LumberJocks

How long do I have to wait?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Broglea posted 03-05-2010 at 03:05 PM 2059 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Broglea's profile

Broglea

665 posts in 1728 days


03-05-2010 at 03:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut maple

Hi everyone. Simple question here. I just picked up some 4/4 walnut and maple. How long do I need to let it sit in my shop to acclimate until I can start working with it?

I can’t wait to get started on my project, but I don’t want mess it up from the very beginning.


16 replies so far

View FlWoodRat's profile

FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2546 days


#1 posted 03-05-2010 at 03:16 PM

Broglea, that is a difficult question to answer without knowing the woods moisture content and your local relative humidity. Is the 4/4 rough sawn? If it is, you may want to skip plane both surfaces and then put a moisture meter on it.

Bruce

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

665 posts in 1728 days


#2 posted 03-05-2010 at 03:54 PM

Bruce – it was kiln dried to 6%-8% and it is rough sawn.

Is there a simple rule of thumb I should go by? I don’t have a moisture meter. Do I really need to get one?

View pvwoodcrafts's profile

pvwoodcrafts

222 posts in 2558 days


#3 posted 03-05-2010 at 04:14 PM

I bring my kiln dried 4/4 lumber in from an out building about 2 weeks ahead of time and sticker it 18 inches wide. it goes from 12% down to around 8 in that time. mike

-- mike & judy western md. www. pvwoodcrafts.com pvwccf1@verizon.net

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1489 posts in 2398 days


#4 posted 03-05-2010 at 04:48 PM

In “Woodworking Wisdom”, author Nick Engler says,”Both air-dried and kiln-dried wood must be shop-dried for a week or more in your workshop. This lets the moisture content reach equilibrium with the relative humidity in the shop, and prevents the wood from expanding and contracting overmuch as it’s worked.”

Last summer I ignored this advice, and ended up with boards that warped after being planed, jointed, and glued. I thought that during the summertime, the wood stored in my loft was subject to the same environmental conditions as in the shop below. I was wrong.

I suspect that if you move wood into a heated or air conditioned shop it might be a good idea to wait at least two weeks before using the wood.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View DuaneEDMD's profile

DuaneEDMD

115 posts in 1990 days


#5 posted 03-05-2010 at 05:32 PM

I might as well add my two cents for what it’s worth. I buy my lumber rough sawn and let it sit for a week in my shop. Then I joint and plane it to it’s clear on both sides (so 4/4 rough sawn becomes anywhere from 1” to 7/8”) and let it sit a day or two so and see what happens. If it doesn’t move much than I take it down to final size. If it has moved and re-joint it and plane again and let it sit again. I slowly sneak up on the final size. It works for me, hope it does for you too.

-- --It's not how long you live, but how you live that makes it a life.--

View FlWoodRat's profile

FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2546 days


#6 posted 03-05-2010 at 06:01 PM

Sounds like good advice. Dont worry about the moisture meter if you don’t have one. Just let the wood sit and acclimate in your shop for a week or two, the slowly thickness it to its final dimensions. By the way, I recommend leaving all of your stock in your shop as you build the project. If you take pieces into the house as you mill them and the temperature and humidity are different, you will have problems when you do your final assembly. Some of the wood will be dryiner than the others.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

665 posts in 1728 days


#7 posted 03-05-2010 at 06:03 PM

Thanks for all the input so far. It looks like I’ll be staring at this wood for a week or two.

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 2424 days


#8 posted 03-05-2010 at 06:11 PM

Ditto on DuaneEDMD’s post. That is pretty much the same thing I do, and so far it has worked well for me. However, the thicker the initial lumber, the more time it takes to acclimate.

If resawing boards, I have had best luck resawing them and then lightly surface planing both sides. Then let sit a day or two. If they immediately bow, let them sit longer, as they will usually equalize and return much closer to straight. Stickering with some weight on top will also help in this situation.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112028 posts in 2214 days


#9 posted 03-05-2010 at 06:12 PM

It helps to let it stabilize to your shops humidity and temperature the week time period but also after rough cutting your stock to make sure it’s not going to move a lot after making your project.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Ingjr's profile

Ingjr

138 posts in 1653 days


#10 posted 03-05-2010 at 06:17 PM

One week, preferably two is what I aim for. HTH.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Ed's profile

Ed

19 posts in 1749 days


#11 posted 03-05-2010 at 07:23 PM

There are three variables you need to consider: 1) The original moisture content of the wood, 2) The Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) of your shop, and 3) The EMC of the place where your project will finally reside.

If all three are the same, you don’t need to wait at all. The wood won’t shrink or swell, because it won’t be gaining or losing water as it moves from one environment to the other.

It won’t do you much good to acclimate the wood to your shop’s EMC if your house is different. If the wood is already at 6 to 8% moisture content (which is typical for inside a house), then it would be better to work it quickly and get it into the house as soon as possible. That way, it won’t gain (or lose) moisture as it sits in the shop.

-- Ed

View wisno's profile

wisno

88 posts in 1648 days


#12 posted 03-06-2010 at 02:42 AM

You need to check the average humidity of the air in your place.
If the moisture content of your wood is already in the balance with the humidity of the air in your place, then you can do start to work with your wood.
You can view the graph wood moisture content vs the environment humidity

Good luck

wisno

-- http://www.wisnofurniturefinishing.com/

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1489 posts in 2398 days


#13 posted 03-06-2010 at 07:56 AM

wisno:

I’m not sure about this graph. It would appear to me that you would need a graph for each degree of air temperature. There is a tremendous amount of difference between the quantity of moisture in the air at different temperatures, even though the relative humidity is the same.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2642 days


#14 posted 03-06-2010 at 08:27 AM

Go ahead and rough cut to widths and lengths. Give you something to do and speed up the wood moving all its going to move. Unless we’re talking really unusual conditions you’re working in, i’d give it a day or so and get to work.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2117 days


#15 posted 03-06-2010 at 01:26 PM

I vote for one to two weeks also.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase