I am a total newbie when it comes to building. I bought some
plans for a deck (eventually a gazebo), spent $$$ on tools, and also
spent several hundred $$ on PT lumber at Home Depot this spring.
(Mostly 2x6, 2x8 and 4x4's.)
The guy at HD said I should let the lumber get air and dry for a
couple months before using it. (It was soaking wet.) So I put nails
in the ends and vertically suspended all the boards from the ceiling
of my garage, with lots or air around each board.
A couple weeks ago I started......and stopped. The wood is
warped, in all 3 dimensions. Some badly, and some just a little.
Obviously I did something wrong. So I found this group, and hope
that some of you could give me some guidance.
First, are there some websites that give good, detailed info on
the selection and use of PT wood?
Secondly, here are a couple of basic questions. Did I let it dry
correctly? Or should I have used it while it was still wet?
Is there any way to get the wood to bend back into shape? All my
joists will be double 2x8's. I just used some heavy-duty clamps to
force the ends of 2 pieces of 2x8's back together , but it looks like
the wood will crack/split if I try to go any further along the lengths
of the boards..
Even if the wood doesn't split, how should they be fastened, and
will the fasteners hold after I release the clamps? My brother-in-law
said to use long deck screws, but they look awfully weak, and so I was
thinking of using 3/8 s.s. bolts with s.s. fender washers next to the
wood. But all this is based on the wood not cracking/splitting, and I
have a hunch that it is going too once I start moving down the length
of the 2 boards..
As I said, I am a newbie. Any basic info on PT wood would be
__much__ appreciated, as would pointers to any lengthy
discussions/primers on pt wood on any websites.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Wood is usually stacked and stickered to dry. One of the reasons is to
minimize warping. (Stickers are the thin slats that separate the
That's what I do. It will still warp a little, but not nearly as much
as if you let it do whatever it wants.
It probably won't split, but if it does, the board was too warped to
I suspect that the deck screws would be fine if you add some
Google is your friend.
PT wood is best used wet. It shrinks a ton as it dries, it always warps
a little, and sometimes it warps *a lot*. It also shrinks massively
cross-grain. I have screwed down wet PT deck boards so the touch, then
found quarter-inch gaps a week later.
In my opinion, PT wood is best used for ground-contact applications
only, because of its instability.
Two mistakes you made. Buying your wood at that place and listening to the
advice from someone at that place. You should have gone to a lumber yard
and you would have noticed a difference in the quality of the products and
in the knowledge of the employees.
The only way to get that wood in good working condition is to cut it
lengthwise and/or plane it.
I think that you should only use the PT wood for underneath and get
something nicer looking like cedar or redwood for the floor and rails.
On Aug 29, 12:18 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Ouch. You interpreted something an idiot said and did something that
only a newbie would do. You've learned a valuable lesson - don't ever
listen to the advice from a guy wearing an apron without verifying it
with someone who actually knows what they are talking about.
Since Home Despot is so ready to take stuff back, you may want to try
returning the stuff. They may balk at the time involved or they may
not. Try returning ten pieces or so. If they accept those in return
then you should be able to return all of it with only a moderate
amount of pleading, accusing and stomping of feet.
But thats not what they told me on TV. They said their "associates" are
all highly skilled and knowledgeable and just waiting to help with a
smile. I am so disheartened because I can't believe my big box friend
would ever lie...
Either, use the PT lumber immediately. Or, if delivered banded, leave it
banded and wait a few months in hot, dry weather, and don't cover it. The
latter will warp, but basically not as much and, more or less, warp the same
directions. The former is harder to anticipate warpage and/or twist
Use true,actual stainless steel screws or similar wherever possible in any
event. Zinc coated steel fasteners will eventually rust. Same material
plank nailers will eventually lift, or the nails themselves popup.
The PT wood you buy at home centers is soaking wet from the PT
process. They turn their inventory so fast that it doesn't have any
time to dry before you pick yours up. As others have said, it usually
moves some and always shrinks noticably. Also as others have said,
either use it right away, leave it banded, or sticker it for drying.
For certain parts of a deck that will be especially long, visible and
difficult to restrain from warpage (handrails, for instance), I buy
KDAT (kiln dried after treatment) wood. It costs about 10% more, but
comes dry and does not warp. You won't find KDAT at any home center.
You'll have to go to a lumber yard for that.
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