Design Solutions - Winter 2018 - 50

Courtesy
American
Woodworker
June 2002,
issue #94.

What about the floor?
Is a wet floor polisher used
nightly on a stone or concrete
floor? Those cool, damp
surfaces too near the wood
may contribute to the bottom
end of wood features being
pushed out of shape. Perhaps
the wood panels are installed
at the top of an atrium. Heat
and moist air rises so the
temperature may be dozens
of degrees warmer where the
wood panels are installed at
the top of a six-story glass
atrium.
Add sunlight and a fourday holiday weekend without
the air condtioner running
and you can expect to see
a pile of delaminated edge
banding laying on the atrium
floor below as the adhesive
on the edge banding on
the panel edges could be
reactivated between 113°126°.

50

I

designsolutions winter 2018

Here's how it is measured.
A board foot is a piece of
lumber that is 1" thick, 12"
wide and 12" long. When
exposed to moisture over
55%, you can expect Red Oak
to increase in width to 12
-7/64", that's fairly close to
1/8". When the environment's
moisture is reduced to below
25% it can shrink down to
11-57/64". On the other end
of the spectrum, American
Beech's dimensional stability
factor is 14/64" and Hard
Maple is 12/64". Do the
math! Increase the moisture
beyond 55% and add a 25"
wide solid Maple countertop,
and you can expect swelling
of about 3/8" or more to that
countertop's width.

UNIQUE SPECIES
PROPERTIES

VERIFY, DOCUMENT,
PROCEED

Often overlooked is the
dimensional stability factor
of the selected wood specie
itself. Taking a minute to see
what the species dimensional
stability factor is before
designing woodwork or
preparing shop drawings
shows you how to anticipate
wood movement and how
to accommodate it with
expansion joints. Wood
panels would be designed
to be held loosely so they
could "float" within the rigid
structure of the frame.
The Architectural
Woodwork Standards, Second
Edition (AWS-2) helps you
with this by listing these in the
right-hand column on page
48 in Section 3, Lumber.
Red Oak is listed as 7/64ths
while Beech is 14/64ths. What
does this mean? This relays
how much a specific specie
of lumber can be expected
to shrink or swell when it is
exposed to moisture outside
the recommended range of
25-55%.

Unless a wood piece is
going to be steam bent for
some decorative purpose,
the lumber used in fine
architectural woodwork is
purchased kiln dried, never
"green." Modern lumber is
kiln dried to the optimal range
of 6-10%. Upon arrival at the
woodwork company, a moisture
meter is inserted into several
pieces of the load to ascertain

if it falls within this acceptable
limit. This information is
recorded at the plant.
Loads that do not, are
sent back. When kept
in reasonable indoor
conditions, the lumber will
remain relatively stable
during fabrication and in
use. Prudent woodwork
companies also test the
moisture of the lumber
before fabricating and during
production, documenting
the results along the way.
Woodwork manufacturing
companies can take steps
to mitigate swings in relative
humidity to keep the wood
stable during fabrication of
custom woodwork.
Prior to delivery of
architectural woodwork,
the relative humidity of the
building's interior will be
recorded, particularly in the
rooms or areas where the
woodwork is to be installed.
If the relative humidity
falls outside the required
tolerances, the general
contractor will be notified and
suggestions for getting the
relative humidity under control
will be discussed as well as
plans for onsite storage while
it waits for installation.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Design Solutions - Winter 2018

Contents
Design Solutions - Winter 2018 - Cover1
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