Rookie Questions About Warping - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-28-2015, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Post Rookie Questions About Warping

I sell craft supplies, which includes unfinished wood products. I am in KY. Now that spring is here, I have noticed that the products are fitting together more snugly than before. I expect this, but some of my customers do not--especially those in another state or with very different climates.

What is your very best advice for me to fight warping, both while in storage and while in transit? I am most concerned about boxes, especially those with hinges. Until now, I have only been able to get imported boxes and the lids have always warped on those. I am now partnering with a sawmill/woodworkers to make them locally, but I need to make sure I know how to care/transport the products.

I am currently keeping all unfinished wood stock in temperature controlled storage inside my home. I store it flat and do not store it in any kind of plastic or packaging. Are these sound practices?

Some of my questions include:
  • What wood type is LEAST/MOST susceptible to warping? (1/4" or greater thickness)
  • Is there anything my customer can do if wood begins to warp in their climate? Any kind of warning or instructions I can give them? I am for the most part not dealing with woodworkers that can troubleshoot this sort of thing and do not have any specialized tools.
  • On assembled boxes, would it be better to ship WITHOUT the hinges/hasps already attached?
  • How long, on average, does it take for wood to acclimate to a new environment?
  • Shipping: Would you recommend that I use some desiccant bags or moisture absorbing paper to ship them? Or would that just make things worse?
I hope these are not silly questions. I am paying significantly more to provide the better quality products so I want to protect both my investment and the investment of my customers. I need to be able to support the products as well if problems do arise so I am open to any and all advice!
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-28-2015, 06:52 PM
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Wood absorbs moisture from the air. The best thing you could do is get a dehumidifier. Another thing you can do for the warping it put sticks between the wood so that air can circulate around it. Warp is usually caused by one side of a board absorbing more moisture from the air than the other. To counteract this you can wet the cup side of the board and equalize the moisture content. It might take a few days but it will flatten. The only other thing I could suggest is when you package something to ship you might put a desiccants pack in it.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-29-2015, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve--I didn't even think about getting a dehumidifier for this reason. That will be a handy thing to have during Kentucky summers!
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-29-2015, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clwood View Post
Thanks Steve--I didn't even think about getting a dehumidifier for this reason. That will be a handy thing to have during Kentucky summers!
Air conditioning will dehumidify too.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-29-2015, 10:58 PM
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Steve beat me to it...dehumidifier.

Most people think controlling temp covers controlling MC ....actually controlling MC is the prime one to control. ALL my KD'd lumber is stored in a MC controlled (dehumidified 24/7/365) enviroment BUT not temperature controlled. RH (relative humidity) (dehumidifier reading term) along with temp range = EMC (equal??? moisture content) or basic MC. My temps range from winter low of 38 deg (partial basement) to a summer high of 89 deg.

If you'll keep your MC in the 8-9% range(approx 40-45% RH) (typical house indoor MC) in your storage and shop 24/7/365 then any problems that arise after shipping will be from the new owners lack of control. Most products can't absorb enough MC change in shipping UNLESS it sits in long transit (like a shipping container and all that mumbo jumbo time required) due to packageing slows a quick MC change.

I hope this helps.

Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
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Reveling God's awesome beauty while creating one of-a-kind flitches and heirlooms.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-30-2015, 09:56 AM
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I would put them in plastic when shipping.
Its the rapidity of climate change that causes warping and cupping.
Definitely include some kind of disclaimer about it and include some info on acclimating wood.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-30-2015, 12:22 PM
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>>>> I am currently keeping all unfinished wood stock in temperature controlled storage

The first thing to understand is that wood movement (warping is only one type of wood movement) is caused by changes in the moisture content of the wood. Temperature is not a significant element. In other words, just moving the wood (or wood item) from one area of relative humidity to another can lead to wood movement and therefore to warping.

Let me make a suggestion. To learn and understand wood the best reference is a book titled Understanding Wood by Bruce Hoadley. Amazon will have it. This book will tell you most everything you need to know about wood.

Howie..........

Last edited by HowardAcheson; 04-30-2015 at 12:25 PM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-01-2015, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your helpful advice! And Howard, I am shopping for that book as we speak!
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-02-2015, 08:03 AM
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When you say "wet the cup side".....which is the cup side?
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