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Thread: Made the mistake of buying S2S lumber.

  1. #1

    Made the mistake of buying S2S lumber.

    When I work with quarter sawn oak I always buy 4/4. Make the mistake of buying some walnut that looked pretty good, good price, but was S2S, and for me it is virtually unusable.

    One @ 8" wide board cut down to 30" pieces and so bowed and twisted I am having trouble getting one side flat. Using a Grizzly G0586 and have used it since I became a woodworker. No problem. It is square and flat. Not every piece, but the wood is only 13/16" thick or a little over this. Building some end tables out of this and my plan is the mill as flat as I can until I have enough left to run the other side through the planer and then hide the non flat side on the inside skirts, bottoms of tops, etc... Don't know how else to salvage it. Thanks for letting me vent. Brian

    mill walnut.jpgmill walnut 1.jpgmill walnut 2.jpgmill walnut 4.jpgMill walnut 3.jpg
    Brian

  2. #2
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    A couple of questions:

    Did you check the moisture level before you brought it into your shop?

    Did you stack and sticker the lumber with weight on top while it acclimated in your shop?

    How long did you let it acclimate? How did you determine it was ready to work?

    Are you attempting to face wide boards that are longer than your jointer table?

    You said the wood was S2S. When you removed material did you remove equal amounts from each face?
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    A couple of questions:

    Did you check the moisture level before you brought it into your shop?

    Did you stack and sticker the lumber with weight on top while it acclimated in your shop?

    How long did you let it acclimate? How did you determine it was ready to work?

    Are you attempting to face wide boards that are longer than your jointer table?

    You said the wood was S2S. When you removed material did you remove equal amounts from each face?
    Lee, been in my basement shop 3 to 4 years on a lumber rack. 30" boards on a 72" table. I have only jointed 1 side so far.

  4. #4
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    3-4 years is a long time to expect S2S to stay relatively the same, especially the width of the boards in the picture. I assume you stickered them so they had equal air to breath top and bottom? If not, that was a mistake.

    If you can't use it directly, I'd still keep it for veneers or facing plywood.

    Only other option, if your design allows, is to rip the boards first. If there is any warping, you can save thickness by dimensioning the lumber to as close to final as possible.

    Happens to everyone though, I've generally never had too many issues with S2S except some bloodwood I purchased. As Lee pointed out, I failed to check the moisture and 3 days later I had a damn canoe it warped so badly. It must have been VERY wet.

  5. #5
    Yea, it was not snickered, another self Inflicted wound. Brian

  6. #6
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    I always try to get rough lumber. It's usually 15/16 or 4x4 and if I need big pieces sometimes I will go with 5/4 knowing I will lose a lot but I will get clean and strait 3/4 S4S from it.
    Distraction could lead to dismemberment!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Burnside View Post
    3-4 years is a long time to expect S2S to stay relatively the same, especially the width of the boards in the picture. I assume you stickered them so they had equal air to breath top and bottom? If not, that was a mistake.

    If you can't use it directly, I'd still keep it for veneers or facing plywood.

    Only other option, if your design allows, is to rip the boards first. If there is any warping, you can save thickness by dimensioning the lumber to as close to final as possible.

    Happens to everyone though, I've generally never had too many issues with S2S except some bloodwood I purchased. As Lee pointed out, I failed to check the moisture and 3 days later I had a damn canoe it warped so badly. It must have been VERY wet.

    After 3 or 4 years, whether stickered or dense stacked, kiln dried lumber will be at equilibrium with your shop unless the RH varies widely over a short period of time. There's no reason to check the MC after that long, it's the same as your shop, said by a guy who strongly believes in using a MM. I've had lumber dense stacked in my basement shop for well over 10 years in some cases and never had an issue with it. If it comes off the rack flat, it works fine and stays flat.

    If the RH in your shop does vary widely over short periods of time, yes, you probably are better off storing lumber stickered to give it a chance to adjust more quickly.

    John

  8. #8
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    I havent worked with much surfaced material, but i dont believe it is all created equal. By that, i mean some shops are hand jointing material, some are running it through a moulder, and some are just planing both faces and SLRing an edge. The former two methods will result in drastically different quality boards than the latter. It could be your s2s material was dead flat at one point, but improper storage wrecked it. It could be just as likely it was never flat to begin with and the storage had nothing to do with it. Next time, ask how they process their lumber before you buy it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    After 3 or 4 years, whether stickered or dense stacked, kiln dried lumber will be at equilibrium with your shop unless the RH varies widely over a short period of time. There's no reason to check the MC after that long, it's the same as your shop, said by a guy who strongly believes in using a MM. I've had lumber dense stacked in my basement shop for well over 10 years in some cases and never had an issue with it. If it comes off the rack flat, it works fine and stays flat.

    If the RH in your shop does vary widely over short periods of time, yes, you probably are better off storing lumber stickered to give it a chance to adjust more quickly.

    John
    What you do in the first few months does matter and in my climate, with 4 seasons, we can go from single digit humidity to high 30-40s throughout the year. My shop is heated and insulated, but it has an 18x12 door and is probably not anywhere near what you have in a basement shop in terms of consistency.

    Same argument goes for the wood floor I have in my house. I have a steam humidifier keeping things at ~30% RH all year round but I guarantee that if I didn't that wood would move, that's what wood does. Nothing says it only has to move laterally, same goes for wood in my shop. I've always stickered and always will, but as you suggest, it could vary by climate.
    Last edited by Michael Burnside; 01-26-2023 at 6:00 PM.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=Brian Runau;3237024]Yea, it was not snickered.
    Well, Mel snickered ! But now Iím reminded that Iím out of Snickers candy bars .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Burnside View Post
    What you do in the first few months does matter and in my climate, with 4 seasons, we can go from single digits to high 30-40s throughout the year. My shop is heated and insulated, but it has an 18x12 door and is probably not anywhere near what you have in a basement shop in terms of consistency.

    Same argument goes for the 4k sq-ft of wood floor I have in my house. I have a steam humidifier keeping things at ~30% all year round but I guarantee that if I didn't that wood would move, that's what wood does. Nothing says it only has to move laterally, same goes for wood in my shop. I've always stickered and always will, but as you suggest, it could vary by climate.

    I had to read that twice before I understood you were talking about humidity. Wow, that's low, but I guess it is in a lot of places in the West. My shop and house goes down into the 20's if I didn't run humidifiers in the Winter, and up into the 70's sometimes if I didn't have AC upstairs and a dehumidifier in my shop. Glad to see you are actively managing the conditions in your house, too. It makes a huge difference with anything made from wood.

    If my shop were like yours, I would sticker the wood, as you do and as I said in my first post. You have to adapt to the conditions you are dealt. That said, the millwork shop I buy lumber from does not sticker wood, couldn't realistically afford to. They take it directly from their unheated warehouse into the shop and run it. I actually don't see anything wrong with that for moldings and such. The MC is consistent within the wood when it's processed and then adjusts to whatever MC it sees afterwards when it's installed. The installer better understand what that MC is, however, before using it.

    John

  12. #12
    The grain pattern is kinda funky, wonder if even removing the small amounts with the jointer is releasing internal stresses?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I had to read that twice before I understood you were talking about humidity. Wow, that's low, but I guess it is in a lot of places in the West. My shop and house goes down into the 20's if I didn't run humidifiers in the Winter, and up into the 70's sometimes if I didn't have AC upstairs and a dehumidifier in my shop. Glad to see you are actively managing the conditions in your house, too. It makes a huge difference with anything made from wood.

    If my shop were like yours, I would sticker the wood, as you do and as I said in my first post. You have to adapt to the conditions you are dealt. That said, the millwork shop I buy lumber from does not sticker wood, couldn't realistically afford to. They take it directly from their unheated warehouse into the shop and run it. I actually don't see anything wrong with that for moldings and such. The MC is consistent within the wood when it's processed and then adjusts to whatever MC it sees afterwards when it's installed. The installer better understand what that MC is, however, before using it.

    John
    Yea, my bad. I've edited for clarity, thanks for pointing out I didn't say humidity. Cheers,

  14. #14
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    I do not really think being s2s has much to do with it. I think you just bought wood too thin to be jointed flat and ending up with a usable thickness. Why would having the other two sides surfaced matter?
    Bill D

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I do not really think being s2s has much to do with it. I think you just bought wood too thin to be jointed flat and ending up with a usable thickness. Why would having the other two sides surfaced matter?
    Bill D
    I have to agree with Bill. Whether rough or S2S, if the wood has been in your shop for 3-4 years, it should be well settled in MC wise. I've had a couple of boards in the past that apparently had internal stress in them and when I started machining them, they warped big time. Personally, I expect you won't find a good way to salvage the board.
    I will say I prefer rough cut wood, just because after doing a glue-up I typically end up with thicker panels.

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