Reply by Lazyman

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Posted on Which nails should I use?

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2708 posts in 1628 days

#1 posted 02-14-2018 03:56 PM

Gap requirement depends upon how dry the wood is now and the local and indoor humidity swings. Hemlock’s tangential shrinkage factor is between about 7 to 8% which, if I am doing the math right, would roughly equate to about .015” shrinkage/expansion per percent of moisture change (for new wood) for a 6” wide board. If it has a relatively high moisture content now and it will be in a humidity control space, it may shrink noticeably so would probably need almost no gap. If by mushroom wood you mean salvaged wood , I am not sure what effect that has on shrinkage and expansion, especially if it already has cracks and fissures.

BTW, the recommendation to paint the wall behind the joints is a good one. If the wood will not be painted, I would not try to match the color but just paint a black strip behind the joints. I’ve even used a wide tipped Magic Marker or Sharpie for that. You just don’t want a lighter colored wall to show through the gap.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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