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Polymaker    15

Hi everyone, 

I mentioned in a few post on my build thread that I was moving to a new place, well that is mostly done by now. It's a really nice place, with an huge backyard, but most importantly, a reasonably large outside shed where I can establish a real workshop/workbench. Up until recently, I was working in my basement with horrible lighting and almost no storage. I had all of my tools and hardware lying on a drawing table that I used as a fortune workbench ...

Now back to the point of the topic, since my workshop is now 'outside' the house, I have a few apprehensions regarding the environment.

First off I live in Canada, so we have nice warm summers but also very cold winters. So I'm concerned about storing my wood in the shed. Do I have to worry about theses temperatures changes or should I be more concerned by the humidity level (or both)?

Also at the moment the doors on the shed have a large gap under them so little creepers can easily enter the shed. I do plan to put a 'thingy' under them to fix that gap. But this made me wonder if bugs can damage my wood and if I need to take preventive measures, because I'm most certainly sure that there is gaps and holes elsewhere where bugs can enter.

Here's what the shed looked like the day we got the home (now it is filled with boxes that need to be sorted :D)workshop.thumb.jpg.e18bb44a4cff842e1397e8705ac488dc.jpg

Edited by Polymaker

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ScottR    1,355

Look at all that virgin space.B-)

@Prostheta will be best suited to answer your temperature question, seeing as how he deals with constantly up there in Finland. 

Bugs can damage your wood, but are usually more of a problem with raw timber than well dried wood. I think normal anti-bug measures would suffice, nothing heroic should be required. If you sticker your wood so the air can circulate and don't have any issues with dampness you should be good. 

SR

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Polymaker    15
49 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Look at all that virgin space.B-)

Well now it is crowded with boxes and unsorted stuff until I get the time (and resolve) to put some shelves...:blink:

49 minutes ago, ScottR said:

I think normal anti-bug measures would suffice, nothing heroic should be required.

Would you have the kindness to enlighten me on what are some "normal anti-bug measures"? :D

I'm sure there is some obvious things but the only thing that comes to my mind is moth balls (I hope this is not only a french thing) and I think that it will not help at all with other bugs... 

Edited by Polymaker

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ScottR    1,355
33 minutes ago, Polymaker said:

Would you have the kindness to enlighten me on what are some "normal anti-bug measures"? :D

The one I use most often is stomping them when I see them.:P Moth balls, bug spray around the doors and floor edges and so forth would also be considered normal, type measures.

I live in Houston where it is warm and humid. I keep me building wood in the garage on shelves and I bugs have plenty of opportunity to get in. I actually even have a wood rack for logs of cooking and carving wood quite close to those shelves.The mesquite I bring in often has bugs happily chewing away under the bark and I recently discovered one of my ash carving logs has been riddled with bug holes. But so far, in the ten years this has been the setup, no bugs have gone from there into my good dried guitar wood stash. 

So apparently, stomping them when I see them is good enough.:D

SR

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Prostheta    1,254

Humidity is a function of temperature, so you'll have a broadly similar difficulty to what we have here. It helps a lot if there is some way to control the more extreme variations in cold and warmth. A thermometer and hygrometer help chart the relative moisture content of the air and what the wood should be at that combination. Some form of airflow is critical, but it doesn't need to be blasting it around. A shaded position also helps, as direct sunlight is undesirable. Seal the ends. Just the usual stuff really.

Is the building insulated? Running a small heater to keep the edge off the cold makes a world of difference. Generally you should be okay. You're keeping the rain and wind out, which is the biggest difference!

Sorry about the brief post. Got to run to work....

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Polymaker    15

I'm pretty sure the building is insulated in some form. It used to have a fireplace and still has the chimney but is currently sealed-off in the wall (approximately around where the cardboard box is on the picture).

I think I might grab a small gas fireplace at some point, but for now I will use a small electric heater. I planned to use it (during the winter) only when I was going to be working in the workshop, but from what you said should I run it periodically? I don't want to keep it running days and nights either for obvious reasons, but I think I could improvise a small device that could run it periodically like a controller for a swimming pool filter.

Also what is commonly used to seal wood board ends? Is it a wax of some kind? 

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Prostheta    1,254

Okay, so let's translate this through to what I would do if I had that sort of space.

With it being less temperature-controlled than the home (where guitars tend to live), I would only store wood that I'm bringing down from outdoor percentages (mid teens) rather than wood I was ready to use there and then. Standard drill applies; stack boards horizontally with stickers in between for airflow, ensuring that there's no sagging or unsupported boards if they're random thicknesses. Pretty standard stuff. Heat or dehumidification aren't always needed, but airflow is.

In all honesty, out of the elements is the biggest difference you can make. If the room gets condensation from the wood drying, a dehumidifier might then be an option. Depends on how the building breathes. Winter will be dry as anything, but a good time for wood to lose moisture.

Sealing the ends of boards can be done with almost anything that prevents moisture loss. Latex paint is the cheapest and quickest to acquire product I guess, however various wax emulsion products specific to drying wood are available. All they do is slow down moisture loss from the end grain, where water is lost quickest. Losing too much from the ends too quickly means the wood shrinks faster than the centre, producing big cracks. A bit of cheap household paint does wonders for reducing losses from green wood.

A lot of resources are available online on how to dry wood indoors, however they tend to gloss over the fact that not everybody has ideal circumstances. This covers most of the salient points:

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/drying-wood-at-home/

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Now, what would I do? I'd use the room to passively dry the wood, however I'd have a thermometer and hygrometer on the wall to chart how the environment is in there. A simple chart such as the one in this article:

https://blog.lostartpress.com/2016/09/29/drying-wood/

....will help you get an idea of where the wood will be adjusting at any given temp and humidity. It won't be a perfect calculation, but lets you know when things are on the "better side of okay". You can always rough cut pieces you want to use, and if you're unhappy with the weather (say, it's a crazy summer and the temp/humidity sends wood into high numbers such as 10-12%) you can take wood into the house and put it somewhere sane.

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