How to prevent wood from warping

Wood is an enduringly popular material in joinery because it is stylish, hardwearing and able to be crafted into many different designs. This makes it the go-to choice for many joinery professionals and also many people who enjoy making things in their spare time. One key thing to know about working with wood is how to prevent it from warping. This is important because wood that has warped may split when used in joinery, have less visual appeal or result in a finished product that does not last as long as you would like.

But how do you stop wood from warping?

Acclimatisation is everything

All wood has a limit to how much it can contract or expand before warping. Warping happens when the amount of moisture in different sections of the timber changes shape in an uneven pattern. Often this process occurs when wood is moved from one climate to another. Timber which is from a dry climate for example may start to change shape if moved to a humid environment. It is always wise therefore to acclimatise wood to any new surroundings to prevent this.

How do you do this?

Now we know why acclimatisation is vital to stop warping, the big question is how to go about it. The first thing is to store the wood flat, so that gravity does not force it to bow or sag. It is also key to store your wood off the ground because this stops it from going rotten and picking up too much moisture from the ground.

You should also make sure your horizontally stacked timber has good ventilation and not allow it to become exposed to excess moisture. Both these things will help the wood avoid absorbing too much moisture from the air and stop it from warping. Once your timber is ready, you can machine it and then use it as needed. When construction is done, finishes like lacquer are usually applied to prevent future warping.

Bespoke, stylish results from JCM Fine Joinery

Of course, you might not have space or time to store wood as above to keep it in top shape. This means it is often easier to commission the piece of furniture you require from a professional firm who do. Here at JCM Fine Joinery, we only use the best quality sustainable wood which has been stored properly to prevent warping. Contact us today for more details.

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