Lumber and simple shelves

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Forum topic by vetsin posted 07-19-2018 01:51 AM 583 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1053 days

07-19-2018 01:51 AM

Hi all,

Novice here. I’m looking to make some relatively simple, flat shelving. Say a few 3/4” x 11-1/2” x 5’ in cherry. Do I:

1. Buy s2s and just joint/rip and cut to length?
2. Buy rough, rip into say 4” strips, joint then glue up then plane?

I’m concerned that s2s will noticeably cup once in the home, and i’m not sure if finishing (or what finish) would help prevent too much movement. My understanding of doing a glue up like this is i’d have to alternate my grain direction to reduce cupping, which comes with the side affect of making the grain a little inconsistent.

What’s a good way to tackle this?


3 replies so far

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3278 days

#1 posted 07-19-2018 10:55 AM

If you can find single boards wide enough, and if they are properly dried, they will not cup. Wood only cups when the moisture content is not at equilibrium with the environment.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View MrRon's profile


5925 posts in 4045 days

#2 posted 07-19-2018 04:59 PM


View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1722 days

#3 posted 07-24-2018 01:25 AM


I prefer to mill lumber in the shop after the rough lumber has had time to acclimate to the shop environment. I have found that S2S lumber, while looking flat at the lumber store, rarely is.

When gluing pieces of wood together to create a wide plank, I favor matching color and wood grain. I have had no problems with this method. Others prefer the alternating growth rings method during glue-ups.

I doubt that any finish will prevent moisture from entering or leaving the wood. My hunch is that film finishes impede moisture exchange to a greater extent than penetrating finishes. But the type of finish selected is probably less important than ensuring all surfaces are milled, sanded, and finished in the same manner. The shelves are far more likely to remain stable if moisture exchange on all surfaces is the same.

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