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How long to let air dried lumber acclimate to my shop?

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Forum topic by dbhost posted 07-10-2011 06:30 PM 3800 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dbhost

5609 posts in 2699 days


07-10-2011 06:30 PM

I picked up a bunch of air dried walnut off of a Craigslist buy, and I was wondering. I have never bought air dried before, but I have air dried my own. This stuff has been milled for 10+ years, but the seller has recently moved, along with his lumber stash, from upstate New York, to Texas. It is 4/4 stuff. How long should I let it acclimate to my shop before I try to joint / plane it?

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com


14 replies so far

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2641 days


#1 posted 07-10-2011 08:14 PM

Since I know you have no HF allergies … have you considered buying one of their moisture meters ???

Saves guessing, and … I think I like mine :-)

-- -- Neil

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 2518 days


#2 posted 07-10-2011 09:01 PM

DB,

Probably no more than a week or two. If it’s 10 years old, it’s dry. At the same mc, there’s no difference between air and kiln dried. Workung properties may be subtly different, but that’s so subjective as to be a non-issue. Beener’s idea is wworyh considering. I gave a HF moisture meter I got for $6 on sale. Gave about the same readings as a friend’s Lignomat (more than $6).

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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dbhost

5609 posts in 2699 days


#3 posted 07-10-2011 09:27 PM

I have the HF moisture meter and love it. 9% right now.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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dbhost

5609 posts in 2699 days


#4 posted 07-11-2011 04:52 AM

It doesn’t look like much, but that measures out to just under 65 bd/ft. I know not much of a gloat, but considering local prices are around $4.75 bd/ft, so at under $3.00 bd/ft I am happy. This stuff is mostly select. (3 of the short ones have splits, but would be good for laminations…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Greedo's profile

Greedo

470 posts in 2427 days


#5 posted 07-11-2011 07:47 AM

i also recently got a wood gloat on half a cubic meter french oak, had been sitting under a roof for about 20 years with the old man (who passed away) gradually making magnificent hand carved furniture with it.
it felt light and dry, but at home i took out my moisture meter and it was between 14 and 17% humidity! so im not gonna touch it for at least a couple months.
it all depends where it was stored, no matter the age.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5609 posts in 2699 days


#6 posted 07-11-2011 03:49 PM

If anything, the lumber I have needs to GAIN moisture to acclimate to my climate. I believe the fellow that I bought it from has been here, with his lumber for at least 2 years, and he lives very close to me, and has a garage workshop such as mine. I however am closer to the bay and tend to be a bit more humid than further inland…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2641 days


#7 posted 07-11-2011 04:24 PM

From what I understand, if it needs to acclimate, it’s much better off stickered … if you can. You need the air circulating around the boards. Ideally, a fan should help the circulation (niacin and red wine help, too <grin>).

If you don’t acclimatize the boards equally … they can do gymnastics on you—particularly if you try to resaw them.

DAMHIKT.

-- -- Neil

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dbhost

5609 posts in 2699 days


#8 posted 07-11-2011 04:28 PM

Any suggestions for stickers? I would think just enough to get air between the boards, like maybe some 1/4” ply cutoff into 1” strips or something…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2641 days


#9 posted 07-11-2011 04:39 PM

IIRC, maple or beech are ideal, but I will gladly defer to those who know more about this one.

I don’t SEE why ply wouldn’t work.

EDIT: I think OSB is recommended, too. Nope. Just checked. NOT OSB ;-)

Here:

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Using_OSB_for_Stickers.html

Gene Wengert is a leading authority on all things wood :-)

-- -- Neil

View JFobare's profile

JFobare

41 posts in 2539 days


#10 posted 07-11-2011 05:15 PM

I just finished stacking ~120 bd.ft. of black walnut and the same in cherry….I used up all my 2×4 and 2×6 scraps, ripped them 3/8” thick (1 1/2×3/8 by whatever length I needed for the stack).
What % moisture should be considered ‘dry’ for us on the gulf coast?

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2641 days


#11 posted 07-11-2011 05:17 PM

David:

‘nother great source of general info, but without too much direction about species …..

http://www.wvu.edu/~exten/infores/pubs/other/wooddr2.pdf

-- -- Neil

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5609 posts in 2699 days


#12 posted 07-11-2011 05:19 PM

That is a good question. To be honest at best I can tell you, I have pine that has been in my garage since 2003 that is at 9%. I have oak that has been there since 2007 that is 9% as well. I think that is the equalibrium.

On this walnut, it depends on where I probe it, but it is at 9 to 10%. And that 10% reading flickers 9 and 10 depending on how I hold the cheapo meter… I think I am there, I am probably just being paranoid.

I wonder if my wife would be too offended if I took the moisture meter to one of the chairs in the kitchen….

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Scsmith42's profile

Scsmith42

125 posts in 2144 days


#13 posted 07-11-2011 06:25 PM

Each area has it’s own MC% that the wood will equalize to, depending upon temp and RH%. Interior wood in a modern air conditioned house will typically be between 6% – 8%. Exterior wood in the 12% – 16% range, depending upon the time of year.

Stickers are typically between 3/4” to 1” thick, and made from dry wood (I’ve also seen them made from conduit). NBeener is correct in that your lumber needs to be stickered in order to equalize with the environment. 3/8” is a bit thin, as it discourages airflow around the stack. For equalizing, you don’t need a huge air flow, but you do need some.

A good option if you don’t have dry stickers handy is to stand the wood vertically along your walls. Since it is already dry, you don’t really need to worry about it moving, and you’ll have great airflow around your boards. If you stand multiple boards against one another, be sure that you’ve got 1-1/2” or so clearance at the bottom between the boards, or shoot for 1” with a spacer between them at the top. Minimize the lean to the extent that you can.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#14 posted 07-11-2011 06:50 PM

When I had my floors put in, the contractors let the wood sticker in my home for 10 days. They cut all the boxes open & the boards were stickered on what looked like 1/2 inch pine. I had head-high mountains of maple; it was a glorius time. Calm before the storm. My house soon looked like a battleground.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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