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Forum topic by tjaburke8 posted 03-25-2015 12:35 AM 775 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tjaburke8

3 posts in 746 days


03-25-2015 12:35 AM

I do a lot of projects in my garage so I need to do a better job of controlling the humidity. I have a hygrometer (not sure how accurate it is – doing the “salt test” now). 2 questions:

1) What is the ideal Relative Humidity or EMC (2 different things, I know) to store lumber at?

2) Any suggestions for a dehumidifier under $100? I’m looking for something 15-30 pints (that’s the proper size for my garage)

Thanks!


7 replies so far

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

484 posts in 1601 days


#1 posted 03-25-2015 02:07 AM

Before going too crazy with the dehumidifier, make sure that the garage is airtight. Remember that all the moisture in the garage is coming from outdoors except that which might be wicking up through the slab. Even a small hole can let in an awful lot of water vapor. i would like to have a dehumidifier in the summer when the humidity gets really high, and I’d definitely recommend getting an Energy Star model, otherwise it’ll be very costly to run. ensuring that your garage is airtight will also cut the energy bill drastically. I avoid opening and closing the door as much as possible, and during the worst humid weather, i run a small oscillating fan in the corner to cut down on condensation.

Several of the new home builders I work with run Sears models in the basements to get the slabs and foundation moisture down a bit during construction. Not sure what model they are except they look futuristic like a little robot.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

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Logboy

43 posts in 2690 days


#2 posted 04-10-2015 04:00 AM

“1) What is the ideal Relative Humidity or EMC (2 different things, I know) to store lumber at?”

Actually, theyre very similar. If you control the humidity then you control the moisture content of the wood. Wood will forever try and reach equilibrium with its surroundings. In the summer (in my part of the country anyway) my home is around 45% humidity. This gives me an EMC of around 8ish. In the winter its a lot drier, around 30% or lower which gives an EMC in the 6ish range. Now you know why we kiln dry hardwood lumber to between 6-8% moisture.

Here is a handy chart for you.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/moisture.php

To answer your question, you should try and have the same conditions in your garage as your house, or at least close. Worst case scenario, just get your garage down to 50% so your tools dont rust. 30 days before you want to use your wood, move it inside your house so it acclimates. Its no different than throwing it in a kiln.

-- No log is too big to saw! www.logboy.com

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 852 days


#3 posted 04-10-2015 11:44 AM

I have been wondering about draping a plastic tarp over my wood storage shelf area and setting up a small dehumidifier that only dehumidifies the air under the tarp.

With an unconditioned 75 year old garage with nothing but pavers for a floor, my “shop” will likely have around 75% or higher humidity most of the year. Before I got out the paste wax, my brand new table saw top developed a serious “patina” when we had a couple of foggy days.

I also have a small house and don’t relish the idea of adding woodworking lumber to the piles of remodeling detritus that I have to walk over and around on a daily basis.

Have any of you tried making a “micro climate” like this in your soggy shop?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1591 posts in 885 days


#4 posted 04-10-2015 02:58 PM

Forget dehumidifiers. Go straight to an AC system. Far more efficient and no media to regenerate.
Here in the South, too much humidity for a humidifier to handle effectively.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2531 days


#5 posted 04-10-2015 03:39 PM

The EMC is the equilibrium moisture content, or the point at which the wood is neither absorbing moisture from the air nor releasing moisture into the air. The wood will naturally reach this point and the wood’s moisture content will fluctuate to maintain the EMC as the humidity changes.

In terms of wood movement, you should try to reproduce the same humidity level as the place which will be the future home of the project once it is finished.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1419 days


#6 posted 04-10-2015 08:14 PM

Brad is right. You need to A/C the garage and make sure it is sealed up well with insulated doors. Then you have a fair shot.

A dehumidifier will not help enough, a very large unit will get you to about 50% is you are lucky. My experience with this is Houston so it is as bad as you can image.

My solution: Colorado. That fixed the problem for me.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 852 days


#7 posted 04-10-2015 10:01 PM


My solution: Colorado. That fixed the problem for me.

- BroncoBrian

Texas to Colorado…now that’s some serious wood movement!

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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