First rough lumber purchase

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Forum topic by JoeinDE posted 05-24-2009 02:29 AM 1150 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeinDE's profile


444 posts in 3323 days

05-24-2009 02:29 AM

So I got brave this week and went to a local lumber guy to buy some rough lumber. Until now I have only purchased kiln dried S2S1E lumber online. I resisted the allure of the ambrosia maple and purchased some curly 4/4 cherry ($2.50/bft) 7-9” . I was a little scared since I don’t own a planer or a jointer, but I can use my router table as a jointer and I am building a “router planer jig” (seen here) to plane. The cherry was air drying for about a year and registered at 8-10% moisture when I bought it.

1. Do I need to dry this more? I have only worked with kiln dried lumber so far. I have the wood laid out in my (relatively) dry basement stacked with spacers in the same way that it was at the lumber yard.
2. Do I need to take the bark off the boards now? There is a small amount on the end of a couple of the boards.



3 replies so far

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3322 days

#1 posted 05-24-2009 02:40 AM

I can help with question 1. 8-10% is pretty dry in most areas of the country. Where are you located? In Colorado where I live we tend to end up in the 7-9% range but it is pretty dry here. Outside of the southwest 8-10% is a pretty consistent dry reading for wood.

Also, even with a good moisture reading, it is always good to let the wood sit in your shop for a couple of weeks so it can acclimatize to the moisture level it will have when you are working it.

As for the bark, I don’t think you can go wrong by removing it. That would just be one less layer for moisture to have to get through. Unless you are incorporating the bark into a work-piece, I’d recommend taking it off.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 3554 days

#2 posted 05-24-2009 08:23 AM

You’ll love working with air dried lumber. It has a lot less internal stress. With some kiln dried woods I purchased, the lumber warps the minute I cut it. Air dried lumber has hardly any internal stress so it tends to stay straighter and not warp.
8 -10% is good. I would let it acclimate for 2 or 3 weeks before working it and you should be good.
Bark? I usually take it off before air drying (bugs like to like between the bark and wood) but since its’ on there now, I suppose it doesn’t matter too much.
Using your router table for edge jointing works really well, in fact, it works better than a lot of the cheap full size 6” jointers I have used. The only downside is the setup time. If I’m edge jointing a lot of boards, I usually do it on the router table. I clamp on an extra long mdf/laminate fence. But most times, if I don’t have a lot of boards, I’ll just do it on my jointer.

View JoeinDE's profile


444 posts in 3323 days

#3 posted 05-25-2009 05:31 AM

Thanks for the replies. I will take the bark off. I think DE is a little bit wetter than CO, but I was three when I last lived in CO so my memory might by wrong.


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