Acclimating wood to shop or final environment?

I am a novice woodworker and have a basic question but couldn't find quite the answer in the forum when I searched.
I live in Rochester, NY where it gets very humid in the summer and fairly dry in the winter. I buy my hardwood from a local supplier who kiln dries it and then stores it unstickered in his large barn anywhere from days to years. I bring it home and sticker it in my garage for weeks to months. Everything I have read (including this month's article in FWW) says to let the wood acclimate to the shop environment for some time before working the wood.
My question is this: Do I really want to let my wood acclimate to my shop environment at 90% Rh in the summer, build my project, and then put it in my house where it will reside at 30-50% Rh?
It seems to me that if I let it acclimate and accumulate % moisture levels in the teens, work it, glue it, etc. and then put it in a lower moisture setting that the project is doomed but I don't know what else to do (other than fully insulate my garage and put in a dehumidifier and maybe AC unit).
Please help!
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Stan, Typically you herre thata the wood should aacclimatize to your shop for two weeks. But as you describe your setup, your wood is ready to work. Then your question is a valid one i.e. does the wood acclimatized to your shop become a problem in the final resting place of different conditions? My answer is you are doing as much as you can to help the wood settle. There will always be different conditions for furniture. Your design will try to answer that as much as possible, i.e. floating panels, breadboards ends, etc. Beyond that, there isnt much you can do. That is why antiques that werre built by masters can have cracks and splits. I say, do the best you can and then enjoy what nature adds to the picture.
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I generally work on the principal that people keep their homes comfortable to live in so I keep the shop comfortable to work in when I have a project in progress.
So far so good.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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As long as I buy dried wood, I don't worry about it at all. I have been doing serious wood working since 1978 and have never had a problem. That said, you should anticipate wood movement with all your projects and plan accordingly for movement. You are never really ever going to be able to control the environment that the pieces end up in all the time. If you look at furniture in a furniture store the warehouse environment is ever changing and all over the scale when considering all locations in the country. Top that with 100 times more environments that the furniture will end up in on peoples homes.
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Strother Purdy taught me to use a moisture meter on your workbench, and match the wood with that (on the grounds that your workbench has spent a long time in that environment).
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Sounds great, but wouldn't it be better to match it against your nightstand if the furniture's going inside?
Check with the cheeseheads for good wood info. http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/TMU/publications.htm

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I would argue that you *DO* want to acclimate it to your shop rather than your home.
Imagine that you are making a cabinet door. You rough-cut and mill the rails and stiles into "perfect" rectangles. Then You have to go to work for the week and don't get back to it until next weekend. Lets say some warpage occurs during the week. You will now be using a curved reference face to mill your tennons. You will end up with (albeit slightly) tennons pointing in the wrong direction, or at least less tight joinery than otherwise.
IMHO I would rather have stresses applied *after* complete milling and assembly. seasonal stresses are going to happen eventually anyway. Get the milling and assembly done while everything is square.
By acclimating to other than shop conditions would will encounter more movement during the building process. It would be best to minimize that.

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No absolute experience either way, but I am currently fixing panels for a bed which were left in the shop after being edged and joined. They had been in the shop for a month or so. When I took them into the house the other day I noticed they all had bowed substantially.
Two the same direction, the third the opposite. These were all 29" long about 19" wide made up of 3 beech flatsawn boards. They were in the same order of boards, but as I saw one went the opposite way of the others. I ended up cutting them apart, flipping boards all around to orient grain in different directions, hand jointing them and gluing them back together.
Not sure what it all means, but I've moved the other panels into the house this time.
Alan
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Hey Stan,
I'm north of you, and have the same challenge, when it comes to humidity fluctuations.
I think it depends on where you are with your woodworking. If my shop gets out of control, with higher or lower humidity levels that are workable, then I'll take precautions, during certain stages of a project.
In a situation where I can't control humidity levels in the shop, and I'm down to final hand planing/scraping and dry run, I'll store the components of a project in a stable, similiar environment, to where the project will end up living.
If this means storing components for a project in a spare bedroom in the house, becase it's the closest match of environment, and carrying them back and forth daily, so be it.
Try to design your jointery, to hide most natural, minor, seasonal wood movement, the last thing you want on a fine piece is a glueline, minute gap or a noticable component offset due to swelling/shrinkage. Using small offsets between components in your design, adds detail to your work, and allows for seasonal movement (eg: setting back an apron a 1/16-1/8 from a leg face on a table, adds detail, but also allows for some un-noticable movement, compared to having a flush apron and leg joint, where either the leg or apron moves more than the other, not equally at all corners, and becomes very noticable).
I guess the bottom line is, the closer the humidty level of you storage/shop to the final resting area of you project, the better. If you can't control environment, engineer the jointery/design for calculated seasonal movement.
Cheers and good luck,
aw
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