Top Secret....Rocker for my Wife #10: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

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Blog entry by bues0022 posted 04-15-2011 07:13 PM 2259 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Updated progress Part 10 of Top Secret....Rocker for my Wife series Part 11: Slow progress and more problems - Help Needed!! »

Well, it happened again. I don’t know if I’m too optimistic, trusting, cheap, or stupid. After my earlier troubles with getting wet wood, I found a different person that cuts wood. (earlier guy kiln dried, the put wood back outside, uncovered, which ended up sucking up lots of moisture again) A coworker heard me complaining, and gave me a friend’s information. I called him nearly three months ago, told him my problems I’d had with wet wood, and he told me not to worry, he stores all his wood indoors after kiln drying to keep it all nice and dry. He didn’t have any 8/4 walnut, but was cutting the next day – so he agreed to cut 9/4 for me to plane down to exactly 2” (wood to be used for front and back legs, and arm rests).

I finally picked up the wood two weeks ago, and his moisture meter read between 8-10 percent. I brought it home, started cutting, and my bandsaw would just not go through it. I realized after cutting the blanks for both front legs (which I did wrong anyway, but that’s a different story, still usable though), both arm rests, and one back leg that the wood was sopping wet. So wet that when I brought it to a friend’s place to use his moisture meter it errored out as “out of range”. Two weeks has passed – almost – and the wood isn’t moving (cross fingers and toes!), but I do have some checking on the arm rests. If it’s minor enough I may be able to live with it, but I’m just frustrated – again. I was trying hard to avoid paying full retail price for 8/4 walnut – which can get expensive! All I ended up doing is giving myself more headaches.

So, the wood has continued drying on my stack of lumber in the basement. It’s pretty dry down there. But this weekend I’ll hopefully be getting my dehumidifier out of storage, build a small plastic tent around it, and put my wood in there to dry out in a make-shift pseudo-kiln. I’ll be getting the moisture out with a tube from the dehumidifier.

On to a slightly more positive note: I’ve been working on the seat a bit lately. I cut out the notches for the legs (minus the rabbet – bit is in the mail). I also cut the front contour, and started hogging out the seat pan. Remember, this is still quite rough, but I’m mostly happy with how it’s turning out. My glue-joint between the top layer and the maple isn’t the greatest, so I’ll have to get creative to hid it a little better.

I almost forgot, for the front leg joint, I didn’t want to make another jig. If I were to make lots of chairs it would be useful, but I figured for such a simple operation, no jig was necessary. Instead, I just cut the front leg joint like the back – with the table saw. It took a lot of measuring and testing on scrap wood, but once I got the right dimensions I cut the front and back margins, then just moved the seat over and removed the material one kerf at a time. I cleaned it up with a chisel and then some sandpaper.

Anyway, here are some more pictures:

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

4 comments so far

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3609 days

#1 posted 04-15-2011 08:23 PM

Mmmm love walnut. That being said, when you avoid retail and go with non-professionals, don’t expect a professional job. You might get lucky, but people will try to rip you off more often than not. You never really know how effective the kiln drying job is until you cut into the heart of a big piece.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3850 days

#2 posted 04-15-2011 08:23 PM

That seat is going to look really nice. The sap in the front will add a lot of character.

I have watch Hall taylor’s video twice. I am thinking I can do it and I am thinking no it’s way too long.

sorry for all your troubles.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3590 posts in 4628 days

#3 posted 04-16-2011 04:45 AM


You seem to be making progress despite your setbacks.

Kiln-drying is an art. Thicker (8/4) isn’t just 2 times 4/4. It can’t be dried too fast or there will be problems. No matter who dries them or how they are dried, every time they are moved they will change again as they acclimate to their surroundings. There are s-o-o-o-o many variables.

We wish you continued success on the project, and that no matter what the outcome, your wife will feel the love you are putting into it!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3754 days

#4 posted 04-16-2011 08:24 PM

Charles Neil says to always take your wood inside and forget about it for 2 weeks regardless of who has kilned it. The wood has to reacclimate to “your” home.

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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