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Author Topic: Delays between cutting green timber joinery and raising finished frame?  (Read 592 times)

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Offline ziggy

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Hi all. I'm about to ask a question I think I may already know the answer to, but I have to ask anyway...

I'm potentially planning to cut a small timber frame this summer. I would use some combination of green white oak and green yellow poplar. There's a chance I may not get around to assembling and raising it once it's been completely cut.

What are the downfalls of waiting a significant stretch of time (say, 6 months) between cutting the joinery and then actually raising the frame? I realize the wood will move... potentially quite a bit during that wait.

I just want to know just how bad of an idea it really is. Perhaps there is some reasonable window, but beyond that is unadvisable?

Just curious, since I've always put everything up immediately after it's been cut.

Thanks in advance for your input!

Offline jimdad07

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With the high moisture content of white oak I would worry about twisting, warping and shrinkage.  Any way you could mill your timbers over sized and cut the joinery when you get closer to putting it up?  I'm into the same issue as you are with my build but that's a big reason I went with white pine, lower moisture content and more stable.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Cutting even partially dried white oak is going to be much harder. I would cut the frame and make sure it's well protected from direct sunlight and also limit heavy airflow to prevent fast drying. The most trouble I have had with white oak was with log joists sawn just on the top. A couple of them split through the peg hole in the tenon. You may have to adjust some parts, or at the worst, replace a part or two, but that is going to be less aggravation than storing timbers and re-sawing later, and having to work partially dried timbers on top of that.
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Offline Roger Nair

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I would add to the above, coat exposed end grain with a wax emulsion, such as Anchor Seal.  In my experience yellow poplar is very rapid drying and can create deep checks, so the sunlight caution is most appropriate for YP.  Generally I expect YP to twist while drying, so try to keep critical pieces in oak.
An optimist believes this is the best of all possible worlds, the pessimist fears that the optimist is correct.--James Branch Cabell

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