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Thread: Controlling humidity in shop/ wood shrinkage

  1. #1
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    Controlling humidity in shop/ wood shrinkage

    What do you guys do to keep the humidity down in the shop during the summer. I seem to have all kinds of problems with things shrinking when I build during the summer. All of my wood is air dried, usually for a few years before I use it. If I build during the winter I usually don't have any problems with shrinkage when I take whatever it is into the house. I would like to try to keep the doors shut in the shop and run a dehumidifier, but that may get expensive. Would it be better if I kiln dried the wood instead?

  2. #2
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    My shop is in the basement. I have to run a dehumidifier in the summer in July and August to keep my tools from getting a rust sheen. I keep the humidity at 50%. Adds about $40.00 a month to my bill.
    Some of my wood is kiln dried but most of it is air dried. Others know much more that I do but I don't think there is much difference between the two in regards to shrinking or expanding.
    I made a tall pine chest for my daughter last year in the summer and you can see the difference in the seasons of the year by the way the top fits in the breadboard edges. In the winter they are about 1/8-3/16" longer than the top and in the summer they are equal length.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    humidity...
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    humidity...
    What he said!
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  5. #5
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    Window AC--reasonable humidity and comfortable!!!
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    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jones View Post
    Window AC--reasonable humidity and comfortable!!!
    Thats not a bad idea. I did have one of those and ran it when it was really hot. The space is 20x40 approx so I would need a big one, Or maybe 2. The one that I had was yanked out of the window from ice and snow sliding off the metal roof, so it went in the trash.

  7. #7
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    I have an AC unit that runs 24/7 or I'd have rust down there in the Dungeon, even in the winter. In the Dungeon Annex, I have a small dehumidifier that is hooked up by a hose to the drain, it also goes 24/7 and does a good job, but that space is not opened up very often, so it stays fairly consistent.

    If it gets really dry in the winter, you might want to put a humidifier in as well, just to equal things out, otherwise, I guess you have to plan on stuff moving and shrinking and build accordingly........ maybe plywood can be your friend

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I guess you have to plan on stuff moving and shrinking and build accordingly........ maybe plywood can be your friend

    Cheers!
    The problem with that is its really humid here in the summer, Like today its over %80 so my main problem is taking it into the house, it shrinks like crazy then stays there. When I build stuff in the winter when the heat is on in the shop things don't really move when I take it in the house. I guess I could only work in the winter, but that does put a cramp on my style.

  9. #9
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    Try the dehumidifier. Besides normal seasonal changes, I don't find any extreme changes in the wood.
    We are not usually quite as humid up here as you are but still have the problem.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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