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Straighten a plank?

is it possible?

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John Baddeley23/08/2017 14:30:54
54 forum posts
2 photos

I'm helping my daughter make a table top.

It is made of three pine planks that were pew seats in one or more church/chapels.

After light sanding to remove the original varnish, they have exactly the look she wants, with a few marks, scratches, dents, and even a bit of graffitti!

She does not want to do any more sanding, and no planing as that will take the surface down to fresh wood (which is very nice but not what she wants).

The problem is that although two of the planks are pretty well flat, one is not, with an upward curve along one third of its length. It is 35mm thick, 250mm wide, and about 2.3m long [1 3/8" x 10" x 7' 6"]

The error is about 5mm at one end.

If I clamp one end to the workbench, I can push the other end down flat.

If I use biscuits to lock the top surfaces flat, do you think the other two boards will pull the one plank in line [flat], or what will happen?

There will be two cross pieces about 1/3 of the length in from each end to tie the boards together. The top will stand on separate trestle legs.

Any experience or comments welcome!

Thanks, John

derek willis 124/08/2017 09:17:26
99 forum posts
12 photos


The best way to straighten a plank, is to pack the opposite ends to twice the amount of the warp and then cramp the middle down past the amount of the warp, this because no matter how straight you may think you have it, it will go back a certain amount, thus by cramping past the error you alleviate the problem, damping the board a little and leaving for a day or two will do the job, then your biscuits will probably hold

It has worked very well for me a number of tomes..


John Baddeley24/08/2017 17:28:34
54 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks for that Derek, the plank is currently undergoing correction!

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