Reply by msinc

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Posted on Wood slabs cracking

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567 posts in 920 days

#1 posted 10-22-2018 03:44 AM

Well…’s another point of view on this issue: I have been milling, drying and using wood for most of my adult life. I am 56 now. Wood is going to do whatever it wants/needs to do. If you have wood that has a lot of stress in it then it will split, crack, warp, bow and otherwise move the way it wants to and there is not much constructive you can/want to do about it. Here is why, yes, you can “minimize” quite a bit when it comes to wood, sealing it and stacking it with a lot of weight to keep it straight, etc. But it sure seems like it will always comes back to haunt you later. Look at it this way; wood that cracks and warps in the sticker pile is wood that wont crack and warp after it was made into something and sold!!!
I have probably milled well over a hundred trees in my lifetime so far that I have stacked and dried and used personally. The boards that stay flat and straight after a year or so of seasoning are the ones I want to use to build with. Those that have a bow or warp, without exception, will bow and warp some more after they have been dried and further milled to be flat and square on four sides {FSFS}. Those that stayed flat and straight generally tend to stay that way when used. One other rule of thumb, and this one hurts, is that highly figured boards, like the ones we all want to build with are the worst offenders and least predictable.
All that said, you cant just toss the ones that have warp or bow, but you have to use them on projects that “address” the problem. In example, you wouldn’t want to use boards that refuse to stay flat and square for picture frames, but they will probably be fine on a tongue and grooved table top.
I know this is not what you want to hear, I also know that you will take some stressful wood and go ahead and make something out of it. Sadly, I also know you are going to waste a lot of time and effort building something that just will not stay straight….I have…..too many times to list!!!! Best of luck.

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