Hi, I am a retired Cabinet Maker in North East England. I still produce items of furniture for friends and family using a variety of timber species.
I have had for many years, issues with the %MC of materials from the various suppliers. I struggle to get timber anywhere near single digit %MC that furniture making requires and I end up with remedial work, correcting what is sometimes significant shrinkage. I produce in the workshop and ‘second season’ in my home for usually a 4 week period and then embark on the always necessary remedial work which is infuriating to say the least.
- Do you have similar problems?
- Have you the luxury of space in a warm workshop to aid drying?
- Do you have a supplier who can supply reasonably seasoned materials at a single digit %MC?
Any tips or suggestions gratefully received.
No, we work with stuff that is 12-15%, we know all our stuff will shrink on leaving us and the design has to allow for that. As the worksop is warm we generally send it out at about 12% we fit drawers tight and expect solid wood to move . That’s the game…
Thanks very much for the response which is much appreciated.
I do believe however, the the timber industry should move into the 21st century and do as is done in the USA, season hardwoods to single digit %MC. This would give people like you and I a fighting chance with a stable piece of furniture.
I am in communication with Timber Research & Development Association (TRADA) and as the lead body, convince them of the necessity to ‘move with the times’.
If I hear anything positive from them, I will forward the information to you.
I am not sure that that would help. We use a lot of American kilned timber maple, cherry and walnut . Most is dried within an inch of its life, down to 2%. It takes all the life out of the wood and makes it much more difficult to hand work with a blade. Another problem is the stress this puts into the stuff. Kilned in stress that unwinds on first machining.
I wish I could just use air dry stuff and schedule the time to do it slowly, allowing it to dry naturally in the workshop to 12% then design it so that we know it will shrink a bit and that’s ok no remedial work.
Happy witting Alan