Preparing for Seasonal Movement

How devastating is it when you pour your heart out on a build just to get that horrible and embarrassing call from a client telling you it warped? Or maybe it warped before even leaving the shop, “Sorry Karen, your project is being rebuilt due to warpage”. Yup, we’ve all been there!

Every build, big or small should use these steps to prevent what every maker has nightmares over= MOVEMENT.

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  • Use a Moisture Meter. Don’t waste your time using woods with a meter reading greater then 10-12%. Plain and simple.
  • When joining boards, offset the grain pattern.
  • Insert metal strips on the underside of the top. I route out the space and insert heavy duty C-Channal metal strips to reinforce the top. I cringe every time I have to do this but with larger builds, outdoor furniture or for peace of mind DO IT!
  • Secure your top using Z-Clip fasteners. Hands down, this step is an absolute MUST. These fasteners allow slight movement rather then the wood fighting to move then possibly creating more damage.

  • Stain/Paint and seal your finished product EVERYWHERE. Top and bottom, inside and out! Not only are you doing this to minimize any movement, offering a completely finished product to your client is key! No one is paying to see your dirty handprint under their new tabletop.

There you go! These are the steps I take to help prevent seasonal movement for my furniture. Don’t forget to always communicate with your clients about this and how if may affect their piece!

2 Comments on “Preparing for Seasonal Movement

  1. Hey Donnie! First off keep doing what you are doing. I love your videos and I can honestly say, I look up to you. My name is Hunter and I am 30. I started wood working at 26 and gave it up due to not getting boards perfectly flat. I have only worked with Pine from either Home Depot or Lowe’s. I have recently picked up woodworking again and would love to pursue woodworking as a full time job but I still cannot get board perfectly flat. I have a Rikon 8″ joiner and a DeWalt planner and I feel like making a sled is cheating. I spent the money on a joiner but why can’t I produce flat boards constantly? Any tips or advice will help. I have watched every video on YT on how to join or flatten wood and I never get the result I want. I know it’s user error I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Keep it up Donnie, your truly are an inspiration.

  2. Woodworking is a great way to give new life to old wood. By understanding how wood moves and adjusting your techniques accordingly, you can avoid costly mistakes and create beautiful, long-lasting pieces.

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