Well, here is another misinformed misinformant. What I am concerned about is that what is discussed here becomes accepted fact. In this article the writer gives the impression that it was a cabinetmaker’s practice to use saw kerfs to relieve the bow in thick tabletops.
Whereas it can be done, there are no guarantees using this method and the reality is that the weakened top can more easily fracture purely because of the saw kerfs if more movement takes place, which is no solution at all really.
Two, the method increases stresses not relieves them. Generally, this was not anything more than a localised solution to a localised problem and not a general resolve by cabinetmakers at all. In 45 years working with furniture and wood I have never come across this as a method of construction nor a solution to a problem. I have never seen a repaired piece with this in it and so my thought is that someone will use this rather than simply replace the top.
This is not cabinetmaking jargon
Wedges driven into kerfs increases stress
An important consideration here is the reality that in times past wood was seasoned. Today, advocates of kiln-dried wood, this other misinformants that sell wood and tell woodworkers that kiln dried is seasoned wood or better than seasoned wood, tell us that seasoning is simply drying wood and kiln-drying is seasoning. Seasoning involved much longer periods of moisture release through natural air drying whereby the conditioning involves no extreme of heat at all. This method, practiced and proven for centuries, works the best and you only need to run an air-dried board through the tablesaw to see how sweetly it rides through the cut.