Question on lumber acclimatization

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 03-29-2013 08:18 PM 1073 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bbasiaga's profile


1231 posts in 1990 days

03-29-2013 08:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

This is a total novice question, but here goes. I read a lot about how you should acclimatise your lumber to your shop so it won’t try and change shape on you during a project. Makes perfect sense to me. I read on that you ‘really’ need to acclimatise the wood to the house/room the final piece will be in. In one extreme piece of advice someone was warned not to open the windows in the house for long periods because it would warp their table.

So my question is, how far do you really have to go? It would seem to me that if you really had to be so precise as to temper the wood in the room where the final piece was going, no professional shop could build furniture for anyone else. At least, not unless they also sold whole house humidity control systems. :)


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

6 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5654 posts in 2808 days

#1 posted 03-29-2013 08:22 PM

Kiln dried lumber stored in a garage or shop is fine to use for indoor furniture. If it was stored in a barn, or under a tarp outside you may have some problems.
If it is air dried lumber (never in a kiln) it is a whole different process.

If you are worried about warpage or wood movement, select quartersawn lumber. It makes perfectly flat doors and drawers that tend to stay flat.

Good luck!

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

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4086 days

#2 posted 03-29-2013 09:51 PM

I bought 400 bd/ft of clear pine from my sawyer a few weeks ago, who said the pile has been drying for 4 months. I picked though the pile of stickered boards to get what I was looking for. I live in a dry climate. 4 months of drying time is plenty for pine in my area.

When I got home, I unloaded the pine into my shop. Piled it nicely on the floor, placing stickers between the layers. The following day I started finishing my current project and I could hear a small popping noises coming from the pile every now and again. The popping has stop now. The noise came from the ends of the boards that have developed small checks (small, under 1”). The ends were sealed by the sawyer. I can only guess that my heated shop is the cause. The wood will continue to move until the wood reaches equilibrium with its environment.

I’m now confident that when I start to dimension my lumber, I will have minimized the movement of the wood. Boards will stay flat after I joint them. When I cut-off the ends, no more checks will appear.

I send my sister a cutting board two years ago, made from maple and walnut. This stuff had been sitting in my shop for years. I made 6 altogether. 5 are here in New Mexico, and they are all as flat as the day I completed them. The one shipped to Jersey, warped in two weeks.

-- Nicky

View AandCstyle's profile


3050 posts in 2252 days

#3 posted 03-30-2013 12:52 AM

Nicky, I’m outside ABQ and sent a CB to my son in DC. His warps when/if he leaves it flat on a counter. Once he stands it on edge, it straightens out again. He has had it about 6 months now so my hope is that eventually, it will adjust to the VA humidity and remain flat.

-- Art

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2470 days

#4 posted 03-30-2013 02:02 AM

You also have to design projects to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction of the wood. Especially large flat surfaces like table tops or sides in things like dressers and chests.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4086 days

#5 posted 03-30-2013 07:05 AM

Thanks Art, good tip.

-- Nicky

View bondogaposis's profile


4722 posts in 2346 days

#6 posted 03-30-2013 01:28 PM

If you use kiln dry wood and allow for wood movement with proper joinery, there should be no problems. One thing to note is that if you are making a cabinet w/ drawers in a dry climate to be shipped to a wet climate allow a little extra space for the drawers to slide.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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