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Old 02-07-2016, 06:06 PM   #1
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Hickory Cupboards Split - Dining Table Warped !

Hi,
New to this forum and relatively new to owning our 27 FB Classic. We bought it last year in July 2015 and it is a 2012 with all the lovely hickory wood everywhere. The unit is immaculate, saw very little use since new.
We have checked it regularly all winter, keep one of those little round heater/air circulators on in it all winter. Just went out now and noticed the dining table warped a lot on the rear corner and then noticed quite a few cupboards had split really badly! So very disappointing. We will call Airstream on Monday but wondered if anyone had any problems like this with doors? Surely after 3 years all the wood should have settled and been seasoned well enough not to do this. It always lived in NW - Oregon or Washington first and then British Columbia the last couple of years.
So PO'd to see all that lovely wood like that. Advice to deal with Airstream also appreciated. Thanks. We were all excited as we are fairly newly retired and heading across Canada this year for a few months!
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagabons View Post
Hi,
New to this forum and relatively new to owning our 27 FB Classic. We bought it last year in July 2015 and it is a 2012 with all the lovely hickory wood everywhere. The unit is immaculate, saw very little use since new.
We have checked it regularly all winter, keep one of those little round heater/air circulators on in it all winter. Just went out now and noticed the dining table warped a lot on the rear corner and then noticed quite a few cupboards had split really badly! So very disappointing. We will call Airstream on Monday but wondered if anyone had any problems like this with doors? Surely after 3 years all the wood should have settled and been seasoned well enough not to do this. It always lived in NW - Oregon or Washington first and then British Columbia the last couple of years.
So PO'd to see all that lovely wood like that. Advice to deal with Airstream also appreciated. Thanks. We were all excited as we are fairly newly retired and heading across Canada this year for a few months!
I have no idea of your humidity levels, but problems of this sort can be caused by extremely low humidity. Wood is usually dried to about 12-16% moisture content. When humidity gets below that level it will dry the wood even more, and it will start pulling at joints. Also it can open up "seasoning" cracks. Wood is very much an organic material, and is not static. Honduras mahogany is one of the more stable woods. That is why it is used in furniture and in making patterns for castings.

Try to put a humidity level indicator in there. If it is too low run a humidifier until the wood starts expanding back.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:03 PM   #3
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Hmmm, hickory is a very straight grained wood and splits very easily...with an ax or through drying and extreme temperature /humidity changes. I had one small split in the door below the sink when I bought my 07 in 2010. I have noted no more to date. I have not investigated, but there are effective repair methods using filler and other specific processes. I would have thought after 3 years, yours would have seasoned completely. Don't even know what to say about your table. Mine has been fine.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:29 PM   #4
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Just did a quick search, and this turned up. Hope it helps.

http://www.canyoncreek.com/wp-conten...ffectsWood.pdf
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:49 PM   #5
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It is probably not so much the wood at fault, but the environment it is living in.

The doors are made using frame and panel construction so the panel, inside the door frame, can shrink and swell with seasonal changes in humidity and hopefully not distort or wreck the entire door. Sometimes they can still be a problem.

If the panels in the doors have cracks, likely a sign of shrinkage in the panel from low humidity.

If the corners of the door frames are opened up (joints pushed open), a sign of swelling in the panel...too much humidity.

Airstream would use kiln dried lumber in their cabinetry, which is typically dried to 6-8% moisture content.

The cracks might correct themselves somewhat once humidity is introduced to the interior. There will still be a crack, but less noticeable.

As for the table, not sure how/why only 1 corner would curl up.

There is really no fix for cracked doors except replacement or at least an appropriate filler applied and then refinish them. Pretty involved process.

Then, it could still happen again.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:55 PM   #6
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I might add that Hickory is a course, open grained wood that is more susceptible to moisture exchange than other closed grain wood like the Cherry used in the new Classics.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:29 PM   #7
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We've noticed unusually high humidity this winter in the Portland area. Perhaps that is a contributing factor for the rainy parts of the PacNW.
Even our motor vehicles have been all wet on the windows inside on many days.
When Fall comes, I always set out a couple of containers of DampRid moisture absorber in my trailer to ward off mildew or warping.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:41 PM   #8
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My Table is Warpped Too

I never noticed this until I moved from Texas to Missouri.

Just for grins, I put the table down on the dinette. put towels on the table and placed my Equalizer bars on the table to see if a little weight over the winter storage might straighten it out.

If it doesn't I'll take the table to a cabinet maker and see if they can do something to it. It might mean having to refinish the top. I wonder if the table could be supported by routing out some channels and epoxying in metal flat rods on the undesides.

If they say the warp can occur again then I may have to live with it.

You may have to take the spilt door to a cabinet/woodworkers shop.

I wonder if treating the cabinets with Liquid Gold would help prevent drying out?

Kelvin
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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Your table appears to be properly laminated with most plank grains reversed to the one adjacent.
If the table is warping from moisture and internal stresses no amount of restraint will hold it. If you do need to have it flattened, then be sure to finish all faces of the table to keep moisture from acting on only one face. A urethane finish on the top and no finish on the bottom will allow the bottom face to swell and curve the table up at the edges.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:57 PM   #10
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If lack of humidity increases the odds of splitting, I wonder if the constant heater/air circulation on all winter contributed to the problem?
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Old 02-08-2016, 02:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JCWDCW View Post
Your table appears to be properly laminated with most plank grains reversed to the one adjacent.
If the table is warping from moisture and internal stresses no amount of restraint will hold it. If you do need to have it flattened, then be sure to finish all faces of the table to keep moisture from acting on only one face. A urethane finish on the top and no finish on the bottom will allow the bottom face to swell and curve the table up at the edges.
JCW
It doesn't appear there is much on the underside regards to sealant. Maybe when the weather gets warmer and more humid the weight on the table will gradually straighten it better and I can try to seal the undersides myself.

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Old 02-08-2016, 08:06 PM   #12
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The table in my 2010 started warping in less than a year and eventually split. By the way I live in FL so low humidity is not a problem. I had the table replaced under warranty. Before installing the new one I glued and screwed 3 angle iron bars across the table width. No problem over 5 years and many thousands of miles.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:24 AM   #13
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This is not an AS problem alone. I have had to replace tables in two other makes, both had a different table manufacture. As a wood carver I tried sealing both sides of the solid wood I used in one unit and using nothing but natural Swedish wax on the top of the other. Both tables have not given us any trouble and visitors seem to like the look and feel of the one with only the wax on top ( Many coats of high quality wax can take one my carvings from ordinary to extra ordinary and it amazes my how it brings out details so much more, so be aware of flaws in your wood, you will see them and to me that is a good thing.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:32 AM   #14
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Wood continues to shrink and swell with seasonal changes, even after it is kiln dried. It cannot be stopped but sometimes can be controlled to a certain extent by the way the product is constructed. The furniture industry avoids this by using man made sheet goods. No shrinking/swelling to contend with.

Cabinet doors, both residential and in the RV industry, use ''frame and panel'' construction to help avoid problems. The panel ''floats'' inside a groove around the perimeter of the frame, allowing it to shrink and swell. Careful measurements must be made during construction to allow room for this movement to take place.

Large table tops present even more problems, as the thicker and wider the board (top), the more it moves. It must be finished equally on both sides and particularly the ends to seal it up. If not done, warping usually occurs.

There are always exceptions, but it is risky to use battens underneath to hold the top flat unless you slot the screw holes to allow for the seasonal movement.

All this can go right out the window when you consider a trailer made in Ohio, with humidity ,then ships to Arizona, with no humidity. Care must taken at the factory to consider the things I mentioned above, and we all know how things at the factory can sometimes be.

John...furniture maker 40 years.
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