cherry Expansion rate?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by 12strings posted 12-05-2012 06:32 PM 1956 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2588 days

12-05-2012 06:32 PM

I would like to make a jewelry box with a solid cherry top 7 inches wide. Does anyone know how much expansion to expect if I complete the box durring the winter months? Will it even be noticable? should I make it slightly undersized so it is flush with the front of the box (hinged at the back) during the spring and summer? There will be nothing binding the top, so it is not a stability issue, just looks that I’m concerned about. My client (wife) does not want a frame & panel top, but rather a plain flat top.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

6 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3017 days

#1 posted 12-05-2012 06:37 PM

Over 7”, even flatsawn cherry will have a negligable expansion. Probably a 32”.
Assuming the lumber is dry to equilibrium with the indoor temp and humidity.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#2 posted 12-05-2012 06:37 PM

As for the sides they will expand and contract up and down if you have the grain running horizontally. if you make the top so it sits on top of the box you don’t have to be concerned if one end is connected by hinges . The largest amount of wood movement is across the grain not length wise.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2461 days

#3 posted 12-05-2012 06:43 PM

I use The Shrinkulator to estimate how much movement might occur. I base it on relative humidity since I don’t have a moisture meter. Use the RH range that is normal for your area because it will be different in Indiana than it is in NM. HTH

-- Art

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2392 days

#4 posted 12-05-2012 06:49 PM

Read R. Bruce Hoadley’s book, Understanding Wood. It should be in every woodworker’s library. It’s a Taunton Press book.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3173 days

#5 posted 12-05-2012 07:29 PM

Here’s one I prepared earlier…

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2588 days

#6 posted 12-05-2012 07:53 PM

Jim, I realize this. There is no structural concern…just aesthetics if I make the box with a lid that sits flush with the front of the box, and then this summer stick out 1/8” That’s all I”m concerned about.

I should also mention that this board is now 3/4” wide, but will be planed down to 1/2” for the box…and it has been sitting in a barn for 25 years since it was cut down and planed to an initial thickness…so it’s not green by any means.

thanks for all replies. according tot he shrinkulator, I should get about .02 or.04 % expansion, so I’ll probalby just make it fit and see what happens…I can always trim off the front and refinish it later if need be.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

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