Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 17 of 17

Thread: Buying old air dried boards

  1. #16
    I will definitely check the boards over. I can see there is little to no checking on the ends and boards seem to be stacked well -- owner claims they are straight and mostly clear. I will look for signs of bugs. These are 20" wide boards and none are live edge, so I don't envision there being much sapwood. Not sure if I'll be able to get much an idea on grain figure with old rough boards like this, but if they are bug free I'm pretty sure I'll take them. At under $5 per bd ft, its less than half what my lumber yard charges so I should come out ahead even if there's some waste.

    John, any good resources for building with allowances for movement? I'd like to learn more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    I agree with Art, don't overthink this. Do accommodate some movement in your construction, as you should with any wood.

    Let's back up to is this wood worth hauling home?

    1. Definitely don't import bugs into your home. They have probably moved on by now but may have damaged the wood.

    2. Inspect for end checking this can reduce the useful length.

    3. Check for rot, wane, sapwood, wavy grain etc.

    4. Check for surface checking. This can make it all firewood.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Quote Originally Posted by john schnyderite View Post
    ...any good resources for building with allowances for movement? I'd like to learn more.
    Any good book on making furniture will have good information, as will some magazines. I've seen threads on this and other forums discussing this. Search this forum with the box above or search Google for wider results. I'm guessing there are youtube videos too but I've never looked.

    R. Bruce Hoadley's book "Understanding Wood" is highly recommended as a place to start. I have a spare copy just to loan to friends so I always have one copy handy.

    To cover all humidity conditions, you have to first consider the what you will be building. Read Hoadley's book or others to understand how wood moves, most expansion/contraction is tangent to the rings, usually about 1/2 as much radially (the basis for the T/R ratio), and almost nothing along the grain. The wood species itself is a factor as is how it is sawn. Quartersawn boards behave differently from flat/plain sawn boards. The type and method of finishing can play a part. Small, narrower things need different consideration than wide boards and glued up panels. Cutting boards, signs, checkerboards, and drawer fronts - usually no problem. Wide tables need to allow for expansion/contraction relative to the supporting structure underneath, sometimes made with connections like slots that that allow sliding. In raised panel doors it is easy to provide space for movement.

    I'm definitely not the best person to ask and this sub-forum on Sawmills and Drying might not be the best place, but you could probably find expert advice with a new thread as mentioned here:

    But as someone mentioned, don't fret too much. Learn the basic whys and hows enough to avoid a huge blunder. I only build furniture and cabinets for my own use, but even with my limited knowledge I can say that everything I've built so far is still in good shape, some even after nearly 50 years, for example one bathroom cabinet with raised panel doors that is subject to severe humidity cycling.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts