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Fresh wood

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Some years ago Melvin wrote:

Most of the maple I use is brought to me, often as soon as it is cut by travelling wood sellers from Eastern Europe. It is often wet and heavy but with waxed ends and I am sure it has never seen a kiln!....I immediately store it vertically in the warmth of my workshop it dries OK without staining.

My question is: if the wood is freshly cut, isn't there a chance that it might warp if stored vertically? How do you prevent fresh wood from warping while leaving it to dry?

(The question is not addressed to Melvin, although I would be happy to know how he does it :) )

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storing vertically ( as long as the wood is not leaning too much) is acceptable but 'stickering' the wood is the preferred method

You can determine when the wood has reached equilibrium by weighing a sample piece, when the wood is ready it will rise and fall with relative humidity but the over all trend will be flat.

Or you can buy a moisture meter and measure the actual moisture content of the wood.

Oded Kishony

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The link is very helpful, thanks:

"Defects, such as warp and end splits, that occur during drying are usually a result of poor stacking and sticking techniques."

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Maple has to be stored vertically for the few weeks right after the log is cut to make sure it doesn't get the blue stain, according to Steve Wright, master sawmill dude. After that it can be cut into pieces, the ends sealed to prevent cracking and stickering the wood to season.

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My question is: if the wood is freshly cut, isn't there a chance that it might warp if stored vertically? How do you prevent fresh wood from warping while leaving it to dry?

(The question is not addressed to Melvin, although I would be happy to know how he does it :) )

I don't try to prevent it from warping. My feeling is that it's better to let the wood take its natural shape when drying. Fewer "dried-in" stresses that way, and a better chance that it has already changed shape as much as it wants to, and less chance that it will do so after it is fashioned into an instrument.

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Some years ago Melvin wrote:

My question is: if the wood is freshly cut, isn't there a chance that it might warp if stored vertically? How do you prevent fresh wood from warping while leaving it to dry?

(The question is not addressed to Melvin, although I would be happy to know how he does it :) )

Melvin sent me a gorgeous piece of maple in 2010. It says "fresh may 8, 2007, Hungarians." I have had it a the high point of my attic. I guess it's time I got started on it. Thanks Melvin.

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I don't try to prevent it from warping. My feeling is that it's better to let the wood take its natural shape when drying. Fewer "dried-in" stresses that way, and a better chance that it has already changed shape as much as it wants to, and less chance that it will do so after it is fashioned into an instrument.

This makes a lot of sense, I don't know why I didn't think of this myself!

Melvin sent me a gorgeous piece of maple in 2010. It says "fresh may 8, 2007, Hungarians." I have had it a the high point of my attic. I guess it's time I got started on it. Thanks Melvin.

:)

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When drying maple and I think most woods the staining occurs when the wood gets above a certain temperature while the moisture content is still high.Since most blue staiin in maple and pink or brown in spruce is caused by fungus, "flashing" the moisture off the surface will bring the moisture content at the surface low enough that the fungus can't get started and prevent the staining. I have cut maple in the middle of summer when the temperature was in the 80s and had no degrade whatever by dropping the tree and then bucking "wheels" 16" and 18" sealing the ends immediately then splitting the wheels into quarters and sawing to size,stacking the wood and blowing air through the stacks for several hours until the wood changes color on the surface. No staining, no checking, no degrade.

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,stacking the wood and blowing air through the stacks for several hours until the wood changes color on the surface.

Nate,

Will you describe this color change, please?

Joe

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I have cut maple in the middle of summer when the temperature was in the 80s and had no degrade whatever by dropping the tree and then bucking "wheels" 16" and 18" sealing the ends immediately then splitting the wheels into quarters and sawing to size,stacking the wood and blowing air through the stacks for several hours until the wood changes color on the surface.

Mr. Slobodkin knows what he is talking about when it comes to wood and forestry and violin making, without a doubt.

But that sentence is one hell of an example of lingual bad-assery. Lets all put "bucking "wheels" " in our word buckets and step aside for a moment and let the man pass!!

Right on, Nate. Right on.

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I don't try to prevent it from warping. My feeling is that it's better to let the wood take its natural shape when drying. Fewer "dried-in" stresses that way, and a better chance that it has already changed shape as much as it wants to, and less chance that it will do so after it is fashioned into an instrument.

Bingo!

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When drying maple and I think most woods the staining occurs when the wood gets above a certain temperature while the moisture content is still high.Since most blue staiin in maple and pink or brown in spruce is caused by fungus, "flashing" the moisture off the surface will bring the moisture content at the surface low enough that the fungus can't get started and prevent the staining. I have cut maple in the middle of summer when the temperature was in the 80s and had no degrade whatever by dropping the tree and then bucking "wheels" 16" and 18" sealing the ends immediately then splitting the wheels into quarters and sawing to size,stacking the wood and blowing air through the stacks for several hours until the wood changes color on the surface. No staining, no checking, no degrade.

The OP's question was, could he place the pieces vertically or should he stack (sticker) them horizontally ?

My question is: if the wood is freshly cut, isn't there a chance that it might warp if stored vertically? How do you prevent fresh wood from warping while leaving it to dry?

OK

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Nate speaks North American violin-maker "logger". I can assure you the Scottish wood-merchant variety is completely unprintable on Maestronet.

End-rearing of boards (drying vertically) is common practice in a lot of European countries, on the principle which David has articulated (let the wood move and then use it with an understanding of that movement). Sycamore is generally end-reared in Scotland as this is held to inhibit blue-stain.

Sycamore and pine are always cut in the winter to avoid staining. In my wood-cutting days I accepted the common myth that this was to do with the sap being down, but David disabused me of that notion, pointing out that the low temperatures inhibit the fungus in the early stages of drying. Nate's practice confirms this, but it seems like a lot of work ....

I would definitely rather fell a tree in the winter than in 80 degree heat - chainsaw clothing is very sweaty!

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The phrase"Buck up" would would be proper vernacular for northern Wis.

I cut quite a bit of lumber in my youth .....logging.... sawmill... shop.

The two biggest factors in curing are.....first, lots and lots of fresh air,and second, light. Not strong direct sunlight,but rather diffuse, a northern exposure is perfect.

Air and light,both contain sterilizers [ozone and UV] that work against fungal infection.

Rear ending :lol: ....oops,"end rearing" wood, primarily allows the wood to drain any moisture from rain or dew, and also gets the wood up off the stagnate layer of air that is usually present in the forest hollows and river bottoms that the logs get's brought DOWN to.

I stickered a LOT of wood back in the day ......and I've yet to see an air dried board NOT move as soon as the pressure gets released,unless it is stress free to start.

On splitting wood....there is, most often, a natural split [or at least the start of one] that occurs within a few hours after cutting to length. Use this as a guide to splitting your wedges in order to reduce the potential of further checking.Sealing the ends helps greatly as well.

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I think the rules for sawing our kind of maple are a bit different from what might be needed for larger pieces that might be needed in the furniture trade. As has been said it is best to let the wood season and find it's own shape before use.

Personally, from a farming background I know that plants are strongly affected by the seasons and this applies to our trees also . Plants are very sensitive organisms. Seeds can remain dormant for decades or hundreds of years until the ideal growing condition arrives. Maple can be cut all year round but saying the wood will be the same is a bit like believing that the leaves fall off in autumn by coincidence. One of the most extreme illustrations of how sap flow can vary in plants is the grape vine....if we attempt to prune mature wood on a grape vine in late spring it will bleed like a tap for days on end...cut similar wood in the autumn and there is no sap at all......Not trying to make a smart point here...Just throwing a thought into the mix

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Hi,

I don't know if anybody mentioned it yet, but freshly cut wood changes in dimensions as well as in shape. A perfectly quarter cut 200mm wide board may shring 195 mm or even less. A perfectly square slab cut board will finish up concave on one side(the bark side) and convex on the other. Wood with tention or compression wood can go all over the place - whichever way you season it.

As Melvin says the problem with wood cut during the summer is that it contains a lot of sap or maple syrrup :)

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One of the most extreme illustrations of how sap flow can vary in plants is the grape vine....if we attempt to prune mature wood on a grape vine in late spring it will bleed like a tap for days on end...cut similar wood in the autumn and there is no sap at all....

Maple can be cut all year round but saying the wood will be the same is a bit like believing that the leaves fall off in autumn by coincidence.

I"ll take a stab at at responding to those.

From what I've read, fluid mobility in a plant responds primarily to two factors: Available daylight, and moisture availability. The longest day of the year occurs at the end of spring/ beginning of summer. Soil moisture levels, in regions like ours, tend to be highest in the very early spring. Combine the two, and highest fluid mobility might be somewhere in between, like in your grape vine example. I haven't been able to find that fluid mobility has much to do with seasonal nutrient (sap) storage, like in the roots or trunk of the plant.

From what I've read (again), leaves fall due to a hormone release by the plant, mostly in response to available daylight. Reduced light causes the plant to grow an interface between the leaf stem and the branch, which shuts off fluid and nutrient transfer, and also pushes the leaf off of the branch.

Here's one short and very readable reference on why leaves fall:

http://www.npr.org/t...oryId=114288700

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As Melvin says the problem with wood cut during the summer is that it contains a lot of sap or maple syrrup :)

I've searched long and hard for botanical evidence to support that, but haven't come up with anything compelling so far. Lots of opinions and anecdotes though, along the lines of "playing in" a violin.

Not that opinions and anecdotes will turn out to be wrong, but for the time being, I tend to place greater confiidence in semi-decent scientific scrutiny.

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I've searched long and hard for botanical evidence to support that, but haven't come up with anything compelling so far. Lots of opinions and anecdotes though, along the lines of "playing in" a violin.

Not that opinions and anecdotes will turn out to be wrong, but for the time being, I tend to place greater trust in semi-decent scientific scrutiny.

Hi,

This is also a quote from Melvins post:

One of the most extreme illustrations of how sap flow can vary in plants is the grape vine....if we attempt to prune mature wood on a grape vine in late spring it will bleed like a tap for days on end...cut similar wood in the autumn and there is no sap at all......Not trying to make a smart point here...Just throwing a thought into the mix

Don't take my word for it. You can try it for yourself next summer.

Perhaps it is too obvious for an academic to mention in a book?

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Don't take my word for it. You can try it for yourself next summer.

Perhaps it is too obvious for an academic to mention in a book?

Thought that had been addressed that already. Maybe there's a better answer though.

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Thought I had addressed that already. Perhaps it was too subtle to register?

Sorry I missed your earlier post.

But how do the grapes and apples grow during the sommer? :)

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Deleted.

Sorry for coming off a little snarky last night.

My excuse is that I thought it would be OK, since the world was ending anyway. :lol:

I made peace with everybody before the witching hour, just incase it happened.:)

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Thanks for all the great advice. While I am waiting for the world to end: The wood is freshly cut and at the moment in my "office" where the temperature changes between 10 to 19C. Is it important for the wood to season outside in a covered area? I can probably arrange a covered area, but fear that sooner or later bugs attack the wood. Is seasoning really important or is air drying inside enough?

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