Warped Panel In Door


From original questioner:

I need to straighten a door panel on a mahogany cabinet built between 1890 and 1930, The panel is 18"x36", 3/8" thick, solid wood, grain running lengthwise, set in a doorframe 3" wide, 3/4"thick. The wood in the panel is harder and than other parts, African mahogany? The panel warped by 3"diagonally and broke a tenon in the doorframe. I tried to bend it back by clamping it down bent the opposite way for four months. When released, the panel had bent back to 1",but sprang back within a week.

From contributor Ad

She's rooted mate!

From contributor Da

If you must salvage that panel, there are two things I'd consider:

Rip it into strips about 2" wide. Mark them for sequencing, back to the original positions. Joint very lightly, and reglue flat on the bench into a flat panel. Sand off the various high points. It will be somewhat narrower and thinner, and you will lose the patina.

Resaw the whole panel, or rip it into 2 to 4 pieces and resaw them. Sand these faces down to 1/16" or so and then laminate to plywood or MDF. Do this flat in a press. "Start flat, stay flat" as they say.

I like to think of 3 solutions, but the 3rd one hasn't arrived yet......

From contributor ca

Here is a totally off the wall idea:

Do the same reverse clamping technique you already have done but create a sealed enclosure to store door + clamps. Port a wall paper steamer into the chamber and see if pressurized moisture will cause any of the fibers to relax. All wood movement has something to do with moisture change and you may be able to make this thing compliant by controlling the moisture.

Probably going to mess up the finish though.

From contributor al

Face glue up 3 pieces of 3/4" particle board the size of your panel. Sand back of mahogany panel and glue to the particle board. Take this to someone with a portable bandsaw mill and have them slice off a heavy 1/16". Sand the back of this and glue
to 1/4" mdf. You should be able to this and not to ruin the finish on front of panel. You can look for someone in your area with a mill by going to the sawing and drying forum on woodweb. They make blades for these mills that are for frozen or really hard wood.