" " wisno wood furniture finishing: The risk of wet wood

Monday, January 24, 2011

The risk of wet wood

Wood is indeed a unique and interesting material. Wood is a natural raw material with properties that are ideal to make various household product. Wood is obtained from trees that are natural and friendly for human health and environment. But the fact, to handle the wood is also not so easy. To produce good wood products from wood, the wood are need to be processed properly.One of the most important thing is the moisture content of the wood. The wood are need to be dried until meet a certain standard before go to the woodworking process.
The ideal wood moisture content of wood is the moisture content in balance with air humidity at the place where wood products will be used. For example if we want to make furniture products that are going to be used in New York, then we should see the average humidity data in New York; it is averagely 56% to 72% (data is taken from City rating .com). From these data then we go to find data of the wood moisture content in accordance with the air humidity (see chart wood moisture content vs. air humidity). From this chart we find the ideal moisture content of wood is about 10% to 14%. So the standard moisture content of the wood that is used to make the furniture should be in range in between the 10% to 14%. 
 
The drying process of the wood may be considered as a difficult and costly  process but it is a  very critical thing in the woodworking industry. The wet wood is high risk to emerge many problem that may become very expensive to be fixed if it happened. 

Here are the problems that can occur due to the use of wet wood.
  •  Wood is cracked, warped, bent or other construction problems.
Wet wood will always release its water to balance its moisture content with the air humidity in the environment. When the timbers release the water, he will shrink and the depreciation of the wood is not balance in every side. The shrinkage is varying according to the grain direction and the density of the wood. If a product has been built, this phenomenon will create a serious problem since it will lead to construction problems like crack, warped, bent, changes shape, etc. 


the wood cracked caused from the wood movement
  • The fungi problem on wood.
The wet wood also has a high risk to get the problem with fungi. The wet wood could be an ideal medium for the growth of fungi. There are many fungi spore floating in the air, if it finds the suitable media he will grow in there. The fungi in the wood could be emerging in many models, depend on the species the wood and fungus.  The fungi may show as a dark or blue stain that will ruin the wood color or it can be appear as fungal plan grow in the wood.  Some fungi can even penetrate the layer of finishing and still appear even if the timber has been finished. 


 the fungi in the wood
  • The finishing problem.
The water in the wet timber will still try to exit from the wood. If we do finishing on the wet wood, the water vapor could be trapped in the finishing layer. The water in the finishing layer will make disrupt the appearance of the finishing. The water vapor could make a cloudy looked and reduce the clarity the finishing.  When the furniture is placed in the cold place, the water in the finishing layer could freeze and make a heavy cloudy looked in the finishing.
The water vapors in the finishing layer will also affect the strength of finishing because since it make the imperfect bonding in the finishing layer.
For finishing process that uses water-based finishing material, the problems caused by wet wood are more. The water in the wood will release and affect the water releasing from the finishing materials. It makes the drying process become longer and difficult and finally will make some more finishing problem.  

The problem caused by the wet wood is only can be solved by drying the wood until it meet the standard moisture content.  If the furniture is already built and finished it means that we have to wash the finish, let dry, fix the construction problem and refinish. It will be a high cost process, since the lost of materials, time and energy. Since that the uses or wet wood should be avoided in the furniture making. It is much better to wait until the wood is dry an stable when we start using it in the production process.

 

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