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Forum topic by mrfixitri posted 1291 days ago 912 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mrfixitri

53 posts in 1798 days


1291 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: finishes climate control relocating shop dry wood sealing wood question

I’m moving from the northeast to AZ in the near future and taking my hobby wood shop with me. Here in RI just about any finish will fly for any project, due to a relative humidity usually in excess of 50%. Much different in AZ, where we plan to move.

My question is what is the preferred finish or finishes for wood projects that you’ve built in the southwest? For example, do you guys (and gals) use oil and wax? I don’t mean to sound stupid but my fear is anything I’ve built here in RI will dry and crack shortly after arriving in AZ. My preferred finish has been oil and wax. But do I need to use other finishes or observe special precautions – Like only lacquers and varnishes that completely seal the wood?

Any of you that have moved from a relatively humid climate to the southwest – I’d real appreciate your thoughts or experiences in what I may encounter after my move.

Thanks much! – Larry

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home": http://www.circa1679.com


11 replies so far

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poopiekat

3398 posts in 2235 days


#1 posted 1291 days ago

don’t expect to find abundant, inexpensive deals on good hardwood lumber….or even a good local sawmill. Unless you like mesquite. That was the most troubling thing about Tucson, anyway.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Viktor

446 posts in 1919 days


#2 posted 1291 days ago

I moved from very humid to very dry hot climate. Did not have any problems with furniture. I use the same finishes (including oil and wax), they simply dry faster, which is a good thing. There was an article (or video?) on Woodwhisperer about outdoor finishes for desert environment.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

4787 posts in 1929 days


#3 posted 1290 days ago

Been here almost 40 years from IL. Have had no trouble with furniture I’ve made going from here to IL.
Many of my boxes are wax over Danish oil. No problem here or any where they are sent.
And, poopiekat is correct. It’s not impossible to find, but hardwood lumber ain’t cheap out here. And that includes mesquite.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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MedicKen

1599 posts in 1962 days


#4 posted 1290 days ago

My climate here is very similar to the AZ area, only difference would be slightly higher humidity level. When I say slightly, 5-10%. Hot and dry in the summer, cold and damp in the winter. I have noticed a lot of wood movement with the big swings in humidity over the seasons, not unlike other areas of the country.Ii also use oil and wax but have found it is necessary to refinish only a few times over the years. Lumber availability here is scarce and if you can bring wood with you I would do it.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

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mrfixitri

53 posts in 1798 days


#5 posted 1290 days ago

Thanks a lot everybody. Maybe a side business would be the importation of fine hardwoods for us LJ’s. Now I see why most woodworking craftspeople work in metal and there are so few woodworkers. I do know the woodwhisperer is from AZ. When I wrote him some time ago, he said all my wood would dry out and to seal the ends with anchorseal prior to moving. Are there any woodworkers in the southwestern US ????

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home": http://www.circa1679.com

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ajb

29 posts in 1562 days


#6 posted 1290 days ago

I am a native Phoenician, yes it is dry here, but not a consistantly dry as people make it out to be. The humidity flucuates wildly especially during the summer months, we have dry for a month or two,(Triple digit heat) then the monsoon season roles in and the humidity is unbearable then it rains for a while and the humidty goes away. I have had the experiance of cutting wood and having it crack before getting it into the truck. so anchor seal is a must. as far as special considerations I have used oil\wax many times and not had a problem, the only problem is keeping the wax from seperating when you store it in the garage. But I am far from any kind of expert on the subject. I just do things the way everyone else does them and have not had a problem. As Far as the lumber issue, the variety isn’t as good but if you are willing to put in a little leg work it isn’t thet bad i have had luck on c.l. and just networking around.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just need some phoenix/arizona help

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Gene Howe

4787 posts in 1929 days


#7 posted 1290 days ago

Larry,
What part of AZ are you moving to?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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mrfixitri

53 posts in 1798 days


#8 posted 1290 days ago

The plan is to move to the Scottsdale area. But that’s not happening until our home here in Rhode Island sells first. So, it could be 6 weeks – or six months. We’ll see.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I get spoiled up here with all the local hardwoods and sawmills. But for the better stuff and certainly the exotics, I always have it shipped in. So, I guess I’ll still have access to that. My biggest concern was the drastic change in humidity levels and what would happen to my stash when I moved.

Do you find that there are fewer woodworkers in the southwest than in other parts of the country?

- Larry

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home": http://www.circa1679.com

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mski

411 posts in 2480 days


#9 posted 1290 days ago

I live in CA , little more humid than Scottsdale nice place by the way, I havent had a problem with finished projects but when you start cutting and sawing wood it will dry quickly and start getting a mind of its own, that said don’t start a project and wait two months to finish , thats what I find anyway.
You are going to miss the hardwood of the NE, really you are.
You are not going to miss the humidity, except for your lumber.
There is a decent place over on I 17 in Phoenix for wood, Woodworkers source.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/index.php
Welcome to the Southwest.

-- MARK IN BOB, So. CAL

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mrfixitri

53 posts in 1798 days


#10 posted 1290 days ago

Thanks mski. I figured that Phoenix would likely have what I need. But trees do grow in nearby states, no?? Hardwoods can’t be THAT hard to come by?
Larry

-- Larry, formerly of East Greenwich, RI - "Rhode Island's Oldest Home": http://www.circa1679.com

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MedicKen

1599 posts in 1962 days


#11 posted 1290 days ago

I also live in CA, not that far from from AZ. Hardwoods are not hard to come by, its the pricing I have found to be high. My closest supplier of what I would consider decent wood is 2 hours north. What I have found is pricing is $1-3bf higher than in other parts of the country.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

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