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How to Tell If Lumber is Warped - Spring and Twisted Wood
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Spring warped lumber drawing Spring warped wood means that the board is flat width-wise but the length is curved much in the way that a river bends.

The term “warped” is a nonspecific term that denotes a misshapen board. The glossary from The Collins Complete Woodworker reads: “Any defect in lumber that deforms a board’s shape.” And while that may be an accurate definition, it is the term itself that is not useful.

Twist warped lumber drawing Twist warped wood has curves in both the length and width, making it look similar to a propeller from the end.

By using the terms cup, bow, spring and twist, a woodworker can accurately describe the specific distortion of a board.This is much more useful information than “warped.” “Spring” or “sprung” board has local variations, the most common being a “crooked” board.

posted on December 1, 2008 by Ian Kirby
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2 thoughts on “How to Tell If Lumber is Warped - Spring and Twisted Wood”

  • Ed Votypka

    I have a 1 x 4 x 8 that is tristed. I believe it was not wtiested when I bought it but is triwted now. We have had excessive humidity in Florida, where I live. Is there a way that I can un-twist teh borad back to normal?

  • Alan Jones

    I'm afraid not. This is common as internal stresses show themselves as wood dries.

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