What to do with checking lumber.

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Forum topic by king_nickizzle posted 03-24-2017 10:59 PM 824 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 1653 days

03-24-2017 10:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: checking cracks walnut lumber

I just got my hands on a fair amount of walnut stock. It still needs to be planed and cut dimensionally once it dries. However, I noticed some bad checking on some of the boards. Some cracks are going down the wood about 3 feet. I know with minor cracks you can use bowties, but I feel the gaps I’m talking about are a bit too substantial. Should I cut the wood now before the crack continues? Or will that not make a difference, and simply start cracking the shorter board?

It’s been drying about a year so unfortunately it’s too late to put a solution on the ends.

4 replies so far

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3808 days

#1 posted 03-24-2017 11:03 PM

No problem, just use the parts you can and just keep them back. I’ve had boards like that and and a lot of times get those at a discount.

I just simply put them in the lean pile. Thats my area of the wall where they just lean against the wall. :)

Every time I need a little piece or a rail or stile and that happens a lot on wide boards, those outside pieces are QS, and they come in handy. Also great for secondary wood where you need that little piece but don’t want to cut a new board to get it.

All kinds of ways to deal with that. I do ocasionally have to thin that stack though, tends to get out of hand.


-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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27 posts in 1653 days

#2 posted 03-24-2017 11:06 PM

Thanks for the reply! I will definitely save the cracked areas, but in your experience would you cut off the cracks first and then let it continue to dry? Or simply not worry about it until you are ready to use it?

View pintodeluxe's profile


6122 posts in 3555 days

#3 posted 03-24-2017 11:30 PM

You are right, anchor seal or oil paint only helps when the wood is green. The way you place stickers is critical as well. Stickers should be placed right at the ends, then every 16-24”.

What is your moisture content?
Do you intend to kiln dry?

Now that the damage is done, you can rip the board right down the crack line. Sometimes that will yield two narrow but usable boards. Otherwise lop it off, and save what you can.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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27 posts in 1653 days

#4 posted 03-25-2017 12:46 AM

Yea I wish I would’ve gotten the wood fresh off the tree. Good to know for future reference how sticker placement is important, I didn’t realize that. Moisture is around 20%, I just figured I’d let it dry naturally.

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