Q. Dang it, Ivan, your explanation of cupping is really complicated. You don’t have to start your explanation with Adam naming the trees in Eden! Can’t you pare it down a little?
A. Well, OK, Ivan, I’ll try. Those “it depends” explanations can get complicated. Trouble is, no two pieces of wood are alike, and the precautionary steps that will work for one, carving in from the heart side, for example, will not be enough for another. Many plaques will be just fine carved sapside down. Others, from the quarter-sawn section of the log will probably be stable no matter how you carve them. Those from the “B” section of the log (see illustration below) will probably cup unless you laminate them, flip-flopping the grain. It is always a good idea to “leave more wood than you take away,” not just to prevent cupping but for the general stability of the carving through time. Whew! (See blog below for the windy explanation of all this.)