Beautiful Clean Cherry got wet!

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Forum topic by PMKwoodworking posted 04-02-2016 10:06 PM 1049 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PMKwoodworking's profile


5 posts in 921 days

04-02-2016 10:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor question cherry planer rustic modern traditional wet rain florida storage pecky cypress

Good Morning Fellow Lumberjocks!

I have a rather amateur question here…
I cleaned out a storage unit for some free wood thinking I would get a bunch of plywood and pine lumber with about half a pallet of random crown mouldings.
To my surprise… burried underneath all of this cheap lumber I found a BUNCH of clean straight grain cherry already quarter cut and ranging from 20 feet to 12 feet in length.

I also found about a half pallet of Pecky cypress flooring!!!

Because I did not expect to find this beautiful wood I did not really have a plan on where to store it! Being from Florida and in the midst of spring, I thought “I’ll just lay these out on pallets in the yard and find storage for them this weekend…” – best laid plans…- It rained for 3 days straight!

All this to say… I now have this amazingly beautiful cherry and cypress to use on projects but I need to know…
1) Will the sun do irreparable damage to the wood, or will planing and sanding restore its beauty?
2) How long should I dry the wood in my shop when I do decide to use it for a project?
3) What is the best way to store wood OUTSIDE, since I don’t have any other options right now
4) What is the best way to clean, prep, and work with wood in the high humidity and rain of Florida?

8 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


1426 posts in 1822 days

#1 posted 04-02-2016 10:38 PM

Are you sure it’s Cherry kinda looks like mahogany to me.But my screen is small.
Probably best to store it out of the sun and rain.If your serious about woodworking find some space in your work shop area.
Nice looking boards like that don’t come often for most woodworkers.

-- Aj

View PMKwoodworking's profile


5 posts in 921 days

#2 posted 04-03-2016 12:09 AM

Are you sure it s Cherry kinda looks like mahogany to me.But my screen is small.
Probably best to store it out of the sun and rain.If your serious about woodworking find some space in your work shop area.
Nice looking boards like that don t come often for most woodworkers.

- Aj2

yeah, but for now there is nothing I can do… I am working on expanding my shop or building outdoor storage shed, but i dont have that yet, and we are coming into the rainy season here in FL

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1444 days

#3 posted 04-03-2016 01:45 AM

If you aren’t able to get laid out, & off the ground where the sun can get to it, you’ll need to figure out a way a way to get it inside where its dry & fairly climate controlled.

-- Sawdust703

View splintergroup's profile


2072 posts in 1246 days

#4 posted 04-03-2016 01:31 PM

Find a good flat area and stack it carefully with stickers positioned every 2 feet for air circulation. Place a scrap board on top of the last row of stickers and covet the pile with a plastic tarp loose enough to allow air circulation and still keep rain off.

Great find!

View leafherder's profile


1424 posts in 1976 days

#5 posted 04-03-2016 02:49 PM

Here is a simple temporary solution if you have a garage – put the car on the driveway and the lumber in the garage. Do that all the time here in the Midwest – where we experience all 4 seasons sometimes in the same day – like yesterday which started with sunny and 60 degrees, then the winds kicked up to 50 MPH and brought in rain followed by plunging temperatures which left us with an inch of snow by 8PM – a metal car can withstand that much better than a pile of wood covered by a tarp. :) Then get started on that permanent solution before the rains arrive.

Good luck, can’t wait to see what you build with all that wood.

-- Leafherder

View JBrow's profile


1361 posts in 944 days

#6 posted 04-05-2016 02:49 AM


1. My concern would be that heat from sunlight would bake the top planks on one face or edges and cause some warping, bowing, etc. Also, sunlight could affect the color of wood. Therefore my approach would include some effort to prevent direct sunlight from striking any of the lumber. Storing the lumber in a shady spot would be best. If there are no shady spots, a couple of pieces of hardboard or other inexpensive throw-away sheet good on top the stack and perhaps on the sides where sunlight could reach the stack would shield the stack from direct sunlight. An opaque tarp could also work.

2. When the wood is as dry as it will get in FL, it is ready to work. Taking moisture meter readings until the decreasing moisture readings no longer change would be the point when I would think moisture is equalized in the lumber. Some local craftsman or lumber yards may know the equalized moisture content of FL lumber.

3. Storing lumber outdoors is a problematic no matter where in the country it is stored. Protecting lumber from moisture, sunlight, and protecting it from insect damage are the problems I can foresee. I have thought about this problem but have not stored lumber in the elements. Therefore my suggestion is not grounded in direct experience.

My approach would start with a water proof tarp or 6 mil plastic on the ground. Concrete cinder blocks spaced about 2’ apart on top of and along opposite edges of the ground cover would provide a foundation for 2×4s set on edge on the cinder blocks to support the lumber. If the ground cover is brought up and over the cinder blocks and then the 2×4s set to keep the ground cover in place would keep water blowing onto the ground cover. The first layer of lumber would set on the 2×4s. Stickers at least ¾” x ¾” (though larger would be better) would be set on the first layer of lumber in line with the 2×4s. As each layer is complete, another set of stickers would allow air to circulate.

Sheet goods mentioned in 1 above would be set on top of stickers on the top layer of lumber. This would keep the covering tarp from contacting the lumber. A water proof tarp would cover the entire stack and overlap the ground tarp to prevent water from reaching the ground cover. The covering tarp should be set in place so it will shed water and not allow water to set on the tarp. Bungee cords would keep the covering tarp from blowing off.

Not being an entomologist, I can only guess how to discourage insects. I would avoid spaying the lumber directly with any insecticide. I would probably sprinkle some Sevin dust on the ground tarp before laying on the first course of lumber. I would then probably sprinkle Sevin dust around the perimeter of the lumber stack where the covering tarp would cover the insecticide on the perimeter. Of course, kids and pets present a problem with this approach. It may be best to just hope inspects do not discover your lumber and just deal with any damage should it occur.

4. Once the lumber is acclimated to the shop environment, I would think standard milling methods would be sufficient.

View soob's profile


266 posts in 1232 days

#7 posted 04-05-2016 02:56 PM

If you’re going to be building something that’s going inside, you want to keep your lumber somewhere climate controlled to acclimate before working it. Inside you will have much lower humidity, especially in the summer (in FLA).

View Snipes's profile


177 posts in 2268 days

#8 posted 04-05-2016 03:34 PM

Sell it to someone with a place to store it! Buy new wood when you need it.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

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