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Old 04-01-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


Is there any way of straightening out a piece of plywood that measures 56X36 inches? There is a little bend in it. I did not notice it when I purchased it.

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Old 04-01-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


You could lay it flat on a level, flat surface and weight it down for a few days.
It might help.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


Depending on grade of plywood the bend is caused by either internal stresses, or one side , (the convex side), having more moisture content. If it is an option return it for AB plywood or possibly "lumber core". 3/8 will probably continue to change with heat and humidity.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


What do you plan on using it for?
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:23 PM   #5
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


56x36? No way. If it was at least 57x37, no problem.

Ok....all joking aside...3/8"....yea....it's bad for doing that especially if it sits around for awhile.

Like Joe asked...what are you using it for? If you plan to use if for some type of table....forget it....even if you get it straight...as soon as the weather changes, it will warp again.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:26 PM   #6
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


I will be creating an upholstered headboard with it, and will be hanging it on the wall.

I do have it on the floor now with weights on it. Hopefully it will straighten out.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
56x36? No way. If it was at least 57x37, no problem.

Ok....all joking aside...3/8"....yea....it's bad for doing that especially if it sits around for awhile.

Like Joe asked...what are you using it for? If you plan to use if for some type of table....forget it....even if you get it straight...as soon as the weather changes, it will warp again.

You are so funny.

The bow is not too bad. But, I would like to get it straight.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:39 PM   #8
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


If it's going to be attacted to a flat wall then it's not going to matter. Attach it in the center first and work your way it to the edges when attaching it to the wall.
It would be far better to have used 1/2 or 3/4 next time.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:03 AM   #9
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


You could also return it? And get something appropriate?

Joe is right. 3/8 is too thin for your project. You better attach it every few inches if you try something that thin for a even a wall mounted headboard.

You are going to warp the thing further just attaching cushion material and stretching fabric.

People used to cringe at the architectural boneyard I volunteered to help. You could buy from us, a solid wood door, often oak or something, for like $10 or $20. With a little table saw work to trim them to size, and some refinishing, they make great headboards. Covered with foam and fabric or not.

This is going to sound totally off the wall and I know you you want to attach to a wall. Take the 3/8 back and buy a sheet of insulation foam. It will be flat and stable and will love being wrapped in foam cushioning and fire treated fabric. The stuff is tougher than you think, just not fire rated. It will last through the kids though unless they play with matches. I promise. Of course if there is any chance they might grow into idjuts you will wish you took my advice and bought an oak antique door and turned it into a headboard.

I thought you were going to use OSB for this project. It will lay flat even at 3/8. Guys scared you off with what it smells like?

Last edited by user1007; 04-02-2012 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:21 AM   #10
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


Unless it is cabinet grade plywood(multiple plys, at least 6), you can't permanently straighten it. It needs a rigid frame or something to secure it to that will hold it flat. Cabinet grade plywood will remain flat and is intended to stand alone.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #11
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


I agree with previous posters, it is probably inappropriate material, and likely impossible to permanently straighten. But if you do want to straighten it, try this. The plywood probably got wet on one side, not the other. The wet side expands, the dry side does not,so the plywood warps around the dry side. So you can temporarily straighten the plywood by sprinkling water on the dry side, and ironing the plywood using a steam iron, on the dry side only. The plywood will absorb moisture, and curve back the opposite way, and when it is flat, you stop ironing.

Unfortunately, this is not likely to be permanent, as the wood probably has achieved a permanent set, which will reappear when it starts to dry again, but it will get the wood straight for a long enough time period to build your project.

You can permanently bend wood using a steam jig, where you put the wood in a steamer, overbend it, and let it relax to the final position. This is not generally DIY, as building a steam bending jig is serious effort. Alternatively, you can bend wood by saturating it with liquid ammonia, it becomes sort of like plastic, and can be bent to various shapes permanently. This is definitely not DIY, as ammonia is very toxic (we are not talking Windex here, we are talking pure ammonia), so you need a hazardous chemical lab to do this.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #12
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
You could also return it? And get something appropriate?

Joe is right. 3/8 is too thin for your project. You better attach it every few inches if you try something that thin for a even a wall mounted headboard.

You are going to warp the thing further just attaching cushion material and stretching fabric.

People used to cringe at the architectural boneyard I volunteered to help. You could buy from us, a solid wood door, often oak or something, for like $10 or $20. With a little table saw work to trim them to size, and some refinishing, they make great headboards. Covered with foam and fabric or not.

This is going to sound totally off the wall and I know you you want to attach to a wall. Take the 3/8 back and buy a sheet of insulation foam. It will be flat and stable and will love being wrapped in foam cushioning and fire treated fabric. The stuff is tougher than you think, just not fire rated. It will last through the kids though unless they play with matches. I promise. Of course if there is any chance they might grow into idjuts you will wish you took my advice and bought an oak antique door and turned it into a headboard.

I thought you were going to use OSB for this project. It will lay flat even at 3/8. Guys scared you off with what it smells like?
Thanks.

It was too heavy to carry. I thought it would be easier to work with at 3/8 inch. Live and learn.
You know what, sd, I did consider the foam insulation, but I wanted the fabric to be very taut when attached, and I did not know how to make it like that.

I have seen many headboards made out of doors. They look awesome.

Last edited by yummy mummy; 04-03-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:08 AM   #13
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


Do you know how you're going to attach this headboard to the wall once you complete it?
If your're going to upholster, you may want to take some 2x'4's and screw them into what will be the back, 4 inch side flat. Place them 4-6 inches inside of the wood, so if your wood is 56x36, you will make a rectangle from the 2x4's that is 48x28. Then add another 2X4 directly across the middle of the box you created and one it is all screwed in, it should provide enough stability to keep the plywood flat.
Once you upholster, attach a 1x2 to your wall where you want it hung, and place it so that the top portion of your 2x4 rectangle is supported by the 1x2. and then screw down from the top to secure it. You need a long bit or can finish off by hand. You can do the same on the bottom if you feel it need the additional support. Paint your 2x4's the same color as your wall before attaching.
Hope your project turns out well!!
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:29 AM   #14
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


Just to throw out one more idea for ya, if attachaing the headboard to the wall consider using a french cleat to hang it. It is very easy to level one light board on the wall and spread over a few studs they will hold lots of weight. If your not sure what a french cleat is a seach on google or possibly here will show you how they look and work.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:09 AM   #15
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How can I straighten 3/8 inch plywood?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mstew View Post
Just to throw out one more idea for ya, if attachaing the headboard to the wall consider using a french cleat to hang it. It is very easy to level one light board on the wall and spread over a few studs they will hold lots of weight. If your not sure what a french cleat is a seach on google or possibly here will show you how they look and work.
Thanks. I have searched a french clean and that is what I plan on doing.
Securing it to the wall studs. The boards are not that heavy.

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