High Moisture Content in Cedar Posts/Glue Up

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Forum topic by Joel J posted 08-14-2014 03:34 PM 927 views 1 time favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel J

48 posts in 1964 days

08-14-2014 03:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: moisture content biscuit joints glue up

I am in the middle of building a farm style dining room table. The attached image is the end view of the table. The (4) pieces labeled leg components are smooth sawn/planed from cedar fence posts that were not kiln dried. They were “wet” when I bought them a month ago so I “stickered” them in my Colorado garage for the past month or so. Last night went I went to cut and plane them down, the outside of the 4×4 posts were fairly dry. When I rough cut them to length, I noticed about a 2” diameter circle in the middle of the post was still “wet”. I would like to assemble the legs of the table and attach the 3×3 pieces together with biscuits and glue. Am I asking for trouble with the wood still being wet? I don’t plan on putting a finish on them for another month or so.

Just checked the August averages for humidity and they are around 40%.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Here are some more pics of the top to date….assembled but not sanded or finished.

-- Joel, Denver, CO

2 replies so far

View GnarlyErik's profile


310 posts in 2159 days

#1 posted 08-14-2014 09:22 PM

Keep in mind ol’ Ben Franklin’s saying: “Whenever in doubt, don’t!”

That said, you can probably get away with glueing things so long as the glueing surfaces are dry. Most wood glues are pretty forgiving, and since your glueing surfaces seem dry you can likely make it work. One trick is to mop your glueing surfaces down with acetone several times before applying glue which will displace the moisture at the surfaces. Alcohol works too – use the 90% kind.

If you have access to a dehumidifier, even a small one, you can use that to quickly finish drying your material. Sticker your stock on saw horses, cover with plastic completely and place the dehumidifier inside the plastic. Running the dehumidifier will suck the remaining moisture out of the stock in the matter of a few days or week or so. Be warned though, any forced drying method always runs the danger of having the stock surface check or end split. You should keep a close eye on things and check at least twice a day if you try this. Good luck!

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View Joel J's profile

Joel J

48 posts in 1964 days

#2 posted 08-14-2014 09:35 PM

Great idea and thanks for the input….will try the dehumidifier approach and see what happens.

-- Joel, Denver, CO

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