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Forum topic by Button43 posted 448 days ago 470 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Button43

20 posts in 474 days


448 days ago

Hey guys I am about to build a workbench and I have a few questions regarding milling, and drying, of the lumber. I am sure I have this wrong but from my understanding I should get the wood in to my garage and let it acclimate for about a week. From there I should rough mill all the lumber then let it sit and acclimate for another week. From there I can mill it to final dimensions. All the wood I should be getting should be Kiln dried, and I am located in Southern California if that matters.

Is this procedure correct? What is considered rough dimensioning? a 1/8th over? Can/Should I rough cut to length as soon as I get it in to the shop?

I just bought my first planer and jointer, and I want to make sure I have the process correct.

Thanks.

Chris

-- - Chris


5 replies so far

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1094 posts in 558 days


#1 posted 448 days ago

That sounds pretty darn close, you could let it acclimate a little bit longer, rough mill it, let it set for another week or two to further acclimate, then mill to final dimension and be pretty safe. When I rough cut/mill I’ll allow for more than an 1/8th in a lot of instances if I have enough stock for it.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Don W's profile

Don W

14661 posts in 1171 days


#2 posted 448 days ago

So, what is the lumber? The process you described would work well for rough sawn. Also, what dimensional lumber are you buying? 2x lumber takes longer to acclimate than 1X, etc.

For a typical bench, with kiln dried limber you can probably start building when you get home. All the gluing and cutting is going to take you enough time anyhow. Also,depending on the bench, the tolerance probably will not need to be that tight.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Button43

20 posts in 474 days


#3 posted 448 days ago

Thanks for the input.

I am basing the bench off of John White’s New Fangled Workbench. I am going to use Kiln Dried 2X Douglas Fir lumber for the frame. I am going to use some 8/4 S2 Ribbon Mahogany for the top.

If I had, for example, 6” wide by 8’ long 8/4 piece of wood that was ultimately going to be three 5” x 1.5” X 30” pieces wouldn’t I be better off cutting it in to thirds lengthwise as soon as I get home, or should I let it acclimate in it’s 8’ form before doing any rough dimensioning?

-- - Chris

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Don W

14661 posts in 1171 days


#4 posted 448 days ago

cutting it to length does nothing to help with or hurt the acclimation. How long you should let it acclimate really depends on how dry it is in relationship to your shop.

My opinion is you can start working the lumber as soon as you get it, assuming it hasn’t been stored out in the rain somewhere. Depending on how fast you plan to build this bench (most folks on this forum take weeks or months to complete a bench) you could just build it. I just wouldn’t do the final sizing on the joints until the wood has been in your shop for 2 weeks or so. In reality 2” lumber could take up to a year to really acclimate if the climate change is substantial.

You can go ahead and get things cut to length, glue up the top and even rough cut the tenons etc. Just leave the joints a little on the large size (which you would do anyhow) and when ready to fit, plane or rasp them to size.

When your building you need to plan for movement, even after acclimation, so once that’s figured into the equation, its really not that big of an issue.

When you’re not building, make sure you keep it stacked and stickered so it dries evenly.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Button43

20 posts in 474 days


#5 posted 448 days ago

That makes sense, I appreciate the sound advice – thank you Don.

Not I need to go do research best practices on building to plan for wood movement.

-- - Chris

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