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Forum topic by ByronBlack posted 2379 days ago 733 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ByronBlack

22 posts in 2392 days


2379 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: sycamore maple movement

Hi everyone,

I just have a quick question. I’m a little confused with regards to wood movement during initial milling. My workshop is unheated and currently uninsulated – this is where I currently have my wood stored.

I intend to make a number of small wall cabinets with this wood, but I’ve been advised to bring it indoors for a number of weeks/months to season the wood for use in a central heated home.

The thing i’m not sure about is when I need to do this with regards to re-sawing. Do I resaw them at the moment while they are still in the workshop and then bring them indoors to settle before the first milling, or should I only re-saw them after they have aclimatised to the indoor conditions. If it’s the latter, should I bring the wood back in after the re-sawing before milling?

I’m probably not making much sense, but any input into the process would be most grateful. The wood in question is sycamore and some spalted maple.

TIA (Thanks in advanced).


4 replies so far

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 2415 days


#1 posted 2379 days ago

Byron,

The advice to bring the wood into the atmosphere in which it will ultimately reside is sound. However, it is not to “season” the wood but, rather to let it acclimate and achieve “equilibrium moisture content” (EMC). That’s just a fancy way to say that your unheated and uninsulated workshop is probably letting the wood sit at a (at least slightly) higher moisture content than it would have in your house. Of course, this will vary a bit depending on where you live, the season of the year it is, etc. The idea is to have it at a consistent moisture content before you start to work it.

With respect to resawing, I would definitely get the wood to EMC before resawing it. Actually, it may still move (cup etc.) on you after you resaw it even if it is at EMC. However, the movement will not be as much as it might have been if not at EMC. Again, if your shop is at a higher moisture content, then I would go ahead and bring the wood back inside after resawing. Of course, the other approach is to try to get the workshop climate closer to the house – but, that may not be possible.

I hope that this helps.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at http://thecraftsmanspath.com

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ByronBlack

22 posts in 2392 days


#2 posted 2378 days ago

Hello Mark,

That helps a great deal, thank you! At the moment it’s near impossible to equalize the temperature in the shop to that of a heated house so I’ll have to follow your advice and get the wood acclimatized first. Is there a rule of thumb of how long one should leave the wood to achieve EMC? Or should I invest in a moisture meter?

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Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 2415 days


#3 posted 2378 days ago

Byron,

A moisture meter would be the ideal solution, but it’s not necessary.

As far as rules of thumb, there are a couple of them however, assuming dried wood to begin with, if you get the wood into the desired environment for about 2 weeks it should basically be acclimatized in that amount of time. Just make sure that air can get to all sides of the wood – you may need to sticker it if you have a lot.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at http://thecraftsmanspath.com

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ByronBlack

22 posts in 2392 days


#4 posted 2378 days ago

Mark,

You’re a star, two weeks works out fine for me as it happens as I’m waiting on some tool deliveries for the project that should arrive in about the same time!

I only have three longish planks and have stickered these under the bench which is quite open so should have a decent air-flow.

Thanks for the advice!

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