Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
16

In such a wildly changing environment, how is it actually possible to let wood reach its EMC, or is the advice misguided, and does it not actually matter? It does matter, and the moisture content bit is a bit easier than you're making it out to be. Let me explain. Humidity fluctuates throughout the day, as we all know. However, on average, an area's ...


9

No, there is not a visual aid; you must measure or calculate the moisture. Measuring with a meter To measure the moisture directly, you can use a moisture meter. Pin-type meters require you to drive a set of pins into the wood, while pinless meters just need to be pressed against the surface of the wood. Delmhorst, a manufacturer of both types of meters, ...


9

I have a relative who uses something akin to a steam box, without the steam, to control the moisture moving out of his green turned pieces. It is like a wooden cabinet lined with plastic, with small adjustable vents like on a cheapo charcoal grill. He allows them to stay relatively moist for a period of weeks, loosly wrapped in plastic sheeting. There is ...


8

There are many techniques for designing a piece of furniture that will not tear itself apart with environmental fluctuations, but the key point you're missing is that you ideally want to work the wood while it is at the EMC of the environment in which it will ultimately reside. All the climate data you have crunched is presumably for a piece that sits ...


8

I would be quite concerned with wood movement in this design. You will be bonding epoxy (which doesn't move seasonally) directly to the end grain of wood. Since the wood will be expanding and contracting but the epoxy won't I would expect one or the other (or both) to crack or buckle. I would suggest either redesigning the piece so that the epoxy is ...


7

There's a lot written about the ideal conditions for the workshop but you have to be careful about the source since the figures quoted aren't as universal as sometimes implied or stated, some sources not taking into account very different conditions to theirs (much drier or much damper). For example it's much damper in the British Isles generally than in ...


6

As always "what's the best xxxx" is not a good Question. In almost all cases there isn't a best but instead multiple good options to pick from, and that is very much the case here. I am concerned about protecting the wood in a humid/damp environment. You don't have to be. People worry about this sort of thing a lot these days (I did too early on) but ...


6

To warp or to twist, that is the question It is extremely important to let wood sit for a while in the environment it is intended to be used in before using it for a project so that it reaches equilibrium moisture content (EMC) with the environment. Evidence: This advice comes up time and time again here, in forums, in articles, everywhere. This is very ...


6

So I asked a friend about his experience staining his deck and he advised me to wait a year for it to dry before I stain to avoid any complications due to trapping moisture. Unfortunately this will relate to the irregular use of the word 'stain' in woodworking circles, and by manufacturers, which can and often does lead to confusion. By definition a stain ...


6

I would say that it is more likely that this joint failed due to the moisture from watering the dirt rather than being outside. Simply re-gluing it and keeping it inside will not be enough to fix it. I can foresee a few options Glue up the joint again as it was and this time line the planter with plastic so that the moist dirt does not come in direct ...


5

Easiest would be splicing in a little triangle reinforcement. As described in this article. You will need to clamp the corner closed when you make the cut in them and glue it up again. Here is the required cut in the box depicted with a half finished computer case: (image source)


5

I believe that the main problem with your question is assuming that the wood moisture content can change in an instant. This is not the case. Wood fibers do reach a moisture equilibrium with the surrounding air's relative humidity, but this is a very slow process, especially for thicker pieces. The calculator you used to determine EMC is well and good, but ...


5

A paint chemist might have a cow over my answer, but I will give it a try. Regardless of what finish you put on the wood, the surface must be dry. In order to bond with the wood, the finish must be absorbed. If the surface is too wet an oil based finish will be rejected (oil and water don't mix). If the finish is water based the excess water in the wood ...


4

If I paint wood, for outdoor use, while it is still very wet, what problems can I expect in the long run (2-3 years)? I think the issues that should concern you are more short term than long term, and that is failure of the paint and not a problem with the wood. However, I think this might be a case where nobody can tell you for sure what's going to ...


4

The usual advice from the lumber yard is to wait a year before painting pressure treated wood. It's really CMA advice which assures that the wood will be ready to paint and avoid the pitfalls of painting wet wood - it should be dry within in a year, no matter what happens. However, this source (many pop-up when you Google "painting pressure treated wood") ...


4

Are you familiar with how the wood fibers are aligned in a tree? They (mostly) run from top to bottom and are bonded together with lignin. If you used the 'B' method the wood fibers would be running into and out of the page when viewing your diagram. This would make the bond between neighbouring fibers short and weak - the cover would snap easily. This is ...


3

I called System Three and they were very helpful - they strongly recommended only epoxying wood that's reached it's equilibrium moisture content and not in any environment where it could be exposed to water. The issue is that as the wood expands and contracts, the brittle epoxy is more likely than not to crack or tear the bonded surface off, obviating any ...


3

This is a tough problem to solve, and similar to what finish should be applied to wooden kitchen countertops. Overall, the difference between finish types is less significant than the difference between film- and non-film-forming.. with the possible exception of shellac, which i wouldnt use in any wet environment. The issue at heart is: A film-forming ...


3

Just a simple note on your climate data: it is for outdoor. Since most of wooden furniture will sit indoor, you have to calculate for indoor climate. Which - thanks to heating and A/C - will pretty much differ from and much more stable than outdoor climate. To have an impression, here is a diagram of calculated equilibrium moisture content in my workshop, ...


3

Pressure treated wood really could use a year to dry out before sealing it. The year won't bother the wood in the weather at all. Do you need a full year? No but you might not have enough time to continue letting it dry this fall before it gets to cold to apply the stain/seal. If all you are going to do is stain it, it might be fine by now, but a stain ...


3

You can use some metal angle brackets to reinforce the inside of the box. As to the warping, boards usually cup like that when one side dries faster than the other. Having a metal container that lines the inside will reduce the rate that the inside face drys, which will cause that cupping. You might be able to reduce that effect by sealing the outside ...


3

I've only done this a couple times, but I have good luck turning a rough form (as @TxTurner notes) and then setting the bowl aside for a few months. My technique is, I keep all the shavings from the bowl I just turned and stuff those, along with the rough bowl, into a (plastic) shopping bag that I tie off. I'm careful to pack the bowl in the center of the ...


3

The best strategy I've seen is to rough turn, let dry, then finish turn. The rule of thumb is to turn to a thickness 1/10th of the finished diameter. So a 10" bowl would be rough turned to 1" wall thickness. Then pack the rough turned bowl in shavings in a paper bag, and set it aside to dry in a controlled fashion. Every couple of weeks, check for ...


3

My question is: After I do this but before I plane the boards, should I leave them sit out in the open air (maybe a week or two) to reabsorb moisture from the air? I think it's certainly advisable, and other than the wait there's no downside to doing this so you lose nothing but a bit of time if you take this extra step. And kudos for realising already it ...


2

There are several ways to check the moisture in a piece of wood. The most expensive and simplest is a moisture meter, I bought a Ligno one and it works pretty good for me. You can set it to different 'types' of wood and it gives you back a number when you press the points into the wood. If you have time and are willing to sacrifice some wood, you can take ...


2

Rule of thumb is to allow a year per inch of thickness. More precise answer would be to use a moisture meter, available from woodworking suppliers. Prices for these vary; I have a cheap one but do 't know enough about the varieties available to have a valid opinion.


2

Just make the verticals out of run of the mill fir construction lumber, 2x2s or 2x4s, or 4x4s, (or whatever if metric, sorry!) and buy some thick dowels, maybe 2", for the horizontals, whatever's in the hardware store dowel rack (or order online). A 2x6 for that back piece on the wall. I wouldn't over think it. You'll be able to hold an elephant up with it ...


2

You don't actually need to seal the MDF so it doesn't absorb moisture, any more than studwork in walls, the interior components of cabinetry or the framework in covered chairs need to be sealed. Regardless of whether it's solid wood or a type of manmade board the material can be left to absorb and release moisture naturally with any changes in humidity. In ...


2

I assume this means that the pattern of moisture gain or loss is not always consistent and depends on the wood's starting point moisture level? In essence, yes. Briefly, it depends on the whether the wood is taking up or losing moisture. This is contrary to how most people perceive MC changes in wood actually work but there's good reason for this as you'...


1

applied pre-stain/ conditioner You didn't need to do that unless you'd identified in advance that the wood was prone to blotching. Helping to prevent or minimise blotching is the sole reason to pre-treat wood in this way. What you've done in this case is partially sealed the entire wood surface (not just over-absorbent patches) which unfortunately means ...


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