Cypress; uncured, air dried, kild dried? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Cypress; uncured, air dried, kild dried?

Hi all, first post here. I'm not new to tinkering with wood, but new to really thinking seriously about real craftsmanship. I'm looking to build several beehives, I prefer using cypress, and have found a local mill to source it from.

The mill offers lumber rough-cut and uncured. They can have it kilned and surfaced for an up-charge, obviously. I don't really need it surfaced for looks, as I have a planer, but don't know if this is maybe an integral part of the drying process.

The hives I want to build will ideally be finger (box) joined. They may be painted/sealed, but it is common to leave hive boxes unfinished. Either way they will be exposed to whatever extremes the weather offers.

So my question is if I go to make these boxes with lumber straight from the mill (rough, uncured), will all my joints pop apart? Do I need kiln dried? Is air-dried a viable option? If it must be cured to some degree first, I'd like to go with air drying...but don't know much about it.

Thanks for any advice,

Tim

Edit: I suppose I should mention I plan to use nominal 1" stock.

Last edited by Tim Hall; 10-14-2011 at 04:14 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 04:42 PM
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kiln dried

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/evil-machine-28461/

I just made a couple of barn doors, 8ft x 11.5 ft using kiln dried Cypress.
The green wood will check and crack as it dries out possibly ruining your joints. The kiln dried will probably swell a little to acclimate to the RH of your location, which will be a better choice. Nevermind planing, it's not part of the kiln dry process. Just use the rough sawn as it comes from the mill. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Bill. Saw the 'evil machine.' I used to have that exact same model RAS. Nice for cross cutting, but I nearly killed myself once trying to rip with it (almost impaled)...got it used for $25, and didn't have a table saw at the time.

For ~$0.10/bf I suppose I should just have it kilned.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 06:33 PM
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Wood should be acclimated to where it will be used. If you start with kiln dried, and put the product out in the elements, it will react to the relative humidity. It will likely gain moisture and swell.

If you start with wood that's acclimated for the outside area where it will go, it will be less likely to react.








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post #5 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 09:00 PM
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Pretty much all I do is Cypress.

C-man is right (not that it's particular to cypress) but air dried is just fine for what you're doing. I use air dried to build furniture and haven't had any issues.

Cypress dries pretty quickly because of the spongy fibers and as crazy as it may seem I've gotten 6 month old air dried lumber (5/4) from my Sawyer guy with a moisture content of only 5-6%.

BTW, that's a great choice of lumber for your needs. It looks great and holds up great outdoors... Even with no finish. I'd really love to see some pictures of them.

...feel free to send a 5 gal bucket of honey too! where are you located? Must be in the south?

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-15-2011, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'm in Texas.

Yeah the moisture issue is even slightly more complicated than just the climate...the bees can create a significant amount of moisture from the inside. So I'm not entirely sure how you acclimate for that.

Bees' natural habitat is inside tree hollows, so in a way green wood almost seems right. But in reality it's probably a little too high in moisture.

Then again, it's generally understood hives are utilitarian objects and will not last forever. I do prefer the look of cypress to pine, and have noticed my cypress hives seem more dimensionally stable than my pine hives.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-15-2011, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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So can anyone direct me to a good how-to article on stacking/storing wood for air drying?
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-15-2011, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Hall
So can anyone direct me to a good how-to article on stacking/storing wood for air drying?
Does the mill sell it air dried? If not and ya don't want to fool with drying it but the kiln dried and leaving stickered outside under cover for a week and run with it.

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post #9 of 9 Old 10-15-2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, 'stickering' is the term I was looking for. Thanks, Tom.
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