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Too much moisture in the wood?

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Forum topic by ghazard posted 06-18-2009 03:06 PM 1023 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ghazard

382 posts in 2974 days


06-18-2009 03:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: moisture router

Question: If a board has picked up too much moisture, what will the surface look like if you mill it with a router?

I am afraid that the midwest humidity has penetrated my boards. I was thinning some stock on my router jig and the surface that was left was “fuzzy”...looks like the wood was tearing and not cutting clean. My router speed is OK as I have used the same setup before and produced a nice finish. Does this indicate too much moisture?

I have been storing my boards in the garage. Maybe I should store them inside where the humidity is lower and more consistant. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"


14 replies so far

View Kjuly's profile

Kjuly

306 posts in 2750 days


#1 posted 06-18-2009 05:24 PM

Hi Greg,
A fuzzy cut is an indication of high moisture but there may be more to it.
It could be the wood. Willow, Poplar,Butternut and even some pine, to name a few, have a tendency to leave a fuzzy surface when cut.
Something to consider:
Did you find this on more than one board? Was the lumber stored on a concrete floor?
Was the wood originally kiln dried? Was there mold on the boards when you started?

To find out if moisture is the cause I would suggest getting a moisture meter or try cutting a board that you know has not been exposed to the elements.

It could also be that your router bit is getting dull and tearing more than cutting.
Let us know what you find.

Keith

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI www.julyswoodworks.com

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ghazard

382 posts in 2974 days


#2 posted 06-18-2009 05:47 PM

Keith… It has happened on more than one piece and from different boards. I store the boards standing up with a scrap of MDF between the bottom of the board and the concrete floor. I’m pretty sure these boards were kiln dried by the hardwood store or at least their supplier. No mold. The bit is pretty new…so i hope it hasn’t dulled in 6 months of light use.

This is happening on Cherry and last weekend it was some small pieces of walnut with purple heart and/or maple laminated in to it. What about direction of cut, will that make a difference? The shape of the walnut pieces lended itself in my jig to run the router across the face length wise (rip direction on a TS) instead of across (“crosscut”)...this is the first time I’ve gone this direction….

Thanks for your comments, Keith…I’ll keep investigating and let you know. Other thought/suggestions welcome!

Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

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Julian

880 posts in 2990 days


#3 posted 06-18-2009 05:50 PM

The amount of material you are removing also will make a difference in the finished cut. Try making multiple passes so the final pass is only taking 1/32 or less of a cut.

You don’t mention what type/brand bit your using and at what speed you’re running it at. Just because a bit has light use over 6 months doesn’t mean much. Say you ran the bit through some mdf or white oak. These materials will tear up a router bit in no time.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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ghazard

382 posts in 2974 days


#4 posted 06-18-2009 06:16 PM

Good point…Crafstman 3/4” straight bit. Has been used only on walnut, maple, bloodwood, and cherry. I did play with depth of cut and did not get a change…still fuzzy.

There is a definite change in the cut quality, using the same setup, from projects I did in March/April to now.

Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1440 posts in 2929 days


#5 posted 06-18-2009 06:43 PM

i have been having similar problems on walnut, and I’m pretty sure it’s this insanely high humidity. i dont really know what the storage solution is, since i’m a bit leery of storing it at low humidity then working it at high humidity, then bringing it back in to a low humidity setting. maybe it’s nothing to be concerned about, but i dont have the experience to say.

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ghazard

382 posts in 2974 days


#6 posted 06-18-2009 07:20 PM

Does anyone have thoughts on the storage solution regarding humidity changes mentioned by Aaron above? This morning, I brought my few boards into the house. good idea?

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2990 days


#7 posted 06-18-2009 07:23 PM

I’d suggest using a quality router bit instead of the crapman brand.

Many people, including myself, will bring the material in the house at night while building a piece to keep the moisture content as close to what it will end up when it’s completed and in the house. This can make a big difference in humid parts of the country where AC is used indoors.

Try stickering the boards in your attic if you’re worried about moisture in the boards.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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ghazard

382 posts in 2974 days


#8 posted 06-18-2009 07:28 PM

“Stickering the boards in the attic”...not sure what you mean….

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View WibblyPig's profile

WibblyPig

168 posts in 2739 days


#9 posted 06-18-2009 07:37 PM

What part of the Midwest are you in? If you’re in St. Louis, you’re more than welcome to bring the wood over and use my planer and/or jointer. (and because of this new medication, I can’t drink so it won’t even cost you a beer)

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

382 posts in 2974 days


#10 posted 06-18-2009 07:49 PM

Steve…I appreciate the offer but I’m in Indy…a bit of a drive.

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View Kjuly's profile

Kjuly

306 posts in 2750 days


#11 posted 06-18-2009 09:02 PM

Greg,
It is definitely not the way you are storing your lumber because I store my lumber the same way and have never had a problem.
I don’t think that the direction of cut would make a difference because the bit rotation does not change. An example would be if your were to cut a dado “with” or “across” the grain, the results would the same. The bottom of the dado would be smooth.
So lets look at the router bit.
Some router bits have a bevel ground on the end of the bit so when cutting there is relief behind the cutting edge. The same bevel as the side of the bit but on the bottom.
The link is of a bit that shows the angle on the bottom of the bit.
http://images.rockler.com/rockler/images/90759-01-80.jpg
If your bit does not have that relief grind on the bottom it will dull much faster than one that has it.
One more thing to consider is the amount of cutting that your bit is doing. Although you are only making a light cut( 1/32”) you are covering a large area. If you take the surface area that you cut and compared it to a dado or rabbet, I think you will find the you are cutting quite a bit of wood.
Keith

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI www.julyswoodworks.com

View Catspaw's profile

Catspaw

236 posts in 3280 days


#12 posted 06-19-2009 01:18 AM

If there has been a change since march or april…chances are the bit is dull. crapsman bits are junk. It’s the same story with sandpaper…people use it way longer than it’s supposed to be used. I’d probably just go out and buy another bit….I’m guessing you’d suddenly discover what a clean cut the new bit makes. You mention some maple in there….not exactly a soft wood, you know. It only takes a moment to over heat the bit and the edge is gone.

We’re in Brown Co. and I’ve never had a conversation about humidity affecting how a router bit cuts, grain direction, climb-cutting, tear-out, and such….but never humidity. The simplest explaination is usually the correct one. Dull bit.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2990 days


#13 posted 06-19-2009 03:42 AM

By stack and sticker, i mean to stack the boards with a 3/4×3/4 hardwood strip(sticker) every 16” in between each piece, just like in a kiln to promote even airflow. You can get the moistue content easily down to 5-7% this way since the attic is in essence a solar kiln. It would help to add a fan to blow on the stack also.

I think your problem is more along the lines of the bit being shot. Try freud, amana and whiteside router bits.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

382 posts in 2974 days


#14 posted 06-19-2009 02:15 PM

OK..You guys convinced me…new bit it is. Thanks for the brand suggestions, Julian.

I’ll let you know what I find.

Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

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