Warped Beams

ronny p 148

New member
I purchased some rough hard wood not Shure what type I think maple for new frame for my 5 GP Majestic gas engine 15 0r so years ago . I stored it in blocks in my garage and never got around to use it its dry as a cobb and heavy as heck. I was making room for shelves and was moving it out doors and its badly twisted . Its 4x6x8 I would like to straighten it any way .




I agree the only way is to cut or plane it square again. You may have to do it a second time after waiting a while longer.


New member
There's no way one could put it in a vise on either end and twist it strait.
Maybe find some body with a portable mill, that would straiten it but the dimension of the lumber gets smaller. Instead of 5 1/2 inch square you'd end up with say a 4 3/4 inch square runner.
Wood almost has an expiration date, the sooner you install it, work it, carve it, the better.

Scotty 2

Active member
Hello Ronny
First I'd try to work out why they twisted. Was the area where they were stored damp? If so, then localised moisture may cause the twist. It may straighten if dried but I doubt it.
If the area where they were stored is dry, then about the only way to straighten them is to resize them as others have mentioned.
If the area they were stored is damp, then leave the timber in a dry spot to dry completely before resizing otherwise the timber may twist when dry.
By looking at the picture, it seems your timber was cut from the heart of the log. If you look at the right hand side just up from the bottom of the timber, you'll see part of the heart. You'll also see how that area dried at a different rate to the rest (that lumpy bit). Having the 'heart' along an edge of a piece of timber is not a good way to break down a log. You people may not use the term 'heart'. Corewood or something else may be more familiar as the term used for the centre of the log.

I have to disagree with the 'use by date if timber'. The 'use by date' is normally dictated by the way it's stored and by the way it was broken down out of the log. I have timber here that's well over 100 years old and as straight as a ruler and, on the other hand, it can be difficult to get straight timber straight from the sawmill.

Cheers Scott

Pete Spaco

New member
I wonder if that wood is still sound. From the picture it almost looks like it has swelled up on the lower right hand corner. Also, the pieces of wood above and below it look quite moldy, If the beams were stored in a similar environment, they may be punky by now. It might be better to bite the bullet and start over with some new wood.
You might try inserting the tip of a pen knife into the beams at various places to see if the whole thing is solid.

If you want to investigate farther, take them to a cabinet shop or someplace like that and have them jointed on two sides. That should show you if the wood is still good. And, if that doesn't take the beams down in size by too much, have them planed and see what they look like. As others have said, this initial surfacing might relieve some internal stresses and the might move again. But a second planing a few days after the first will probably make them settle down.
I'm 77 years old and I still haven't totally figured out how to read a tree. It's been a full 3 weeks since I last dropped a "carefully selected" white oak for some quarter sawn boards and got very little select material for all my effort.

Pete Stanaitis