Yesterday I came across this very nice looking wayfinding sign in a recently constructed building. As you can see, it is a beautiful use of material (solid wood) that adds a contrasting warmth to an otherwise very contemporary design. One thing I noticed, however, was that the panel was cupping (as you can see in the left image below).

Upon closer inspection (a high-contrast version is also added here), you can see what the issue is: Some of the boards that were laminated into this panel were cut plainsawn. As explained in Chapter 5, this can lead to shrinkage on the bark side of the board and therefore cupping of the piece, which can even deform an entire laminated board like we see here.

Overall, this is not a major issue and most people will likely not have noticed this when passing the sign. But it is a great reminder that it is important to always consider wood grain orientation when working with wood – especially when moisture content changes can occur.