Warped Shelf Antique Cabinet

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Old 06-30-19, 06:08 AM
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Warped Shelf Antique Cabinet

Does anyone have a method of straightening out a cupped removable shelf on an antique china cabinet? I've read a bunch of stuff online and I'm not sure which is the best to use. I've included some pics of the cabinet and the shelf.
Sorry for the 90 degree turns on the photos. They were upright when I uploaded.
 
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Last edited by tch7198; 06-30-19 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Photos were rotated upon upload
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Old 06-30-19, 06:26 AM
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Can you install them upside down for awhile?
 
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Old 06-30-19, 07:25 AM
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That may be possible but the cupping happened over many years. The shelf has a groove in the rear for 9 inch plates to be stood up, so I would lose that ability if I turned the shelf over.
 
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Old 06-30-19, 07:29 AM
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There is no magic wand, turning it over and putting weights on it is your only option. Even that would probably take 100 years. You could place a new board on top with a plate groove.
 
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Old 06-30-19, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tc7198
The shelf has a groove in the rear for 9 inch plates to be stood up, so I would lose that ability if I turned the shelf over.
A) Run a bead of low-stick adhesive (e.g. the gum used to hold credit-cards to the letter) along the back to create a lip.

B) clip a pair of black office-binder-clip onto the edge of the shelf, remove the silver handles, thread string or fishing line through the holes where the silver handles were.

Originally Posted by XSleeper

There is no magic wand, turning it over and putting weights on it is your only option
Well, turning it over is the BEST option. I know furniture makers with steam cabinets who could make that shelf perfectly flat or knot-it-into-a-pretzel. Problem is that the shellac finish wouldn't stand up so well.
 
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Old 06-30-19, 09:03 AM
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Clamps and/or weights, and TIME. It's not going to happen over night, or even over a week, but it can be done over a reasonable amount of time. In my experience, periodically wetting the material helps, not soaking it, but wiped down with a wet towel a couple times a day, and only if the material and the surface won't be harmed. I straightened one old board a couple of years ago that had a real roll to it, was something that I could keep damp, took a couple of weeks and still looks great. Right now I have a cabinet door off of a 1920'ish gramophone clamped down in my shop, it's been there for about a month, unclamped it yesterday to get a good look, and it's almost there, no water, just clamped over a carefully placed fulcrum. A work bench is the best place to start, but if you don't want to give up the space even a couple of 2x4s on a set of horses will work, just have to be a bit more careful when you're eyeing it up. Four bar clamps, scrap pieces for the clamps to pull against, shop towels, felt, whatever to protect the surface, and a fulcrum. I almost always use a fulcrum because you're not going to achieve what you want by simply pulling it back straight; have to go past center just a bit.
 
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Old 06-30-19, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. I think I have enough here to give it a go.....I definitely will not take the "aggressive" road to pull it back....I think that could end up in a disaster. Thanks for all you replies.
 
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