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Raised panel movement

1894 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Okiecontractor
In providing numerous raised panels on the interior of a residence, I'm hearing more complaints of a panel continuing to move, shrink, expand, whatever. Not sure what it is doing.
This was the only panel where the panel itself had to be made from laminated wood instead of a 4x8 sheet of ....melamine????? (don't remember) because it was larger that 4' both ways.
It continues to (looks like) stretch the caulking/paint only on the horizontal connections. (Where the panel fits into the groove in stile/rail.) The grain runs horizontal on the laminated panel.
No visible separation where the stiles meet the rails. (Joints are not broke)
We have cleaned it up and refinished twice in the last 9 months, just to have it happen again.
We did not "overly" attach the panel to the new 2x4 16" o.c. above prefab fireplace gypsum wall. Just 4 pilot holed screw attachments.
I wonder if attaching it tighter might solve this problem.
My thoughts are: that it will eventually stop shrinking and all will be well, but the HO is asking; should I clean it all up and leave the crack/gap and let it float?(stretch/shrink)
Seems like a lot of work to make something look "Rough/unfinished".
Btw, the species' used, was Maple from Arkansas.
I wonder if the Painting hanging on the panel could have any effect?
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A four foot wide piece of solid wood (which is what you have even if it is smaller pcs edge glued together) is going to do some serious moving perpendicular to the grain during seasonal changes. It will shrink during the heating season and expand during cooling. If you try to stop it from moving, it will split. You have to leave it where it can move. The painting hanging on it has no effect.

Maybe if it's painted, you should have used plywood for 4' of the width and just added enough solid wood to get the required width? That would make it better, but it would still move some.
I think you will continue to have trouble with that until you replace it.

As others have said, 48" of solid wood will always move with the seasonal changes in moisture content.

I would suggest you replace it with MDF. You will have to seem it before its machined.

Sorry, wish I had better news for you
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I have seen special order plywood in sizes bigger than 4x8. I think you can get up to 5x12. Not sure thats big enough or would be possible financially but it could work.
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