I am a furniture maker specializing in hardwood studies and bedroom furniture. I have been experiencing problems with some of the wardrobe doors I make. The stiles, when planed down to 22mm, are straight; yet when they have been made up into doors for a week or so, they bow in length.
I try to plane equal amounts from each side and I have checked the moisture content, which seems O.K. If this is due to drying stress, how do you ever obtain a perfectly straight stile?
How tall are the doors? Itís quite difficult to get a piece to stay reliably straight/flat when the thickness-to-length ratio is high. In fact, most door makers wonít warranty doors over 48 inches high for warp.
Michael Poster, technical advisor
Comment from contributor K:
Have you tried constructing your rails and stiles using three pieces to acheive proper thickness? I am building a maple door for our bedroom and the way I am building the stiles and rails is as follows; 7/8" aspen substrait with 1/4" solid maple on either side. With this method your stiles should stay relatively straight.
Also, if you are using solid wood panel... You probably know this already - you should alternate the ring pattern for each board, meaning you don't have two pieces with the ring direction running the same. Also use many narrow pieces to build your panel, around 2 1/4 - 3" wide. The most important thing to remember is that wood does have a memory and with changing humidity and dryness, one has to accept a little movement.