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Old 09-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Warped Wood Remedies

So it looks like a couple of the fittings at my FW pump and the pump itself have been leaking some water. The carpet itself feels dry, but the wood (particle/density board) surrounding that area swelled and warped. I bought this 18 y/o van used with imaculant interior and I have it less than 6 months and this happens

Anyone have any remedies for the swelling/warped'ness?

If I could get a c-clamp in this location, I would be tempted to place a piece of heavy angle steel on either side of the wood and slowly squeeze the water/swelling out over the course of a few days. Unfortunately I can't get clamps on these piece of wood (corner of the rear bench/bed at the carpet)

Along that same line of thinking, I could drill a small hole in the wood, place the angle steel on either side with a matching hole, insert a bolt with a nut and slowly tighten it over the course of a few days. Once complete, fill the hole with some wood putty.

Obviously it'll never be perfect, but it really bothers me that this happens after all these years. Maybe the previous owners never used the FW tank and were able to avoid this issue in the first place.

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Old 09-21-2011, 02:53 PM   #2
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Re: Warped Wood Remedies

Once the mdf swelled, unfortunatelly you can not put it back in place...

Will have to live with it, cover it or replace the pannel

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Old 09-21-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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Re: Warped Wood Remedies

Originally Posted by audisnapr
I bought this 18 y/o van used with imaculant interior and I have it less than 6 months and this happens
As someone else once pointed out, this is why we don't rent our SMBs...

The only thing I can think of is remove the piece so you can access the end, dig out the swelled particle board as much as possible, not quite to the laminate you want to save but enough so the remaining board under it is flexible.

Then clamp the sides flat, with the dug out accessible, then rebuild the inside with resin and maybe sawdust or other filler, but mostly resin, to anchor the laminate flat once dry.

Worth doing is worth taking it out for, and taking your time with. There is also no reason to be in a rush- it shouldn't get worse unless it gets exposed to more water. In the meantime you can practice your laminate restoration technique on scraps.
and then
everything changed
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:49 AM   #4
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Re: Warped Wood Remedies

AndrewST and jage are right, there is no repairing this stuff. The option of replacing the swollen piece may not be as hard as you may think. These cabinets are completely held together with L-brackets so with just a screw drive can be dismantled. I'm assuming with the age of your van that you must have some kind of wood grain pattern on all your cabinets. Look for a local plywood supplier, one that the cabinetmakers go to, not a Home Depot or Lowe's. A plywood supplier will very likely be able to order a sheet of the same print you have now and it should only cost about $30 for a 1/2" sheet. If you don't have a table saw or other way of cutting the sheet to size, just take the exact dimensions with you to the plywood supplier and they should be able to cut it for you for just a few extra $. If you have a solid color on your cabinets, I suggest that you replace the piece with a good quality plywood and have a paint store match some paint for you. I have done this in several places in my van for various reasons and you would not be able to tell a difference from the SMB cabinets. What ever you use, once it is cut to size, you should be able to slide it into place and screw it to the L-brackets and be as good as new.
Hope that helps,
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: Warped Wood Remedies

All correct ... the swell can not be "unswelled" with clamps. I spilled some water on my cabinet top and have a swell where it leaked down on the edge.

Regarding paint ... I have tried some paints with no success. What kind of paint will stick to the SpoMo cabinet veneer? I'd like to touch-up a few dings and stains.

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Re: Warped Wood Remedies

thanks for the responses guys. I'll have to spend some time looking into the damage. Unfortunately, it's not just one piece - the damage happened at a corner and affected 3 or 4 pieces... which all happen to be large pieces :-/

I'd love to get rid of the wood veneer altogether, but that would obviously be a huge undertaking. It would also be nice to replace all the wood with a thinner version, but using plywood, not only for quality and aesthetics sake, but for weight savings as well.

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