warping pressure treated wood

OK, I just built a fence out of pressure treated wood (the crap from Home Depot which is not redried) a couple of weeks ago. It's an infill type fence using the rough hewn dog-eared slats cut to about 5-6 feet long held in only at the top and bottom, no middle cross beam. Anyway, within several days huge gaps developed between the slats, presumably as they dried. I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is warping and twisting, which has also happened.
My questions to you guys with pressure treated wood experience:
1. Can I avoid shrinkage, warping, and twisting if I use special pressure treated + redried wood and immediately stain it, or does redried wood also shrink and warp to some extent?
2. Will I avoid shrinkage, warping, and twisting if I use the non re-dried wood from HD and immediately seal it (even though it's wet) with sealers approved for immediate sealing, like Wolman's "raincoat?",
or will it still shrink etc?
Thanks in advance
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homer2654 wrote: ...

"Dried" construction lumber isn't dry in the sense of hardwood, only partially and is (supposed) to be kept from getting rained on again (although that's certainly not guaranteed by most chain stores). It _will_ shrink and unless it's held down, almost certainly will warp/twist at least some--it is lumber, after all. You can minimize the effect by buying it and storing it in a dry, relatively protected place and making sure it is well stacked and preferably stickered and weighted while it finishes drying out. How long that would take would depend on the climate you're in--if it's hot, that's good, if it's very humid, that's not so good. Sealing it immediately is the wrong direction--the lumber moisture _will_ have to get out, you want to allow it to do so but in a controlled fashion, _then_ you can attempt to minimize external moisture later for protection.

No, see above. You will only change the rate at which it dries and probably exacerbate the warping. The amount of shrinkage is dependent on the initial water content and the species and (to a lesser extent) the ambient humidity of the region you're in--equilibirium moisture content is lower in AZ, say, than FL.
You can control the amount of warping of any given piece only by controlling the rate of the drying process and by mechanically restraining the material during that process. Depending on the grain and how any particular board was sawn from the tree, (which is done for construction lumber to maximize yield, not for how the grain runs, etc.) some pieces may be essentially impossible to prevent from bowing almost double, others will just show a little cupping and others (those very few that just happen to be quarter-sawn for the most part) will just shrink a little.
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wrote:

When drying wet wood will twist, wane, bow, warp and shrink. You could sticker and dry the wood yourself using band clamps, weights, and lots of patience. I found that a couple months in an air-conditioned area works for me--even with that there will be some, maybe 5%, that deform or split. Drying wood is more of an art than science.

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homer2654 wrote:

A solution that works for me.
Get more pickets. Store them in the garage for two months with plenty of ventilation.
Separate into straight boards and crooked boards. Put straight boards on fence; return crooked boards to Home Depot.

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Theres really nothing you can do:(
I have a friend who has a pole supporting their porch. It barberpolls every year.
Coating staining etc only slows it down. It it REALLY bugs you get PVC fence its immune to this problem.
Pressure treating wood makes it do wierd things and no matter what the polls in the ground will wick water from the ground.
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replying to hallerb, No wrote: And PVC fence is brittle like glass in the winter and way over priced!
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Thanks for the replies. You can return warped wood to Home Depot?
homer2654 wrote:

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homer2654 wrote:

You bet. Often people get more (in this case, pickets) than they need for a project. They return the residual.
There's a few things for which HD won't take back the excess: paint is one.
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Why did you let it get rained on? If you had built the fence indoors this would not have happened.
Seriously, you got wet wood from HD, when it drys, it warps. This is common with PT wood.
I'd tear it down, take it all back and demand a refund. Unfortunately your labor is a loss unless you take this to small claims court, and then you may not win.
Now that you know what kind of junk HD sells, dont shop there anymore.
Mark
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