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Wood Expansion From One Climate to Another

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Forum topic by Joel89 posted 05-20-2014 03:26 AM 737 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel89

23 posts in 1639 days


05-20-2014 03:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: western red cedar adirondack chairs expansion humidity

I live in a very dry climate (~30% humidity) and just finished a set of Adirondack Chairs that will be going to a friend that lives in a very moist climate (75-85% humidity). The lumber is Western Red Cedar, and it was air dried thoroughly here before I started the work. I know Western Red Cedar is on the more stable side as far as expansion/retraction goes, and I also know that the expansion will primarily happen along the width of the boards. With that in mind, I’m thinking the new climate shouldn’t affect the furniture too much. Sending furniture to a different location is new to me though, so I’m very interested in any inputs/suggestions. Thank you in advance!

-- Joel


7 replies so far

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Aj2

686 posts in 1258 days


#1 posted 05-20-2014 03:41 AM

I think the chairs will be fine. But wood is mysterious and amazing so it’s anyone’s guess.
Nice looking chairs you do nice work.

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JAAune

1634 posts in 1777 days


#2 posted 05-20-2014 03:48 AM

If you built them using proper technique I don’t foresee any problems so long as the chairs are permitted to acclimate gradually. Sudden and major swings in humidity can be bad.

To be on the safe side, it wouldn’t hurt to wrap them up before sending them out. That will slow down the moisture transfer so it will be spread out over the course of several hours.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1811 days


#3 posted 05-20-2014 04:36 AM

Shouldn’t be a problem, sticking drawers is the usual malady going from dry to moist climate,

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Joel89

23 posts in 1639 days


#4 posted 05-20-2014 05:31 AM

Thank you all for the feedback! JAAune, forgive my ignorance, but by wrapping them, do you mean just covering them in some plastic bags?

-- Joel

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Wildwood

1882 posts in 1595 days


#5 posted 05-20-2014 11:09 AM

If you allowed for wood expansion and contraction when building those chairs do not see a problem. Cedar will reach EMC (equilibrium moisture content) based upon relative humidity (RH) for that area with not much problem.

Wood will gain and lose MC based upon RH throughout its life. Wood finishing books will tell you finishes will slow down but not stop this gain and loss.

Wrapping in plastic before shipping will let that cedar set up a happy environment, where MC will not fluctuate much during shipping.

-- Bill

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Joel89

23 posts in 1639 days


#6 posted 05-20-2014 03:41 PM

Thanks Bill!

-- Joel

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1595 days


#7 posted 05-20-2014 10:28 PM

Normally you shoot for plus or minus 1 or 2 percent EMC for in/out door wood made stuff. Plenty of furniture has survived moving from coast to coast and in between can only guess tradesmen built allowing for movement.

-- Bill

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