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I've only been working on it for a couple years, possibly three


SwampNut

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Flame/tiger maple and bubinga.  First I milled it rough, and it warped and did all the shit that wood does on its own.  Then I finish machined it, and it rained for a week.  And it re-warped.  So I let it dry for a long time, and it spent some time clamped flat.  Machined again.  Then I couldn't really work out the joinery plan for the odd angles, so it waited around until I got a killer joinery tool (Festool Domino).  Glued it up, and have been letting it sit while it's just too fucking hot out.  Decided I really need to start on the finishing, since the oil will take weeks to cure before I can spray lacquer over it.  Which will need to be done when it cools off some or it will just flash in the air while being sprayed.  But this way I can do a few oil coats over a long time which is always better.

 

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Serious question, so let's leave all the R word BS out of this one... do you not have climate control in your woodworking environment?  Because my entire shop is running both AC and dehumidifier.  Even when I'm not running the AC, the dehumidifier runs 24/7 and I never have this "shit that wood does on its own" thing.  All of my wood, some of which is even MDF and particle board, has never done anything weird, so I'm trying to figure out why you are saying this.

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MDF and particle board never do anything weird at all.  Dead flat.  That's why most furniture is built from it and then edge banded and laminated.  Real wood takes a shitload more time and work, and costs a lot more.  No climate control, other than running the swamp cooler in summer and a heater in winter, but 98% of the time with the door open.  The table saw is unusable with the door closed.  The bandsaw is only usable for small pieces if it's closed.  The hand tools and some other supplies are in the other garage across the driveway, so to get stuff back and forth I need the doors open.  Then there's the use of solvents and finishes that you never want to be trapped with indoors.  I could spend $4k on AC and then be unhappy that the door has to be closed.  Oh, and cigar smoke, though I do have a VOC/smoke filter unit.

 

Even in a climate controlled space, exotic woods in particular will do crazy shit on their own.  And there are internal stresses that show up at random.  You run something through a saw, and boom, it changes shape as you release the internal pressure.  Zero's table may have been clamped together under stress to make it fit, or done quick without letting things balance over time.  Or not fully dry when they clamped it.  Stuff's constantly moving around.  I've put boards inside for a week and the same thing happens, in a steady climate.

 

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MDF is everyone's favorite jig material because of the steadiness.  My huge miter station is made of it and no matter what, dry or monsoon, it's dead flat forever.  Same with my workbench.  It's not pretty, and woodworkers take pride in making beautiful hardwood worktables.  Fuck that.  Cheap and stays flat is my choice.

 

MDF everywhere.

 

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And not to beat up the point even more, but, I have several kitchen cabinet doors that are no longer flat.  They've always been inside.  I have several spare doors in the garage, and they are flat.  You never know.  And that's just some basic cheapass oak shit.

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't experience any of these issues.  MDF and particle board will swell here if you're not careful.  You put that in a car (aka car stereo, which I did for nearly a decade) and let that thing sit with the windows down around here for just ONE NIGHT.  That box will swell up and if it was a tight fit between the fender wells, it'll bend sheet metal.  Particle board is far more susceptible to humidity than that, and certainly so to straight up wetness.  I've got wood out in the garage that I've cut that's been sitting for years standing on the end grain and never warped, cracked, split, or had any of the issues you are talking about of various species, thickness, and length... but it's all because it's humidity controlled.

Dust control is completely separate issue, and I understand you have a system in place for that, which I don't.  However, the relative humidity is high enough that it's really not that bad to begin with here so that may be the difference.  However, staining in uncontrolled humidity is also a recipe for failure as well, and someone as experienced as you should know not to leave unprotected wood in a non-controlled environment if you are in the process of working with it.  At least that's the way I was always told.

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7 hours ago, SwampNut said:

Flame/tiger maple and bubinga.  First I milled it rough, and it warped and did all the shit that wood does on its own.  Then I finish machined it, and it rained for a week.  And it re-warped.  So I let it dry for a long time, and it spent some time clamped flat.  Machined again.  Then I couldn't really work out the joinery plan for the odd angles, so it waited around until I got a killer joinery tool (Festool Domino).  Glued it up, and have been letting it sit while it's just too fucking hot out.  Decided I really need to start on the finishing, since the oil will take weeks to cure before I can spray lacquer over it.  Which will need to be done when it cools off some or it will just flash in the air while being sprayed.  But this way I can do a few oil coats over a long time which is always better.

 

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That's really cool, I dig the angles and mixture of woods.

 

If it rains tomorrow, will it just warp a bit or explode? 🤣

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1 hour ago, blackhawkxx said:

Metal is your friend.

Every time he starts building something from that dead tree carcass crap I remind him that he has a welder, dumb ass wetback.

 

But damn, he's made some beautiful and functional stuff out of that inferior building material.

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12 hours ago, blackhawkxx said:

Because of room?

 

Right, imagine how much shop I'd lose to be able to put a board through this with the door closed.  The rest of the tools are already organized to "nest" their in-feed and outfeed for space.  If I had to walk between the door and TS with even just a 4' board, I'd lose the workbench plus walkway behind it.  And the work table doubles as the outfield for it, plus that little side rolling cart is a feed table when in the low/lock position.  The BS has maybe 2' of outfeed at most with the door closed.

 

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6 hours ago, Zero Knievel said:

Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy your sex bench? ;) 

 

Nothing says love like building it yourself.  In fact, they covered that on an episode of This Old Whorehouse (obviously NWS):  

 

 

 

11 hours ago, superhawk996 said:

If it rains tomorrow, will it just warp a bit or explode? 🤣

 

LOL, it has survived unfinished and assembled through some rains.  I like to have it out after assembly unprotected for a while to let it once again settle in, and it's been as solid as...metal....  

 

The oil darkened it way more than expected, we'll see how it looks in the long run.  The other bubinga/maple pieces have only lacquer, which has much less darkening, at least up front.  Now to apply patience, and have an annoying half-done thing in the shop that's always in the way.

 

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17 hours ago, Furbird said:

I don't experience any of these issues.  MDF and particle board will swell here if you're not careful.  

Meh...just an silly wild ass guess but perhaps the difference in the way wood behaves between you and Carlos is that even though you have humidity control, your average humidity in AL is about 85% and in AZ it's usually 60% or less? Wood drying out will warp it more than higher humidity will. That's probably why your MDF swells when it leaves your shop and his doesn't. Conversely, his exotic woods grew up in rain forests most likely so 60% or less humidity makes them go..."What the fuck?"  Even the domestic hardwoods don't like drying out quickly. I recently re-sawed an 8" chunk of walnut that had been drying for 2+ years to about 1" boards and within a week they were all warpy-twisty due to further drying. Again...just speculation.

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2 hours ago, Biometrix said:

Meh...just an silly wild ass guess but perhaps the difference in the way wood behaves between you and Carlos is that even though you have humidity control, your average humidity in AL is about 85% and in AZ it's usually 60% or less? Wood drying out will warp it more than higher humidity will. That's probably why your MDF swells when it leaves your shop and his doesn't. Conversely, his exotic woods grew up in rain forests most likely so 60% or less humidity makes them go..."What the fuck?"  Even the domestic hardwoods don't like drying out quickly. I recently re-sawed an 8" chunk of walnut that had been drying for 2+ years to about 1" boards and within a week they were all warpy-twisty due to further drying. Again...just speculation.


That's what I'm wondering too.  Climate control is not just about too wet, it's also about too dry.  Maybe his idea of shit wood does and mine are so far off because of that, just like Northerners die down here because of the heat just like I would die up there because of the cold?  Acclimation is a MOFO!

Let me bring a water oak to Arizona... it'd rain for a fucking month there and the wood would turn into a Arby's curly fry!

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11 hours ago, Furbird said:

Let me bring a water oak to Arizona... it'd rain for a fucking month there and the wood would turn into a Arby's curly fry!

Sounds like a good experiment, send each other wood.

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18 hours ago, Biometrix said:

Meh...just an silly wild ass guess but perhaps the difference in the way wood behaves between you and Carlos is that even though you have humidity control, your average humidity in AL is about 85% and in AZ it's usually 60% or less? Wood drying out will warp it more than higher humidity will. That's probably why your MDF swells when it leaves your shop and his doesn't. Conversely, his exotic woods grew up in rain forests most likely so 60% or less humidity makes them go..."What the fuck?"  Even the domestic hardwoods don't like drying out quickly. I recently re-sawed an 8" chunk of walnut that had been drying for 2+ years to about 1" boards and within a week they were all warpy-twisty due to further drying. Again...just speculation.

 

It's a reasonable speculation, but all wood should be dried to a specific industry standard level.  They don't dry a piece bound for AZ differently from a piece bound for AL.  Also if my humidity got as ridiculous as 60%, I'd be on a U-haul in minutes.

 

4 hours ago, blackhawkxx said:

Sounds like a good experiment, send each other wood.

 

I've done a number of wood exchanges and shipments.  There's no obvious correlation on warping and changes.  In a little while, I could lay out a few things that were shipped here from the SE and see how they are looking.  I talk to woodworkers all over the world all the time.  Since one person here has singular experiences unlike anyone else's, I just don't know what else to say.

 

One of my favorite YouTube woodworkers recently moved from here to CO, and now to MI.  His biggest problems have been tool rust, not wood movement.

 

Again, the top thing I see is simply internal stress.  And pretty much all woodworkers agree on that.  The flame/tiger maple legs on that bench have been in this shop since 2011, and in the previous shop for a couple years before that.  Cut them, and...they twist.

 

I just realized something idiotic.  I had meant this to be against a wall, in our entry hallway.  But didn't account for baseboards.  Duh.  Sigh.  

 

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Also learned that apparently (per the wood shop people) lacquer is becoming difficult to get due to environmental issues.  My go-to lacquer (and many peoples') is no longer able to source one component, and is gone.  So I have just about enough to finish this piece, to hopefully completely match another project I recently finished, and is across the hallway from it.

 

I also just realized that the dogs have made the bottom part of the walls filthy, but that's outside the environment as far as my normal viewing angle goes.

 

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3 hours ago, SwampNut said:

 

It's a reasonable speculation, but all wood should be dried to a specific industry standard level.  They don't dry a piece bound for AZ differently from a piece bound for AL.  Also if my humidity got as ridiculous as 60%, I'd be on a U-haul in minutes.

Perhaps but just because it is dried to specific spec when shipped doesn't mean it will stay that way. It can get drier or suck up more moisture depending on where it ends up. Also do you really believe that all sources for lumber adhere to a specific industry spec? Maybe when you buy it from Lowes or HD but I would bet that local sawmills QC practices fluctuate greatly from actually testing the moisture content to "it's been sitting long enough, it's probably good".

 

Interior furniture grade hardwood is supposed to be between 6%-8% moisture content but put that in an area with 60% to 85% humidity and it's going to shrink or expand and potentially warp and/or twist.

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This door has been in a controlled environment for 17 years.

 

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These and many others came from Arkansas, where they were stored semi outdoors (shed), and have been stored in AZ in a garage.  No issues.  

 

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17 minutes ago, Biometrix said:

Interior furniture grade hardwood is supposed to be between 6%-8% moisture content but put that in an area with 60% to 85% humidity and it's going to shrink or expand and potentially warp and/or twist.

 

I'm not sure if you're conflating air RH with wood EMC (equilibrium moisture content) which are two totally different things, and a huge RH change is only a tiny EMC change.

 

I've never bought anything from a local sawmill and have no idea what standards they use.  The only thing I'm aware of being local is mesquite which is used for those "live edge" tables and stuff like that, not kiln dried at all (just left outside).  Lowe's and HD wood definitely is not properly dried.  Everything else I buy is properly kiln dried (per my own wood meter).  So my experience is that yes, things are dried to a standard, except at the big box stores.  Sometimes big box wood is cold to the touch, it's so fucking wet.

 

Again, the maple legs of that table were in AZ for 15-20 years and still got crazy when cut.  This is just experience, no point in arguing about it.

 

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A very nice but simple design, looks good.  Two questions, how are the legs attached to the top and with the top touching the wall, with use aren't you afraid it will rub the paint?

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The problem is that it's NOT touching the wall, because of the baseboards.  I want it to be.  How would a table rub the paint, and why would I care?  I guess the answer is no.  Never considered it.  I consider wall paint to be an expendable wear item and I touch it up regularly.

 

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I'd rather have it not touch the wall to save the finish on the table.  If it gets a little wear on the bottom edges of the legs, that's OK; that's not nearly as noticeable if it were ever moved.

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It can't go anywhere other than against a wall or something else, it would look retarded.  The legs are flush and straight on the back, angled and inset front.  It will go against the wall, I just need to decide exactly how.  Cut the baseboard...cut the legs around the baseboard...dunno.

 

You guys sound like Dave and modifying cars.  I'd rather have everything be perfect and deal with the consequences than worry about some potential minor issue.

 

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4 hours ago, SwampNut said:

 

I'm not sure if you're conflating air RH with wood EMC (equilibrium moisture content) which are two totally different things, and a huge RH change is only a tiny EMC change.

 

Again, the maple legs of that table were in AZ for 15-20 years and still got crazy when cut.  This is just experience, no point in arguing about it.

 

I am indeed conflating RH with EMC because they are relational in that a change in the RH can change the EMC. EMC is based on humidity and temperature of the surrounding environment so if EMC is reached in your garage or workshop at 65% RH (ok not your garage since you say your RH is lower in AZ) but then you move the wood into your home at let's say 25% RH...then the moisture content can fluctuate up to 6% which may not seem like a lot but depending on the wood can cause up to a 1/4 inch change in a 12 inch W X 3/4" board. 

 

Anyhow I'm not arguing...I was just stating MY experience as well. My wood changes because of the drastic fluctuations in the NE between temp and humidity. Yours changes because you basically live in a fucking convection oven that is more suitable for cacti and scorpions.  😁 

 

Also, your bench looks really nice and the tiger maple legs are the tits.

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Our outside humidity is typically under 20 all day, BTW, and inside is 45-52.  I haven't had anything fail after it goes inside, the bullshit happens in the shop.  Maybe temp changes are partly to blame, or just the internal stresses, dunno.

 

I don't know what the average is, it goes way up at night obviously and way down during the day.

 

I'll get this out of the way now...inside RH is 46 right now since the AC raises the RH.  Yes, that's right, it does.  That should be it's own thread, like talking oil.

 

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