I recently built a small 2' x 3' dresser top out of pine. It was within 1/8" flat and level when I glued it up in the garage, but within a few weeks inside it had warped and buckled significantly. What techniques can I use to minimize the chance of this happening in my next project?
Details on the project:
- I planed several 2x4's down to 6/4 (1.25") thickness, and jointed them with my router and a straight edge.
- I checked the moisture content at the beginning of the project, and all the boards seemed to be a consistent 12% throughout. I even measured the middle with my pin contact moisture meter when I crosscut the boards to the 3' lengths.
- I had a business trip partway through the project, and had to leave the unfinished table top sitting in the garage for two weeks. It was completely assembled/glued, but hadn't had stain or poly applied yet. When I got back, the warp had already occurred.
- I alternated grain orientation on most boards, but I mistakenly put two next to each other with the convex side of the rings facing upwards. The warp is worst here, but there's still a bit of a wave on other parts of the dresser top.
My thoughts for warp mitigation, and why I haven't tried them yet:
- Use narrower boards? (Not much of an option, since I was working with 2x4's to start with.)
- Use hardwood? (I'm still a bit of an amateur, and I'd like to perfect my techniques with $10 worth of lumber, rather than wasting money on more expensive stock.)
- Use quarter sawn boards? (See above reason.)
So what am I missing? Which, if any, of the above options would be most effective to try first? Are there other techniques I can use to mitigate warp in my future panel glue ups?