Estimating wood because acclimation?

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Forum topic by EmbersandAsh posted 02-23-2019 02:29 AM 247 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View EmbersandAsh's profile


1 post in 25 days

02-23-2019 02:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: new acclimating

So I’m so fresh to woodworking I’m waiting on my miter saw to arrive and have only built two or three things around the house and slapped them together however a screw wood run into two boards…the shame of it all.

After viewing my awful handiwork I went on a month long binge watching every YouTube video and reading every blog I could and now am obsessed with learning to woodwork. I’m determined to better my craft. Now to my question…just wanted you all to realize how clueless I may be as far as personal experience.

Question is, with all this wood acclimation business…if/when I get to the point of taking orders to build different things…how in the world do you preplan for all the material?

I’ve heard of people using exotic woods waiting years to cut into it…that would be a looooong waiting list.

So if a friend wants a cheap functional workbench for their garage and I say I’ll build it from pine for free for the experience…do I need to buy the best quality then let it acclimate in my garage for a month before I build anything?

Seems like a lot of guess work to just buy stacks and stacks of lumber, find the room to stack, sticker, and let it sit for months so I can hope to find a use for it months/years later.

Do all you pros really buy thousands of dollars worth of exotic, domestic hardwood, and even cheaper softwoods and have some massive space to stack and acclimate it months and years prior to hopeful use?

Excuse my ignorance, I want to build a side business for just a little extra money for things and am terrified that the first thing i build warps horribly after its delivery to my first few clients…thatll kill a business right out of the gate.

So sorry for this long post, thanks though to those who suffered through this!

5 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


2054 posts in 2095 days

#1 posted 02-23-2019 04:26 AM

I think a lot of your questions you will have to learn from doing. Not every thing we build turn out great some projects I start never get finished. The point is doing is learning our craft is so tailored to each of us that just have to jump in with both feet. We actually learn more from mistakes and failed projects. Sometimes mistakes take you down a path you would have never thought of.
The area you live will dictate lots of factors.Because of the natural climate

Three traits a amateur woodworker should have . Curiosity , good energy or passion, and uncertainty.
Good luck

-- Aj

View Lazyman's profile


3087 posts in 1685 days

#2 posted 02-23-2019 04:51 AM

If you are just building a cheap but functional work bench out of a bunch of 2×4’s, it is probably not necessary to let the wood acclimate. Just make sure that you buy wood that has been kiln dried and wasn’t sitting in the rain somewhere while in transit. If it feels wet get something else. Sight down the length of each board and pick out boards that are straight and avoid boards that have the pith (center) of the tree in them because they are more likely to warp and twist with time. It is when you are doing finer pieces that require complex joinery or something like a tabletop that you need to stay flat that you need to worry about acclimating. Also note that you have to think about where the piece will be when it is finished. Your shop is probably a very different environment than your house. If the environment will have significant swings in humidity by season, you may need to adjust the design and joinery techniques to handle the wood movement extremes.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View bondogaposis's profile


5255 posts in 2648 days

#3 posted 02-23-2019 02:12 PM

First, you can buy kiln dry lumber, and go right to work. Second, you must learn about wood movement and incorporate allowance for that. If you buy green wood then you have to wait unless you are making chairs.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ArtMann's profile


1317 posts in 1113 days

#4 posted 02-23-2019 04:59 PM

If I were going to build a plain garage workbench, I would go to the lumber yard, buy 12% kiln dried pine and build it. In this case, wood movement is probably not relevant. You will learn how to make that judgement call with a little experience. Wood does not move randomly. It expands and contracts according to changes in humidity in very specific and predictable ways.

Yes, I do have stacks lumber in the loft of my shop. It is not because i have to. I have a certain mental illness. For some people it is pornography. For others, it is recreational drugs. I just can’t pass up a beautiful piece of lumber if I see it at a fair price. I suspect that is why a lot of people have a big lumber stash.

View Andybb's profile


1797 posts in 901 days

#5 posted 02-23-2019 05:22 PM

If I were going to build a plain garage workbench, I would go to the lumber yard, buy 12% kiln dried pine and build it. In this case, wood movement is probably not relevant.
- ArtMann


-- Andy - Seattle USA

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