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What is Warping?

Warping is a distorting effect that can result when a piece of wood dries unevenly. As the moisture leaves a piece of wood, the fibers of lumber will contract slightly. The change from a flat piece of lumber to a curved or misshapen piece then results because the fibers are contracting at different rates that then shift the overall lay of the fibers. Wood warp is avoidable if the lumber that is used in a cabinetry project is completely dried first. There are five classifications that are used to describe wood warping.

Bowing is quite common in long boards because as the fibers on the topside of a board dry faster due to their exposure to air, the bottom side fibers dry slower and thus the board contracts on both ends into a sort of archer’s bow shape. Crook is another type of gradual warping that effects an entire board, but the difference is that it occurs when on edge has dried faster than the others and has thus warped the board to the side. Kink, cup and twist warping patterns are the result of various combinations of the two previously described effects. All of these can have detrimental effects on the alignments of cabinet doors and drawers.

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