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Wood Movement #1: The Power Of Wood

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 2403 days ago 3460 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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It Can’t Be Denied-

The power of wood movement can’t be denied. It is so powerful, ancient peoples used this characteristic to quarry stones with which they built their cities.

Usually we think of wood expansion tangentially which makes a board wider. Sometimes wood will just twist.

We ran into an instance recently where a beam twisted so bad that it broke the metal bracket that is holding it in place.

Twisted Beam

Perhaps the beam would have just expanded along it’s width but it has the weight of a full sunroom structure on it. So possibly it diverted its’ energy and twisted to relieve the need for expansion. I have dealt with enough framing lumber and beams to know how bad they can twist, often dramatically enough to render them useless.

Here is an image showing the metal bracket and how it is supposed to look.

Metal Beam Bracket

And here you can see that it is broken cleanly on the welds.

Broken Metal Beam Bracket

The brackets are only 4 years old and under shelter of the room that it supports. I suppose that some may question the welds but it is clear how much the beam has twisted and the wood has won out over the metal.

This isn’t a woodworking example in the same context of most LJ projects, but it does demonstrate the power of wood movement.

Peace, Love, and Woodworking

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com



15 comments so far

View rpmurphy509's profile

rpmurphy509

288 posts in 2451 days


#1 posted 2403 days ago

Pretty amazing how wood can twist, warp, bend or otherwise do what we don’t expect it to.
Aside from the ‘expansion’ we plan into our projects that is.

-- Still learning everything

View Karson's profile

Karson

34853 posts in 2997 days


#2 posted 2403 days ago

Who says you on’t have to take movement into consideration in what you make.

In some cases we believe that a tight corset will hold everything in. That may not be the case. We may have an explosion.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View JasonH's profile

JasonH

136 posts in 2424 days


#3 posted 2403 days ago

Wow, impressive!

So, what did you do to remediate the problem?

-- Living on the square...

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile (online now)

Todd A. Clippinger

8712 posts in 2696 days


#4 posted 2403 days ago

We just welded it to follow the angle and bolted it back on. It is required to have the bracket but as you can see the beam would probably not go anywhere except under seismic circumstances. I don’t cut corners though and I would put the bracket on even if not required.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 2665 days


#5 posted 2403 days ago

It’s amazing how much wood can always move,It’s something you always have to keep in mind when doing furniture.I’ve seen some great pieces basically blown apart because the maker did not adress wood movement.Thanks for the reminder and example.

-- Scott NM,http://www.shangrilawoodworks.com

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2735 days


#6 posted 2403 days ago

Todd -

The strength of wood is truly amazing. Gives you a healthy respect for movement in timber no matter what the size of the project. Great craftsmanship!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3960 posts in 2660 days


#7 posted 2403 days ago

Thanks, Todd. Nothing beats a picture to say a thousand words, and put some drama behind the example.

and Karson – the other day you spoke to a potential turner and branch-wood user about “reaction wood”. I had never heard that term, but it certainly make sense and might keep someone out of hot water if thinking about planking out a big branch.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2490 days


#8 posted 2403 days ago

no offence but the bracket looks “home made”

Hopefully “Disney” didnt buy the same ones?

Thanks for the heads up!!

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2471 days


#9 posted 2403 days ago

That is a stunning example of the power of the wood movement.

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2476 days


#10 posted 2403 days ago

great post thanks for sharing it . happy holidays to you and yours

View patrick m's profile

patrick m

197 posts in 2409 days


#11 posted 2403 days ago

Awesome!!!!! WOod kIcKs A*s … For instance did you know that trees made out of wood, work as polarity magnetic gravitational devices, that help our universe stay intact. It’s true! I find metal and welding not unlike working with wood in some cases. It’s good to know how to weld and work with metals, when trying to solve problems with wood. OK , I JUST WOKE UP. ONLY ON FIEST COFFEE…. maybe the polarity theory has some flaws .

patrick.

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2896 days


#12 posted 2403 days ago

That is some real power!

I don’t mean to be critical, but a properly welded joint would not have done that.

It looks like it was only tacked at the corners.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile (online now)

Todd A. Clippinger

8712 posts in 2696 days


#13 posted 2402 days ago

It had a bead the full length. We could have used Simpson brackets. They are hurricane/seismic anchors. They hold things together but they are thin. We wanted a bracket that looked structural and by all means should have been. The Simpson Strong Tie would have bent, but on our bracket the welds broke. We had it welded at a local metal fabrication shop.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Blake's profile

Blake

3434 posts in 2471 days


#14 posted 2401 days ago

Wow. I am humbled every time when I think I have “tamed” it. Its also amazing what trees will do when they grow… roots which push up roads, buildings, etc.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19310 posts in 2447 days


#15 posted 2398 days ago

Thats the power of Mother nature for you Todd.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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