How much expansion should I allow for when putting cedar 1 by 6 boards next
to each other on a fence panel. I know W.R. cedar is considered a fairly
stable wood but would an inch clearance over a span of 66 inches be enough?
I'm going for a "solid" fill pattern look. Thx.
Do they feel wet? Or cool to the touch as if they may be a tad damp? If
so, butt them right up against each other as they'll shrink and small
gaps will open up.
Most, if not all, cedar fencing I've run into is quite damp and shrinks
rather than is dry and expands.
I agree with this, having put several hundred feet of 1x4 cedar
fencing around my house a couple of times. It comes from the
store (Home Depot, my most recent time) pretty wet.
Matter of fact, I've kicked myself that I didn't have the patience
the last time of leaning the new boards up against the old fence
and letting them dry out for a week or three before tearing down
the old and putting up the new. Those 1/4's shrink (roughly)
a quarter inch each. And, after a period of heavy rains (been some
time now in the Dallas/Fort Worth area!) that gap doesn't appear
to shrink. I had wondered if dry boards might GROW by a quarter
inch each, causing the fence to "explode." One section, about
80-90 feet continuous lenght, would have quite a problem if the
boards absorbed as much as they lost.
Thanks everybody for the advice. Yes it appears that the board start to
shrink after the first day being in the sun. My main concern was the
"exploding" fence scenario when the wet weather comes. I'm leaving them a
"little" loose when I'm building them and using a finishing/hide strip on
the left and right hand sides to allowing for the expansion/contraction to
I've built several fences over the years and I've never seen them do
anything other than shrink. And I've never seen a fence that looked
like the boards had swelled for any reason. I think you'll have a hard
time drying the boards enough so that when assembled they will look
solid. If you want to try to pre-dry them I don't know how much luck
you'll have. I've used both cedar and redwood and both like to warp if
left to dry. At least that's what's happened to extras I've had that I
left in a stack.
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