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Working with Wet Wood

a few months ago

Gravity Dry Your Lumber First

When a tree is first felled the moisture content will be in excess of 85%.  But when you start sawing a log into boards the moisture drops quickly into the 40% range.  If you stand your boards up vertically and let them drain or "gravity dry" the rest of the free water drains away leaving the board at 25% or lower.  Some species you will see the moisture content falls below 20%.  It is at this point that you can start working with the materials.  With the free water gone only the bound water in the cell walls remains and while you need to account for a lot of movement as the board drops another 10-15% MC this is really no different than any kind of building we do.  We are always accounting for wood movement (or we should be).

In this session I go into detail about equilibrium moisture content and more about this idea of free and bound water in your lumber.  I also talk about why kiln dried lumber is considered more "stable" yet this is a misleading term.  More importantly, that lumber that is not dried is not a ticking time bomb.  

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