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Just Bob

Wood Acclimation

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My wife and I went to the lumber yard yesterday so I could buy what I need for my bench build.  The wife is the reason for this post.   2 years ago I promised her a live edge counter for our breakfast bar and I took her so she could pick out the slab.  While I was in the warehouse picking the boards for the bench, she looked at the slabs.  At the end of the day I ended up with 230 bd ft of beech and she picked a slab of sapele  that is twice the size that we need.... I don't argue with her I never win.  I would normally let any wood sit in my shop for a couple of weeks be for I start breaking it down, but the slab will be delivered on Thursday and a 6/4 by 30" by 11' slab is going to push my storage past the limit.  The bench wood is 8/4 European steamed beech, and was stored in an unheated warehouse.  My shop is barely heated, with similar humidity, how much trouble am I making for myself by breaking it down now.  I really  need to make room for that slab.

bench.JPG

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Milling should wait a bit to be sure it is stabilized. Breaking the stock down should not matter so much. Just be sure to sticker and store wisely and leave some spare length just in case. 

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Sweet haul bob. I love working with beech and look forward to seeing the sapele slab.

If your building a roubo, and by the lumber bf count,  it looks like it,  you shouldn't have issue ripping the the thick boards to 4.5" if that helps,  I'm just confused on how it will help with space storage. Seems to me that  cutting everything to dimentional then re stacking would be more of a footprint for storage. 

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Thanks Brenden, the bench will be a hybrid, shaker/roubo.  Right now the wood is in my wife's car stall, where I am going to put the slab. Breaking it down is allowing me to get it moved to the narrow part of my shop, near the tools.  I have made a space to stack it but the wood cant be in the widths they are now. It is amazing how quickly a space fills up.

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Is the wood fully dried?  If it has reached equilibrium m/c I personally wouldn't hesitate to  stand them up with as little lean as possible before I started breaking them  down before you are ready to start actually milling for the project. 

Perfect example of why.  I took about a 3" wide cut off of one of my bench board sides just to mill it up and see the grain. The board it came off of was still a solid 6" wide but exposing all that new wood on one side only gave a decent bow to the board.  My wood isn't fully dried yet so rapid evaporation was a factor but if you haven't reached eq. M/c on your wood,  you are flirting with that risk as well.

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If that lumber has been kiln dried I wouldn't worry about anything short of leaving it out in the rain...it's ready to go.  The important part is doing two rounds of milling and allowing it to rest - flat-stacked and stickered - between sessions.  If it's kiln dried and has been stored in a similar environment to your shop, it's not gonna undergo any change in MC greater than the fluctuations in humidity as fronts come and go through your region.  As long as you're between 6-10%...you're off to the races.  Post-milling material handling is what will make or break you at this point.

If it's air dried, get a moisture meter before you do anything...and don't do anything unless you're below 10%.  Unless you live in the jungle.

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Brenden, well it "should" be, but my moisture meter crapped out so I am not positive.  I am getting another tomorrow.  I broke one board down to today to find out what it is going to do.  No matter what I do, I have to hustle I have no space for that slab, and it is supposed to rain on Friday. 

Eric, thanks for the info.  It is kiln dried but to be sure I am replacing my meter.  Then I will just have some long nights in the shop after work this week.  Oh Darn.

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