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Reply by ArtMann

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Posted on No temp control in shed, always high EMC, what do I do about wood movement?

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ArtMann

1435 posts in 1325 days


#1 posted 01-01-2019 10:55 PM

You may be operating on a false assumption about wood movement is unpredictable. This is only partially true. There are really two problems and they are only slightly related. First, there is a tendency for wood that isn’t dried properly or is just poor quality to warp, cup or bow. Changes in moisture content can bring this on but you can generally see that ahead of time. The only way to get rid of it is to joint and plane material away until the wood is flat and straight.

The other wood movement is the property of the wood to change dimension in a very well understood and predictable way with changes in humidity. That is the property you can’t see but should worry about. Wood doesn’t expand and contract the same way in all directions. You can actually predict how much this movement will be and adjust your design to compensate. The classic example is designing a table top so that the breadboard ends allow expansion of the main table as it changes dimensions during the year without buckling or cracking. There is much to learn about this type of wood movement but it really is necessary if you want to build good solid furniture. Below is a web page that allows you to study the affects of changes in humidity of various species with changes in moisture content. If you can understand how this works, you can predict whether and how much trouble you will have with wood movement.

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/shrinkulator/


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