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post #1 of 5 Old 01-02-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Moisture Content

I've got a bunch of Cherry and Maple that came from a friends trees. I've turned some of it green to rough shape. My question is when is it considered dry enough for final turning??
Right now its at 15-17% according to one website that is the EMC for my area (Seattle). Does that mean its ok to finish turn it or do I need to do something else to get it to go lower?

My concern is for boxes - if I finish them so they have a good snap fit will they later swell/shrink and the fit is gone?
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-02-2012, 08:00 PM
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I'm not a turner. But most people I know turn green.

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post #3 of 5 Old 01-02-2012, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by WoodMarshall View Post
Right now its at 15-17% according to one website that is the EMC for my area (Seattle). Does that mean its ok to finish turn it or do I need to do something else to get it to go lower?

My concern is for boxes - if I finish them so they have a good snap fit will they later swell/shrink and the fit is gone?
AFAIK, it's "ready" when it stops changing, i.e. has reach equilibrium.

I use a digital scale to weigh the pieces each alternate week; when they don't change 3 weeks in a row, I reckon they stopped losing water and are (by definition) at equilibrium.

With boxes, you're concern is well founded. I'd wait to be sure they are done drying and warping before finish-turning them.

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post #4 of 5 Old 01-02-2012, 09:58 PM
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With boxes I rough them out also and then put them up to dry. Boxes absolutely have be dry before final turning. Usually I cut wood into roughly box sizes and then seal the ends with wax. I let them sit on the shelf for quite a while.
If I need one sooner I rough them out and then dry them in the microwave until they quit losing weight. Then I let them sit in the shop for few days to pick up moisture. I also use the weighing method. When it stays the same weight for a day or more I know it's reached equilibrium and is ready to turn. Even then sometimes the lid moves after I bring it into the house. It helps to any reallysnug fitting lids out of wood that doesn't have as much movement and orient the grain properly.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-03-2012, 02:51 PM
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It may not make any difference but the humidity inside a house is often lower (mainly in winter and the house is heated). I think I would bring them inside a couple of days to acclimate and then do the finish turning.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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