemicals were used to remove the veneer - just a lot of sanding. And yes, I would like to restore this wood if possible.

I have room to mount some beams to the underside of this board if that would structurally help. I can incorporate the beams into how it mounts on my wall.

Maybe I am over-thinking this. It's really not warped real bad, but in 3 days it has warped, so I imagine I need to mount it somehow well before it gets worse.

Again, thanks for the replies.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-23-2019, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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10 years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith204 View Post
I am not much of a woodworker, just a hobbyist that has gotten into fun projects.

I've been lurking around here for the past few years, and finally decided to register and get involved. What? I have an account? Reset my password and saw this thread. Whoa.

In 2009, woodworking was *not* on my radar. It's hard to imagine a time when woodworking wasn't a deeply obsessive passion, but this old post reminded me quite well of my doofus roots.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to contributing where I can.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-23-2019, 06:52 AM
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Welcome back and what happened to the desk top? LOL

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-23-2019, 08:36 AM
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With wood what ever you do to one side you have to do to the other side. If it had veneer on one side you can count on it having veneer on the other side as well that would need to be removed.

Another issue is poplar. It is prone to warp anyway so what ever it takes to flatten it and get a finish on needs to be done soon. Generally a warp is caused by more humidity getting to one side or the other and causing an imbalance. You will have to place the top in a place that can get air to both sides. Often we have members have a top warp just from leaving the wood laying on a flat surface. On a flat surface air gets to the top side and causes it to swell. To aid the process of returning the top flat wet the concave side, sometimes repeatedly. This will cause that side to swell. Once flat get the wood sanded and finished as quickly as possible.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-23-2019, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
Welcome back and what happened to the desk top? LOL
I ran some wood supports underneath to keep it flat. Though now, I realize that I didn't account for seasonal wood movement when mounting the supports underneath. Whelp, it didn't split in the 3 years after that post. Sold the house in 2012 and people liked it.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-23-2019, 04:38 PM
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Good for you. I'm glad it worked out.

Sometimes a warp does not take much holding strength to hold it flat. Sometimes that even happens with table tops and desk tops. If it doesn't need much pressure to hold it down you got it made. If the warping continues on a table top, one of the legs will rise up very noticeably and then the top should be removed immediately and a different approach is needed.
Anyway, good job.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
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