Water Damage to Glued Cherry

Glued-up wide Cherry boards got rained on. What's the best hope for salvage? January 18, 2011

I was sanding cherry glued into 12 inch wide boards and it rained, causing all the cherry under my tarps to get wet. Some are wet all the way through, others only some. What is the best way to dry the wood? Avoid or remove water stains? What about the glue joints?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
Looks like a few variables here you may need to deal with. First, I doubt that the water will damage the glue joints, unless you used a glue that doesn't dry water-proof, in which case they will certainly fail. Re-gluing doesn't work, so you would need to rip down the glue line and redo it. If it falls apart, a simple pass on the jointer will work. Hope you had some room to work with.

To dry it, just put it in your home, or somewhere else dry and warm for a couple of weeks. Getting it wet doesn't mean another kiln job, it just means the water needs to evaporate out of it. Wood is somewhat like a sponge, just slower. If you have concerns, find a local shop that has a moisture sensor (or buy one yourself for about $100) and have it tested. It only takes a few seconds.

Finally, the potential water stains. That's the booger, cherry is prone to color shifting as it is let alone angering it. I can't give you a promise, but if it were mine I would take any piece that got wet at all and let it get rained on completely; at least the look would be similar across the whole piece. If one spot got wet and it's dried up already, I doubt you will lose the stain by re-wetting it; may need a run through the planer. However you use the wood, try to use one piece to make any side you may look at match. You may try using borders or separators of another type of wood (walnut, ebony) to break up the visual of the potentially differing cherry.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Contributor B has hit the main points. The heat in a kiln can easily soften the glue, as can the moisture. So, it is possible that the present joints are toast.