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stickering lumber

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, May 11, 2010.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have been collecting some pieces for fingerboards and was hoping for your opinions on how to properly make sure it is dry. I have very limited climate controlled room space so that is a big problem. I found this through another thread.

    http://www.alliedlutherie.com/dryingwood.htm

    What else can you all add to this info?

    Some of what I have is Mesquite, Pale moon Ebony and figured Ipe. How thin should I slice it before trying to sticker it? Should I paint then ends with anchor seal in all cases before stickering? I imagine I will have more questions. :help:

    Hopefully we can create a "how to"

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    When storing wood to dry (I only have a small amount currently, I just tend to buy a majority of seasoned wood), I tend to cut the pieces oversized, for what the intended use ifs for (That way any movement can be planed out, once dried), for example, I usually cut body blanks to 2" thick x 15" wide x 24" long. Typical drying time is 6 - 8 months and I weigh and sticker it about every 2 weeks, till the weight has begun to remain the same, then check the moisture content. I just use a block of paraffin wax, to seal the ends (rub it in till it takes no more), unless it's dense, like walnut, then I use a few coats of polyurethane. The blocks of wax I use are 2'x4"x2", so they last awhile. If they get stacked with outer pieces, I use pine "furring" strips in between each piece
     
  3. Your lucky to have ANY climate controlled space outside of your house. I don't. and so far I've not had a problem. The blue mahoe I got was only "half dry" when I received it. Kept it off the floor, stickered with the weight of the rest of my stock on top and it hasn't moved more then a 1/16'' over the course of a year and a half. Here in Fl our humidity in the peak of the summer/wet season can reach 13-14%. Any wood(besides ply) I plan on working with during this season stays in my "music room". IME The thicker you keep it the stock the less chance it will warp. Also I've found that, in most cases, any warping in thick stock is slightly magnified when cut into smaller stock. If the wood is 10-12% mc and your storing it in climate control(6%), you shouldn't have to seal the ends.
     
  4. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    When buying dry stock I will cut the pieces to the best yield and let the pieces acclimate for three monthsish. As an example: A 4/4 piece of Ebony intended for fingerboards will be resawn down the middle and sit. After they have been in the shop for three months I will then take them through the planer and let sit for a couple more days to see if they move. If they do they go back to sit some more. If they don't they can be planed to thickness and go into use.

    For wet wood I like to know when it was cut. A good vendor will be able to tell you that. The guys at Tropical Hardwoods, Gilmer, or Cook will know that info. I will let those piece sit for 1 year per inch in the shop. As an example: I recently received some 60"x7" Ebony that I cannot wait to use - but I have to wait until at least next year. :(

    For storing the wood, I use the cheap Metro shelving that Lowe's sells. It allows air all around so the wood will acclimate evenly.
     
  5. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Pretty much great advice, all I can add is to use something that will not absorb too much humidity for your seperators, I use Jatoba for mine, 1/4" square and place every 3 to 9 inches across the width. Distance is determined by thickness of stock...no need for wavy wood. Make sure weight is consistent across the length of the stack, and keep at least 1 foot from the floor especially during summer, a rag on the floor will help too.
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    What is the rag on the floor for?
     
  7. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    I suppose if it was concrete: Keep the moisture off that part of the floor.
     
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Very close, the rag helps to control shaded moisture and mildew on the bottom boards which can be a problem in Florida, I had a shop in Venice in the late 80's and learned this the hard way.
     
  9. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Mildew disks work well too if in a small space
     

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