Tips On How to Prevent Farm Table from Warping
As much as we love our treasured pieces of furniture and how difficult it can be to part with them, sometimes we need to take off for a fresh start. This is not the end; you may still be able to refurbish your beloved table — just follow these instructions:
There are three main reasons why a farm table (or other wood table) will warp: the wood is not sufficiently seasoned, the wood was cut too short or too long, or it was made from a variety of different boards.
If the top has been built using a sufficient number of good boards and these boards have been properly bonded together before being glued onto a substrate to form a table top, then your problem is more than likely due to the wood not being sufficiently seasoned.
If the problem is due to different types of wood being used in the construction, then replacement of some boards may be necessary - this will depend on your budget and what you can live with aesthetically. You could complete a visual analysis of all sides and determine how many good boards are present. If there are more than enough good boards to replace the warped ones, then replacement of these boards will be necessary if you want a flat table top that is stable and does not wobble excessively when it's moved around or used for dining purposes.
Small, lightweight and inexpensive, farm tables can be useful furniture for a home. These tables are often made of pine wood and veneer--two materials that do not hold up well to weather or moisture. If your farm table is exposed to rain or humidity on a regular basis, it will warp over time. Here's how to prevent farm table from warping.
To prevent your farm table from warping, you'll need to keep the humidity levels even. There are commercial products available for this purpose, but if you can't find them at a store near you, there are other ways to maintain the humidity. One method is to use an electric humidifier or a pan of water on top of the table (be sure to use a pan, as water droplets can damage the wood). After experimenting with various methods, you'll find one that works for your climate.
Another way to prevent warping is to turn the table occasionally. With this method, make sure not to place the legs on newspapers or other slippery surfaces (even though you might think this would be helpful, it's not). Over time, the legs will warp on a farm table that is exposed to direct sunlight or moisture. If you are unable to keep humidity levels even in your home, consider buying an umbrella stand for the bottom of the table legs. You can also use products like floor mats or shims to keep the legs in an upright position.
Check for warping periodically by placing a level on top of the table. If two legs are at different levels, you might need to use shims to even them out. If this doesn't work, readjust the height of one or more legs with bolts and washers. Finally, turn the whole table over on its side every month or so, and give it a good shake. The warping should right itself.
If your farm table does start to warp, you can fix the problem--albeit temporarily---with a hair dryer. Turn the dryer on medium heat, and place it about six inches from the warped area for three minutes at a time. Within a few minutes, the warped board will flatten.
Once you have fixed warping on your farm table, keep humidity even throughout the year and check for it at least once a month. You can also use this method from time to time. If you do both of these things, your farm table should stay straight for years to come.
If you need to move your farm table, be sure to pick it up by the legs rather than by the top. The added weight will increase pressure on the top and potentially cause warping. Try to pick it up from a corner and place a cloth underneath the legs so you don't scratch your floor.
If warping does occur, you can correct it by placing something heavy on top of the warped area for 24 hours or more, then flipping it over and repeating. This will help to reshape the board(s) and make it flat again.
Once you have a farm table, whether it's from an auction or a local furniture store, follow this step-by-step guide to prevent warping and keep your table looking good for years to come: