FDMC Best Pratices in Woodworking Technology and Business

Solid Wood

Q. We are drying some thick walnut, including some Claro walnut. We have problems with wet spots in some pieces even though the rest of the lumber is quite dry. These wet spots seem to take forever to dry completely. Any advice or explanation?

Q. We are a cabinet shop that is having a problem with end checking in red oak pieces, not at the glue joint, but in the wood itself. The cabinets are finished and in boxes, stored in a warehouse at 65 degrees with 27 percent RH, which is 5.8 EMC. That is low but not extremely low. This problem appeared when the contractors started complaining on the job site while installing the cabinets, or soon after. Then we opened boxes in the warehouse and found some there also. We did a moisture check on couple of pieces (oven test) and moisture was at 7.6 percent. These are small end checks that penetrate inwards up to 1 inch. The finish is cracked, so the separating was after it was prefinished.

Q. How can we tell if a piece of furniture has been mishandled (moisture-wise) that caused the defects, like cracking or warp?

Q. We have some insects (beetles) in our wood projects. I think they might be powderpost beetles. What can you tell me about this and what do we need to do? Fast response appreciated. (When cold lumber being brought into a warm plant, this warmth triggers the beetle activity and triggers a lot of questions to the Wood Doc.)

So-called raised grain is due to excessive pressure during machining, compressed softer cells, and then spring-back.

Q. What can you tell me about this?  Sometimes our staples hold really well and at other times they come out so easily.

Q; We just got some lumber that is wetter than our specification of 8.0 percent MC. When we called our supplier, he indicated that it was dried to a lower moisture and so it must have gained moisture in transit or in our storage area. We only got the lumber three days ago. Is there any way we can check this all out?

Q. We are a cabinet shop that is having a problem with end checking in red oak pieces, not at the glue joint, but in the wood itself. The cabinets are finished and in boxes, stored in a warehouse at 65 degrees with 27 percent RH, which is 5.8 EMC. That is low but not extremely low. This problem appeared when the contractors started complaining on the job site while installing the cabinets, or soon after. Then we opened boxes in the warehouse and found some there also. We did a moisture check on couple pieces (oven test) and moisture was at 7.6 percent. These are small end checks that penetrate inwards up to 1 inch. The finish is cracked, so the separating was after it was prefinished.

Barnyard Salvage is a Virginia-based wood reclaim operation that reprocesses old barn siding into beautiful and functional pieces within a home or building, giving new life to what would otherwise be scrap material. Barnyard Salvage produces one-of-a-kind wood pieces that are rustic, beautiful, and environmentally friendly.

Q. What is the proper humidity for an office?

Textured interiors, especially designs inspired by nature, have been hugely popular in residential and commercial applications over the past few years. Major design shows from Dwell on Design to the Milan Furniture Fair continue to highlight the latest innovative, textured products that designers and architects are specifying in order to spice up inside spaces with a touch of texture. These products range from paint and wallpaper to 3D printed laminates and artisanal wood panels.

Southern yellow pine (SYP) consists of four major species: loblolly, slash, longleaf and shortleaf. They grow abundantly throughout the 13 southern states. In fact, over 15 billion board feet of lumber are produced every year when the economy is strong. Some of the growing sites have been harvested five times over the past 200 years. The soil nutrients are in the needles and small twigs, so soil depletion is not an issue when logging these lands, as long as the small items are returned to the site and soil.

Q. What is the role of pressure when gluing?

The full-day event is being organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team. It will include more than a dozen informative presentations, a live portable sawmill demonstration, tabletop displays and networking opportunities.

Q. We usually use No. 1 Common oak lumber, but the price was really good for some FAS 1-Face grade. What surprised me was that our yield hardly changed at all. Can you give me a clue as to what is going on?

Q. We have some walnut lumber that has sticker stain, but the marks, where the stickers were located during drying, are lighter in color. What is going on please?

Q. We seem to be having more surface checking with our oak this past year. I suppose, like everything else, we should blame it on El Niño. But my question is: What can we do better to avoid this issue?

Q. I am trying to dry some large pieces, including 4 x 4 cross section pieces. They always seem to crack, especially in the best face. What can I do to prevent or minimize this.

Q: We recently made a wooden item that has some moulding pieces on the outside. The stile and rail joints were mortised and tenoned, and then glued. We then finished them with a catalyzed varnish. Now the joints are opening about 0.03 inches maximum, usually less. Yet, the cracks are unsightly. Are small cracks like this "normal?" Is there something we can do in the future to avoid such problems?

Q. How should we check the MC of incoming lumber?

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