Maple Doors


What is the recomended moisture content for maple being used on cabinet doors?
Thank You, Nicholas Falkoff
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Nicholas,
Most wood is kiln-dried to about 6% and in the industry, that is what is used when producing cabinetry, etc. The larger manufacturers keep their milling and finishing operations at about 72 F. and 30% relative humidity. However, most of us have small open shops and although we may buy kiln-dried wood, it won't stay at a very low moisture content for long. And, if we air dry our lumber, it swings around an average that is determined by your individual micro-climate. In my area, hot and humid south central Texas, 8-9% is good enough. The key is to use kiln-dried lumber quickly or for air dried, let it stabilize, preferably in the conditions in which it will be used. In fact, some will air dry lumber outside for a few months (if you are lumbering your own wood), then continue drying in the shop until the moisture content stabilizes, then move the lumber into the house a couple of months to dry a little more. For kitchen cabinets, I am not as obsessive as when building nice furniture. Maple has about the same shrinkage properties as red oak, with a tangential shrinkage of about 8.2% when going from saturated to dry, so it does shrink a fair amount.
For some really good information, check out, "Understanding Wood", by R. Bruce Hoadley. You can probably pick it up used off of Amazon.com for a good price.
Preston

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I'd say the recommended moisture content is close to what's standard for the area in which it's going to be used.
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wrote:

readings an calculations and it can all become circular. maybe its necessary if one is importing from say Asia (humid) to the SW of USA (dry). However, as US points out the simple approach for most work is to acclimate the stock. On my jobs I lay the stock into the location where I will be building the stairs. Ideally, the stock will sit in the very room where the work will be carried out. I prefer to have it sit (sticked) for 6-8 weeks. I follow this procedure regardless of species. If people don't want to wait I politely inform them to find another builder.
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Joe,
Thanks for the reply. Will doors that cup return to their original shape when the humidity stabilizes, or will the wood remain cupped?
Joe Bemier wrote:

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On 10 Sep 2006 18:34:36 -0700, "Nick Falkoff"

I would guess that if cupped, they will stay cupped. Wood moves quite a bit depending on species but cupping is a result of different cells drying at different rates, IIRC. Moisture fluctuations are more inclined to cause swell and shrink than cup, IMO. When I stick out my stock I usually put weights on top of the pile. I have a half dozen boxes of old tiles that do the job quite well. But in some cases no matter what we do the stock is going to cup or bow. The Planer and Joiner can help here.

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