We can Do It Attitude and helping you choose the best timber

Updated: May 13, 2021

While I was on my steep learning curve into hardwoods I was lucky to have employed two experienced furniture makers and a full time wood machinist all of who had extensive knowledge of native and imported timbers #timber. Many's the time I was all enthused about a job and how I was going to tackle it and the cautionary rumblings would start especially from Barry the wood machinist #woodmachining I found out was worth listing too. Age comes with experience and I was fortunate enough to gain his experience while still young.

We did not even consider using a board material and so it was solid wood all the way. We only used plywood for drawer bottoms. Frame and panel construction #frame #panel #construction was the best method with the panel allowed to move in a groove or rebate #rebate. When these methods of construction where developed there was no central heating in homes and finished items did not tend to travel far from where they were made.

We were also using mostly kiln dried #kiln #dried timber which had been dried to EMC (equilibrium moisture content) where the wood is the same as the environment, this differs from region to region. It would also depend on section size, timber species and construction. A chair #chair with small section sizes is going to show less move than a table that larger components.

These boards have been taken out of a stack and left sticked out in the workshop to acclimatize before working with them.
Make sure you Acclimatize your timber in the Workshop

Timber #timber will always move, even sheet material will warp and distort. The best ways to reduce it are sourcing from a reliable supplier in your area. After you get it to your workshop re-stick it out and let it acclimatize to the new environment. On advice from the sawmiller we let it sit for three months.

When machining timber watch out for any movement however slight and the next day if boards have cupped or twisted you may have to replace them. When ripping boards for beading #beading or smaller sections be on the look out for case #case hardening #hardening, the wood will pinch on the blade and riving knife. This can indicate cell collapse which can happen to one board in a large batch but if it is more than that the timber has been wrongly seasoned and dried.

This photo shows timber stacked in a kiln ready to dry to the correct moisture content.  This can take quite some several weeks.
Timber In the Kiln to Dry

Also prior to finishing the piece of furniture observe any changes as this will give an indication as to how it will preform over a longer term. Once you have finish sanded and applied the coats of varnish or whatever is your preferred finish it will stop letting in and releasing moisture as freely.

Next time I will talk about the drying #drying #timber process more from start to finish.