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Warping bark on slab

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  • Warping bark on slab

    I started my first commission piece on a 11x7x3/4" bark on basswood slab. I've had it for a while stored in the garage for a couple of years. I knew it would be dry so I've been spraying it with 50/50 water/acohol mixture. Been working on the carving for four day but yesterday & yesterday I noticed it was warping. It is warping against the growth rings, the top of the slab. I haven't been spraying the back of the slab.

    any suggestions as to what to do to stop the wrapping and maybe flatten the carving. At the apex there is about 1/8" from the chord of 10".
    Last edited by Claude; 07-10-2022, 10:23 PM. Reason: typo
    . . .JoeB

  • #2
    Joe - in the painted sign world, we try to put equal coats of primers and paints on all sides to prevent warping.
    I would imagine the same process would apply to any wood object to maintain equal curing.
    Photos of your project would be most helpful.
    Retired Dimensional Graphics Artist (a/k/a Sign Carver)


    • #3
      Assuming it's a relief carving, you could try removing strips of wood from the back equal to the amount carved from the front - i.e. saw cuts in line with the grain spaced apart. BUT, to avoid the assumptions please post some photos of your project and the warping that's happening.


      • #4
        I wet the wood good, wrapped in a wet towl, put a board across the towel and clamped it to a flat surface. In the pas 12+ hours some of the warp has gone, the towel is still damp, will leave it clamp for at least another 12 hrs
        Last edited by Claude; 07-10-2022, 10:24 PM. Reason: typo
        . . .JoeB


        • #5
          I had developed about a 1/8" upper curve in my slab. I think this becaue the wood was so dry, it had been in a cabinet in the garage for probly 5 year, and I kept spraying the top surface with the water/alcohol mixture, not spray any on the bottom.

          Anyway, I cut four V gouges in the back on the curve about 1/8" deep soaked the slab, soaked a big twol, wrapped the slab in the towl, then put the slab on a flat surface facedoen the curature up, place a board on top of the towles & clampe it to a flat surface. it took about three days, but mos of it is gone.
          . . .JoeB