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
"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.
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
A solution that works for me.
Get more pickets. Store them in the garage for two months with plenty of
Separate into straight boards and crooked boards. Put straight boards on
fence; return crooked boards to Home Depot.
Theres really nothing you can do:(
I have a friend who has a pole supporting their porch. It barberpolls
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.
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.
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