I did a search and it seems like 8% is ideal. However, like a few posters here 14-15% seem to be normal in my garage here. I suppose that should be my target?
Change of moisture content causes the wood to change dimension, mostly across the grain. Whether this is expansion or contraction, the same change of moisture content is likely to result in the same change of dimension and likely the same force if the movement is constrained. I think allowing for the movement is the same whether gaining or losing moisture.I'm not an expert, but it would seem to me that starting with dry wood and allowing for expansion would be better than trying to allow for contraction. Does anyone with experience have a comment on this theory?