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tmmiller
Home Made Oak Table Drying

I am making a table out of rough cut 2x4 oak and do not want it to shrink when I bring it in the house. It has been in my enclosed shop for about 4 months, but I'm not sure if that will dry it enough or not. I do not have access to a kiln, so that is not an option. I recently planed it down to 1", and it seems pretty dry. Any suggestions would be great!
Thanks.....Matt

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Home Made Oak Table Drying

Generally speaking, when you air dry wood you need about one year for each one inch of thickness. That means you 2X should have dried for at least 2 years. If it were me I would stack and sticker the 1 X oak and dry it for at least a year. You could buy a moisture meter and check the moisture content.
Jack

libcarp
Re: Home Made Oak Table Drying

Head down to your local Woodcraft or Rockler store and get a moisture meter - it will show you just how dry the wood is. A rule of thumb for air drying lumber is that for every inch thick to allow 1 year or drying time - assuming that you have things properly stickered and they are in a conditioned environment.

Whatever you do - do not thickness plane or cut your wood to final size when it's still 'wet' - not only will it shrink, it will likely cup, twist, warp and/or split.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Home Made Oak Table Drying

The fact that you have already planned the wood down to 1" may be a big problem. If you did not plan it evenly off of both side then your stock has a wet side and a dry side and will most likely cup or warp.
Jack

tmmiller
Re: Home Made Oak Table Drying

I borrowed a moisture meter and it reads between 6% and 10% on different boards, but i am not all that confident in its readings. It was a Ligno brand meter, and they appear to be a pretty decent meter from what I've read online.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Home Made Oak Table Drying

6% is good but did you check the front and back or just the edge. Cupping is caused when one side is wet and the other is dry. Edge testing is of little use.
Jack

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