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Nov 15, 2010 05:37 PM

Fix a warped Boos worktop?

I have a 5' x 3' Boos maple reversible worktop that's 2.25" thick. It has been warped since I received it from the factory. They told me to rub mineral oil into the concave side repeatedly and leave it wrapped in plastic until it flattens out. It has been over a year and I still have an eighty pound maple board in the middle of my kitchen, half-soaked in oil, wrapped in black plastic garbage bags. It has gone from about 5/16" warped in the middle to 1/8" warped in the middle, but I still can't use it for what I bought it for because it's warped. I bought it to roll out noodle dough, which is about 1/16" thick - so on a warped board they would be twice as thick in the middle as they are on the edges (or vice versa if I flipped it over).

Does anyone have a better method to flatten this thing out that doesn't involve a large planer? This has been one of the worst purchases I've ever made in my life, and certainly the worst cooking equipment purchase I've ever made. The first one was delivered cracked and I had to return it. It's not easy to return an 80 lb cutting board by UPS. Getting a new one took six weeks, which makes it a year and a half since I paid $500 for this thing and never been able to use it.

I should add that after I unwrapped it and left it out for two weeks it looks like it's reverted and warped back another 1/16" - losing my gains over the last month or so. I'm about to set it on fire and post the video on youtube with my story.

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  1. Try putting weight on it? Lol park your car on it.. Did you buy this online or at a local dealer?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ZeroSignal

      Thanks, I guess I'll try and put more weight on it. The only problem with that is that I will probably have to weigh down each corner with some kind of big dumbbell or something like that, and I don't have anything more than 20lbs. If I flip it over so it's bowed up in the middle I'd have to flip it again to keep oiling the concave side, which is a two man operation, and the oil would drip down off the board. As it is now the weight of the board, which is considerable, should be helping, but I guess more can't hurt.

      I had to order it as a special order through a restaurant supply store. Not surprisingly, Boos is resisting replacing it, probably because it costs a lot to ship something this heavy.

    2. As ZeroSignal stated, I have fixed my pastry board by using water and heavy weight:

      However, you already have a 5' x 3' worktop. So you will need something very heavy and very flat to flatten it out. I agree -- it was a really bad purchase. Sorry to hear about your hardship.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        That's why I said park your car on it. Other reason I asked if you purchased locally or online I know if you purchased locally you could of gotten sales reps involved but when you have warranty issues online purchases are tough. Also boos sucks at trying to claim any kind of warranty even when it's there fault

        1. re: ZeroSignal

          Thanks everyone for trying to help! I have a concern, that I think is valid, about putting enough weight on it to bend it flat - I'm afraid if I put too much weight on it the individual boards may split apart if I apply too much force. I could probably put ten or fifteen pounds on it but I'm scared to do more than that. The board is primarily warped in the direction perpendicular to the grain - meaning all the force of the applied weight would be against the glue in the joints.

          1. re: la2tokyo

            Lay plywood down first to distribute the weight evenly.

            1. re: la2tokyo

              15 pounds? Try 15 HUNDRED pounds. I just trued a warped 3/4-inch walnut board with a car. No cracks, splits, etc. Just make sure it has some moisture in the wood.

              1. re: la2tokyo


                As mentioned above, you will need to wet the wood first. This softens the wood fibers and gives they more elastic. Think about it. You can bend a toothpick by wetting it first. So wet the wood first and apply the weight. If possible, increases the weight in increment.

          2. Hey, been there. Are the individual boards "gapping"? If not, the oil/weight (car is a fine idea, but you need to spread the weight out--flat steel plates) idea is still fine. If you want to speed the process, steam it a bit, in the oven if possible, but a steam iron works, too--from a distance or through a towel). Steam + car can work wonders. If there are gaps, I have used Superglue Gel wiped into the gaps at a 45-degree angle to close the gaps before final truing.

            Why the aversion to planing? If she is only 1/8-inch out of flat, you are not going to be removing much stock, and she is going to look brand-new. Try the above and then plane and sand. That way, all the natural stresses in the wood will have been relieved and she probably won't warp any more.

            No judgment, but was this a countertop board? If it was sitting on a flat surface prior to the warpage, you will want to make suire that you are not inadvertently soaking the bottom in water when you wipe/clean/spill on your countertops. Strips of thin wood work to boost the board out of the wet, as do the stick-on rubber feet. Just remember to keep turning the board over as you use it.

            Hope this helps.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kaleokahu

              Yes, I am afraid planing may be the only answer. I hesitate because it weighs 80 lbs and I live in a second story apartment with no elevator, it's too big to fit in my car, and I don't know anyone with a plane that can fit a 5' x 3' board.

              This is like a countertop but it's not attached to a base. I bought a reversible one so that I could alternate which side I use so that it wouldn't warp. Unfortunately my plan was foiled when I received it and it was already warped.

              1. re: la2tokyo

                I'm sure you have something heavy around you could stack on if. Boxes of crap, end of your bed, bunch of books, entertainment center :) or go buy some cinderblocks the are cheap.

            2. I hate you are having a problem. The restaurant supply is the culprit in this story. It was their responsibility to ensure you were taken care of.

              Forget weights, water, oil etc... None of which are permanent fixes and some could damage the top further. Look in your local yellow pages for cabinet shops and call around until you find one that will have a planer large enough for your board. At 36" wide, that might be tough. But there are shops out there which could help. I would recommend a planer and not a wide belt sander because you have put enough oil on it that it will clog a wide belt quickly rendering it almost useless.

              Good luck. I hope you can get the problem solved as easily as possible.

              1. I'm assuming this is not an end grian board. If I'm correct in that assumption, you need a skilled woodworker with a Jack Plane. This is a large hand plane with a long base and a skilled craftsman can take down the center hump on one side and the ends on the other. Frankly, in my opinion, nothing else is anything more than a temporary fix. Water or oil on one side will make the fibers expand, but the water dries out eventually and the oil penetrates further into the board and eventually the board will just warp back to where it was. The wide drum sander would have been a good choice but as boardsmith mentioned, after it's been oiled, that's not going to work. A 36" wide plainer isn't going to work either, plainers put a lot of pressure on a board with the feed rolls and will actually flatten it out then take the wood off, all you end up with is a thinner warped board. The issue is where does one find a woodwright with the skill to flatten to your satisfaction your worktop?

                If you are in a fairly large city there may be a Woodcraft Supply sotre, where you can ask if they know of such a craftsman. I have flattened a coffee table top via this method and then a little sanding. It's less of a big deal to clog up some sandpaper than to clog up the sanding sleve on a large drum type sander.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mikie

                  Have you ever used a planer? It does exert s o m e downward pressure, but not nearly enough to compress 2 1/4" of maple, thats just wrong information. If you could find a shop with a 3 ft wide planer (good luck) that it precisely the way to go...If boos leaves the OP twisting, which I'm sure they will

                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                    Why yes, I certianly have, have you? And after 40 + years of woodworking I think I can fairly state that most authorities recommend that you not use a surface plainer to take warp or twist out of a board. Any surface plainer that has the capability of feeding a 36" wide workpiece is a massive piece of equipment, assuming you can find one. No, I don't know how much pressure the feed rollers exert on a machine of that size or how much it will take to deflect the worktop, nor do I know if the top is simply dished or has a bit of a twist in it or if it is shaped like this ( the entire length or width. If it's shaped like ( this over the length, the infeed and out feed tables on the plainer are not going to be long enough to remove that regardless of the pressure. The standard method of taking warp, bow, or twist out of a boad is on a jointer, and I can feel confident you won't find one of those 36" wide.

                    The largest surface planer made by Grizzly is 25", so the chances of finding a 36" planer is very slim. Oliver makes a 36" model if you can find someone that has one. All it takes is 480 volt 3 phase service and about $30,000 to pick one of these up used. If the board had not been oiled, it would ideally be sanded on a wide belt sander, these go up to 51 inches. But I doubt you would be able to find someone that would run an oiled board through their sander, the belts for these machines are about $50 each and I have no idea how many it would take to flatten out the worktop. It could easily end up costing more than the worktop because the belts are going to gum up with the oiled sander dust.