Wood Moves!–How to Cope

Cutting a board sometimes releases stress that makes it warp.

One of the problems any woodworker faces is the fact that wood can move on you.  In the photo above, you can see how a “practice stringer” I cut curved like the dickens!  I suspected it might do this, which is why I cut out the practice piece.  You see, cutting a board will often release tension in the wood.  That’s why a board can close up and pinch your saw sometimes causing it to buck.

Blank for stringer milled to thickness and straight as a string.

The stringers for this boat require two very long, sloping cuts along their length to get the right shape.  I was able to counteract the curving of the board by “sneaking up on” these long scarf cuts.  I cut a small amount at a time, and straightened the other edge of the board as I went.  That did it.




Planing the two stringers so they match exactly.








Using a laser level to get the stringer mounted dead straight on the strongback.

You can see in the last picture, that the stringers were set dead straight using a laser level.  This makes a nice foundation for the boat.

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