Im

Paint, 800-221-6845). Add about a quarter of an ounce of cobalt drier per pint of oil/varnish mix before adding solvent. In high-humidity conditions, you can easily double that amount of drier because cobalt is adversely affected by humidity. But don't go overboard; too much drier in a mix will inhibit, rather than promote, drying.

Michael Dresdner Finishing consultant and AW contributing editor Tacoma, WA

Straightening Warped Stock

A while ago, I glued up and thickness planed some solid wood panels for a project which I then had to delay for a while. During my time away, one of the panels warped. Is there some way to eliminate the warp, or do I have to make a new panel?

Jeff Boyle Greenville, SG

OYou don't say whether the stock suffered cupping (warp across the grain), bowing (warp along the grain) or twist (propeller-shaped warp). Gup can be fairly easy to correct. Bow and twist present more difficult problems.

You can often remove cup by moistening the concave side to expand the wood cells, while heating the convex side to shrink the wood cells. I lay the wood, concave side down, on a damp towel, and suspend a floodlamp above it for heat. I allow the wood to cup slightly in the opposite direction because it often moves back toward the original warp a bit as it cools.

Often, the only thing you can do to salvage bowed or twisted material is to cut it into shorter lengths. There is one method, however, for straightening bow and twist that I've had some success with. Recently, some unattached drawer fronts bowed and twisted slightly when the relative humidity in my shop fell drastically. I placed them in a closed room with a humidifier and, within 24 hours, they were flat again. A dehumidi-fier should yield similar results when the relative humidity rises. I monitor the relative humidity in my shop with an inexpensive hygrometer (available from Edmund Scientific Go., 609-573-6250).

If I'm going to be away from the shop for a while, I seal milled boards in a couple layers of plastic wrap to prevent them from warping due to humidity changes. Large rolls of plastic wrap are available at lumber yards and home improvement centers.

Lonnie Bird Woodworking instructor and AW contributing editor Rio Grande, OH

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