Ok, green lumber. I was wondering why, when all the books I have recommend dry
lumber for serious use, stores like Home Depot only appear to carry green lumber
(in my area). Is that information out of date, or is home boy depot really out
of it on
this matter ?
Many lumber yards carry green construction lumber. When I built our deck, I
spaced the 2x redwood 1/8-inches apart; when dried, the spaced increased to
3/8" -- enough to catch high heels. Hardwoods [oak, maple, walnut] are
generally lower in moisture content, but you are on your own to find a
source of dry lumber. Without a moisture meter, I built a red oak table
from wood that the dealer assured me was 12% or lower. I let it set in the
shop for two weeks, glued it up, and was awakened at 3:00 a.m. by the
explosion as the base dried and split apart. I usually drive 275 miles to
get my hardwood lumber to be assured of getting properly dried wood. I
would never buy hardwood from the discount chains without a moisture
meter -- besides, it's usually too expensive. Of course, you can save by
buying green lumber and drying it yourself if you have the space. We used
to cut and dry our own lumber, but that's a job for a young man. Green
lumber is heavy, and the board you need is always on the bottom of the
I think when I decided that green lumber was not a good idea was when I saved
2x4s from a project in the garage. They sat for 6 months, they were straight as
When I tried to use them, I could not believe how twisted they were, and several
After that, I got some KD lumber, and was amazed how nice it was.
Construction lumber is dried to ~20% moisture content (S-Dry) so it can be
surfaced to approximate dimensions. It is expected to be used in
construction, where end-to end dimension is the only really important one.
Lumber for indoor uses is normally kiln dried to ~8% moisture content, a
fair compromise for furniture or inside millwork.
You have to buy the proper grades.
BTW, "Green" normally assumes no drying.
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