Wood Movement

While experimenting, lets just say I left my sample pieces of oak in the water for way longer than I should have, as in weeks. My experiment was to see if my vacuum chamber would hold a vacuum and if so for how long. Experiment was a success, but I also found some very interesting other results.

Please consider this an outside and extreme case of moisture in wood. This was sitting in water for week with in a vacuum chamber that is designed to suck all the air out of the wood and replace it with liquid.

Oak swelled from extreme moisture.
Oak swelled from extreme moisture.

In the above picture, the center piece is 3/4″ wide and 7/16″ high, while I didn’t measure the outer two pieces, the amount of swelling is quite substantial.

Oak skewed from extreme moisture.
Oak skewed from extreme moisture.

If you look at the above picture not only can you see the swelling, but its not uniform. The other two pieces of wood have become skewed, no that’s not the camera lens. Both pieces are rift sawn, and the most movement was across the growth ring. I’ve heard this was a problem, and even minimized it in many projects. I just found this an extreme case and thought I would share.

Its fun to have interesting side affects when doing experiments, thankfully this didn’t happen in a real project.

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