Tips to avoid stress development and cracking
Understand the differences in appearance, behavior and price
Sycamore and wormy maple ranked highest in customer rankings of underutilized species.
Q: We are having a problem with shrinkage. We make furniture, but someone else sells and delivers it. This person claims he did everything correctly, including opening the furniture wrapping (we wrapped the furniture with shrink-wrap and it was fairly well sealed) and letting it acclimate to the house climate. When the customer moved in, they said the furniture looked really wonderful, but within a week, it started to warp, open joints and crack in a few places. We are so careful to keep our plant at 40 percent RH and check the MC of the lumber. This is frustrating! Can you help?
Q: Does moisture settle to the bottom of a piece of
lumber when the lumber is drying? If so, would it pay to flip the
lumber upside-down after a few weeks?
Q: We are in a discussion about the role that water and
moisture plays in bending wood. I know that how well a piece
bends is dependent on the moisture content of the wood but what
role does the moisture play in the plasticity of the sample? If
you were to take a piece of wood that is oven dry and we're able
to cool it in a chamber with 0 percent RH, would application of
heat alone be enough to bend the piece and maintain it's
Q: I have some lumber that is cupped quite a bit after
it has been kiln dried. Is there a way to flatten this lumber by
putting water on one face?
Q: I have just received some glued-up oak panels that we will be using for tabletops. One of our people noticed that the ends of the panels have developed some cracks and more cracks are showing up every 10 minutes it seems. Most of the cracks are at the glue joint at the end of the panels. The supplier says that our shop is too dry (25 percent to 30 percent RH is what we measure now during the wintertime). My people just checked the MC of many panels, including some that have yet to be unstacked and unwrapped; they are getting some readings as high as 10 percent MC (after correcting for temperature), with a lot over 8 percent MC too. We need an outside person to give us an accurate evaluation.
Q: We just ripped our lumber and everything was OK, but then we resawed it and the two strips bowed with a gap of almost a foot between them. Moisture seems OK. We are dealing with 6/4 basswood. We cut the standard prong test and found no stress. What causes this?
Q: We have some furniture with a tongue-and-groove panel design. The individual pieces are much like oak flooring. The problem is that we have trouble holding them down because they are buckling. We are very careful about storing our incoming lumber in a low humidity room, as we are in Florida. Our wood comes kiln dried from the Appalachian area. What are we doing wrong?