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How dry it is!

By Roger Bayne 7 months agoNo Comments
Home  /  Wood Projects  /  How dry it is!

Strange question to ask at the opening of a blog post, but here goes.

How do your hands and lips feel today? Are they starting to dry and crack? Do your hands feel more slick or more slippery than normal when picking up items?

I ask these questions because when I am working in the shop, the wood that I handle seems slick when I grab it. It’s not the wood that is slick, it’s my hands that are dry.

Well, if my the skin hands are dry which are porous then what do you think is happening to the quality wood furniture in your home?

While trees are growing, water/moisture is moving inside the tree to keep it healthy. But when we cut down that tree and mill it to wood/lumber, while it is no longer alive and growing, it still accumulates moisture during humid times and releases that moisture during dry times. 

Better said, weather changes and humidity levels affect not only us, but our furniture as well. It swells in the summer and shrinks in the winter when you turn the heat on.

So if you treat your body for dry air, you need to pay attention to your furniture as well. When your hands start to crack, your furniture could very well do the same.

Let’s list some easy rules to follow.

A few good sites to look at are:

  • Keep solid wood furniture in a temperature-controlled environment, with the relative humidity at 35 percent to 45 percent.
  • We recommend the use of air conditioning as well as investing in a humidifier or dehumidifier to help manage the humidity in your region.
  • Do not place solid wood furniture directly in front of windows, heat or air conditioning vents, radiators or fireplaces.
  • Do not expose solid wood furniture to continuous direct sunlight.
  • Store table leaves as close to the table as possible, so the leaves adjust to the same relative humidity as the table.
  • Invest in a hygrometer to measure the humidity level in your home.

I have added 2 humidifiers and a water distiller to my home that I use throughout the colder months of the year here in Middle Tennessee.

Distiller – Megahome Water Distiller, White Enamel, BPA-free Plastic Collection –  

Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier for Bedroom (6L) – Filterless, Quiet, Ultrasonic – Large Room Home Air Vaporizer with Diffuser and Essential —

Something else I would recommend is the use of a wood wax or furniture polish on your furniture. Just like adding hand creams for dryness to protect your hands, these products add moisture and protection to your wood.

Never use all-purpose cleaning sprays on your wood furniture as some contain bleach, alcohol or other chemicals that can stain or strip wood. Despite being sold as a furniture polish, you should also avoid using Pledge on your wood, as it builds up waxy layers of silicone that may hide imperfections but not actually help treat the wood in any way.

Use a soft, damp cloth to clean off dust from your wood furniture. Most wood furniture abides by this rule. Special finishes like lacquered wood do not need to be wiped dry afterwards, but hand-carved or wood furniture should be wiped down with a dry, soft cloth after exposure to any moisture.

The product that I recommend is from Walrus Oil

While we as makers of furniture want to think we create products that will last through years and decades without any issues, we cannot control the affects of nature and temperature changes. These are just some ways that I protect my furniture.

Just some thoughts from someone who sees the affects moisture and dryness in wood and my family every day.

  Wood Projects
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 Roger Bayne

  (52 articles)

Husband, father and grandfather - Roger has been developing his woodworking skills for over 30 years. He enjoys the challenge of recycling trees into furniture and toys.

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