FWW #165 had an article on wood movement and strategies to cope with it.
Although the author obviously knows what he is doing and has success with
these techniques, some of them are rather complicated and seem like overkill
to a novice like me. Although some of these techniques, such as floating
raised panels, are frequently seen in how-to articles, others I have never
seen discussed before (like attaching side moldings). I just want to see
what people's opinions of these techniques are and how commonly they are
used. Like I said, some of them seem like overkill.
Any cross grain situation, like most "side molding" applications over a
solid wood panel, is a potential problem over time and it is better to take
steps to alleviate it in the design/building stage. IME, blanket use of glue
is the achilles heel in these situations.
There are probably as many ways to handle it as there are projects, but I
routinely attach molding in this situation from the inside of the carcass
with slotted screw holes; or use brads (which have some give to them) with
no glue; or perhaps, depending upon size, glue the front third or middle and
use brads, if necessary.
Purist scream about using fasteners in fine furniture, but there are some
situations where they can solve a potentially big problem.
You should get plenty of helpful, and different, advice on this issue.
If you can source (or make) stock which is perfectly matched MC-wise to the
environment in which it is going to live, and that environment is guaranteed
to remain stable, then you don't have to worry about end-grain to long-grain
interfaces, shrinkage, swelling, warping or balancing veneers/finishes etc.
If you live in the real world where you buy in stock at perhaps 18-20% MC
and the piece you are making could go into either a centrally-heated room
which may go as low as 6-7% or an occasionally heated place - like a
church - which may be as high as 12%, or indeed, an old house which may run
the whole gamut over the year, then you need to understand how wood moves
and how the effects of this movement can be minimised, otherwise you can
expect warping and twisting doors, sticking drawers, split panels, and
gaping joints etc.
Paying for insurance seems like overkill until the first time you're
burgled. These strategies have evolved over centuries for good reasons.
Most experienced woodworkers, I suspect, have at some stage fallen victim to
taking shortcuts and ignoring aspects of them, to their subsequent cost in
rework. The wise ones only do it once.
And yes, it's happened several times to me 8((
p email@example.com (p_j) writes:
That does not really work because you cant't really seal against
humidity if you refrain from soldering the wood into a metal box. All
plastics (and therefore "surface sealers") are permeable for moisture,
so all you can do with that is slow down the moisture exchange rate.
As a matter of fact, yes!
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"
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That is indeed one the strategies used to minimise shrinkage/expansion.
Minimise, being the operative word, not obviate. It doesn't matter how well
you seal things, the moisture, like the mail, always seems to get through!
However, it will help to prevent sudden changes and a piece so treated will
have more of a chance to reach equilibrium uniformly
FWIW, we Brits entered the central heating stakes late. Many people found
that furniture which had lived quite happily in the same room for a couple
of hundred years suddenly started to split and warp. Ultimately, the
absolute value of the MC isn't the big thing - a stable environment is.
I imagine that your furniture has survived quite well because of the
construction techniques used to minimise the effects of movement, rather
than trying to prevent movement, and you might well find that dehumidifying
your home would have an adverse effect on it.
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