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Warped Island top

Kenny Member

I recently installed an Island Top that I made from 5/4 Granadillo (South American Rosewood). It was made in 2 sections with a T&G joint in the middle. I built up the edges with strips of the same wood cross grain to help keep it flat. The 2 sections were perfectly flat when I fished and Installed them. It was the first time I used Rubio Monocoat as the finish and the first time I used Granadillo. I sealed the under side of the top with 2 coats of clear lacquer and fastened it to the cabinets with figure 8 desk top fasteners to allow for movement. It was installed in December and I went back to do some more work for the client to find that the top had Warped severely, so bad on one corner that it bent the figure 8 fastener. I thought I covered all my bases, but it moved so much and I'm not sure how to fix it. There is radiant heat in the kitchen and very big stove next to the island.
I have attached some photos to show the warping.
I could use a little advise on how to fix this problem. I think it's the climate in the room, but not sure how to address it?

View higher quality, full size image (2506 X 1127)

View higher quality, full size image (2000 X 900)

View higher quality, full size image (2000 X 900)

3/19/24       #3: Warped Island top ...

The cross grain boards you laminated to the underside to build up the edge is what's causing the top panel to warp. The panel is trying to move with humidity changes, but your cross grain boards are inhibiting that. It's going to take some work to fix, starting with removing those solid wood cross grain boards.

3/20/24       #4: Warped Island top ...
Kenny Member

I realize that now, I was thinking it would act like a "Bread Board" end, but I guess not. Do you think if I wait till the weather changes and the relative humidity is higher that it will flatten out some? Then I can rout out that buildup piece and make an "end grain" build up strip. Also I was thinking of stripping the lacquer off the bottom and coating it with the Monocoat. Another friend suggested to rout some relief grooves in the underside also to help with the flattening.

3/20/24       #5: Warped Island top ...

I wouldn't bother waiting for the panel to flatten out on it's own. The sooner you deal with it, the happier your client will be.
I also wouldn't bother stripping the lacquer off the bottom, it's unlikely to make much of a difference. You'll need to mill off the cross grain boards first, and then fabricate an appropriate build up for your panel. End grain matching the rest of the panel would be best.
I've done a lot of tops like this, mostly for large dining tables. I start by gluing up my panels 2.5" oversize in length and width. After planing and sanding, I rip an inch off of each side and cut an inch off of both ends. Then I turn the panel upside down and glue the 1" rips to the underside of the matching edge. This way, the edge grain of your build up matches the edge of your larger panel. Then I cut the end grain pieces to fit in between the long sides, roll those over and glue in place. When it's all dry, trim an 1/8" off of all four sides. The result is a stable panel that looks twice as thick as it really is, and the grain matches all the way around.

The photo shows a walnut top made with this method.

View higher quality, full size image (640 X 324)

3/21/24       #6: Warped Island top ...
Kenny Member

Thanks for the help. The customer is on vacation now, so it's a good time now if the weather would cooperate. LOL More snow coming this weekend!
I'll let you know how it come out.

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