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Problems when building with green 4x6s?

675 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  rwe2156
I'm short on kiln-dried 4×6s that will be used as structural posts inside a shop. No one local carries them but…I can get "green" 4×6s at Home Depot. Is there a problem building with them…assuming I get them fastened in place quickly before they have time to twist?

I'd only need 4 at 8' long.
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triple up 2×6's and make a post. or 4×4 add a 2×4 to get the 5.5 inch

lostsa ways to get there.
What do you mean by "green"? Are you talking wet, freshly cut, non-dried lumber (which I don't think they carry) or treated wood?
What do you mean by "green"? Are you talking wet, freshly cut, non-dried lumber (which I don t think they carry) or treated wood?

- northwoodsman
Under "moisture content", it says green. See the following link:
triple up 2×6 s and make a post. or 4×4 add a 2×4 to get the 5.5 inch

lostsa ways to get there.

- Knockonit
Everything else is solid timbers, as opposed to built-up lumber….so I guess my mind was stuck on keeping things consistent which lead me to miss more obvious solutions. But yeah, in this case, I think a 4×4 with a 2×4 would work…even though it only adds up to 5" and not 5.5".

Thanks for the idea.
If you mean the soggy wet treated lumber, don't do it. You will twist the rest of your structure while it dries. A friend was building a covered deck with fresh, soggy treated lumber. I wish I had pictures of the results. He tore it down and returned the stuff before I got pictures. Some of the pieces twisted a quarter turn or more, and broke construction screws in the process over the winter.
An interesting question. Here's a construction company's pro's and con's of using green, air dried or kiln dried lumber.
Wow, I have never seen that classification on HD lumber. That explains a lot, I'm sure that I have purchased it in the past however. Put a piece in the sun and you can almost see it start to twist before your eyes.
Sometimes that distinction just means air dried. The problem is that you may not be able to tell without getting a moisture meter and measuring. It is not uncommon to use wood with that distinction of new construction and whether it will work for you probably depends upon your installation. If you can deal with some cracks or minor movement, then it may work just fine and if you can find pieces without juvenile wood (the pith), any movement and cracks will be less severe.

NWM, here in DFW, we don't see much wood like that because most of our construction grade lumber is kiln dried. Some of the WR cedar sold for fences for example is wet or green because there is no reason to dry something you are going to put outside anyway.
I don't believe the website listings. Need to visit the store and check the lumber stamp. They fill shelf with anything they find cheap. When in doubt, take your moisture meter to verify.

'S-GRN' Green lumber stamp means greater than 19% moisture.
Usually leaves mill with ~25% measured surface moisture, as it costs more to ship wetter wood.

'S-Dry' or Air Dried means less than 19% moisture.
Usually bundled and ready to leave mill when surface reaches 16-18% moisture.

'KD' Kiln dried is less than 19% moisture.
Usually leaves kiln with 15% average moisture.

Never heard of 'green' lumber being sold by HD.

If its not kiln dried I wouldn't use it.

Have you consider laminating your own? It will be more stable.
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