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Old 05-15-2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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Dry lumber from HomeDepot


Hello all!

I just visited my first HD and was really surprised to see all the lumber indoors. Yep, all clean and dry. yeccchhhhh!

IMHO lumber needs to be moist so that it doesn't split when you drive nails and screws into it. Furthermore, wet lumber will stay straight longer.

What your ideas on this?

- pete

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Old 05-15-2008, 05:04 PM   #2
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Dry lumber from HomeDepot


Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyPete View Post
Hello all!

I just visited my first HD and was really surprised to see all the lumber indoors. Yep, all clean and dry. yeccchhhhh!

IMHO lumber needs to be moist so that it doesn't split when you drive nails and screws into it. Furthermore, wet lumber will stay straight longer.

What your ideas on this?

- pete
You're joking, right?

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Old 05-15-2008, 05:24 PM   #3
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That's flawed theory! They kiln dry lumber to avoid all the problems with bending, checking, twisting, mold, etc. that you can get with lumber with higher moisture content. Wet lumber will not stay straight longer. KD untreated or KDAT treated lumber will stay much straighter. That is why it is specified on 90% of all commercial projects.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:14 PM   #4
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Lumber should have around 7% moisture to prevent splitting and warping.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:48 PM   #5
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When lumber is kiln-dried, it is brought to 19% moisture content or less.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
When lumber is kiln-dried, it is brought to 19% moisture content or less.
Actually, over 19% is S-Green, below 19% is S-Dry, and below 14% is KD (kiln dried).
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyPete View Post
I just visited my first HD ...lumber needs to be moist so that it doesn't split when you drive nails and screws into it...wet lumber will stay straight longer.

What your ideas on this?
I'd be shocked if you found any straight lumber at all at Home Depot
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MacRoadie View Post
Actually, over 19% is S-Green, below 19% is S-Dry, and below 14% is KD (kiln dried).
Check out this link. KD/KDAT lumber is not necessarily always 14%, it is just always 19% or lower.
http://www.softwood.org/Hem%20Fir%20...N/HemFir_2.htm

And from the WWPA's website...
"Framing lumber 2 inches and less (nominal size) in thickness can be shipped after seasoning to a moisture content of 19 percent or less, which is indicated by S-DRY, KD or KD-HT on the grade stamp. S-DRY can mean kiln dried or air seasoned, while KD and KD-HT specifically mean kiln dried." "In structural grades, "DRY" indicates a product was either kiln- or air-dried to a 19 percent or less moisture content level prior to surfacing."

Last edited by Termite; 05-15-2008 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:38 AM   #9
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I don't disagree that it's not always below 14%. The problem with WWPA is that their literature is a bit vague. Basically, they say that if lumber has been kiln or air dried to a moisture content below 19%, then it is considered "dry". There's no threshold for what "Kiln dried" is specifically (except that you can't stamp it KD if it didn't spend time in a kiln). In other words, you could, by WWPA criteria, acheive the same result (S-Dry) as kiln drying by simply leaving the lumber outside to dry (say in Phoenix for example).

Lumber that has been specifically dried in a kiln (as opposed to atmospheric treatment) for the purpose of dessication has a significantly lower moisture content, which is typically closer to the 14% I referenced earlier and is identified by the MC15 grade stamp. It's really the upper end of the acceptable range for moisture content many woodworking authorities cite as appropriate for casework etc. (I thinkl you'll see ranges from about 8% to 12 or 14% depending on the "authority").

The problem with just using the WWPA 19% threshold is that at 20% the lumber is considered wet by definition, but at 18% it's considered kiln dried, a difference you'd be hard pressed to measure even using a top of the line Delmhorst meter...you get the idea....

At any rate, the OP's idea that green lumber is a better framing material is so wrong I'm still not convinced he's not pulling our legs. Or he's never tried to shoot gun nails into green lumber or had to come back to straightedge walls twice or been backcharged for drywall cracks due to lumber shrinkage/compression.

Last edited by MacRoadie; 05-16-2008 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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We might be looking at different literature, but we fundamentally agree I'd say! As for the OP, we couldn't agree more if we tried!
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:40 AM   #11
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No joke, I don't like really dry lumber! And judging by what I saw at HD, Ill stick with my outdoor lumber yard.

Cracks in drywall? Do you use Durabond to bed your tape?

As for nail guns, its your call, I'm an electrician not a pro carpenter. (and I'm not trying to pretend to be one either )

hey, thanks for all the chatter, I'm learning a lot.


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Old 05-19-2008, 11:55 AM   #12
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Pete, most people in the know will disagree with you due to green lumber's performance characteristics. Once a house framed in green lumber is "dried-in," the bulk of the moisture is slowly expelled from the wood. This leads to dimensional changes, which lead to drywall/door/window issues. Not to mention the potential for mold growth is dramatically increased.

As for workability, I agree with you. It is less prone to splitting when being nailed into place. But, if I'm carrying a 16' 2x10 up a ladder, give me the dry stuff!!!

There's nothing illegal about using it in residential construction, but most builders won't use it. Nearly all commercial and multifamily projects' specifications specifically call for dried lumber. I was a lumber salesman (commercial const.) and buyer for years, and I couldn't hardly sell a stick of green lumber to anybody.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
I was a lumber salesman (commercial const.) and buyer for years, and I couldn't hardly sell a stick of green lumber to anybody.
Funny you should bring this up.I went from residential to multi family building.Then on to tilt up commercial. When I made the transition from residential to multi family construction I couldn't buy a board of kiln dried wood in 2x8 and higher.Made it tough for joisting floors/non-engineered roof systems.Way before Tj`s made their showing.Seemed like the wood came from setting ponds.Wet slippery and heavy.This went on for quite some time.Whats even funnier is I was in Oregon and Washington,go figure. (I/we) dealt with Parr Lumber,not a stick of non dripping wet wood to be found.I agree with OP in regards that wood should have a moisture content,but soaking wet wood is problematic.Maybe we (thekctermite/myself) should have met a number of years ago.Might have made it to retirement earlier............
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mark942 View Post
Funny you should bring this up.I went from residential to multi family building.Then on to tilt up commercial. When I made the transition from residential to multi family construction I couldn't buy a board of kiln dried wood in 2x8 and higher.Made it tough for joisting floors/non-engineered roof systems.Way before Tj`s made their showing.Seemed like the wood came from setting ponds.Wet slippery and heavy.This went on for quite some time.Whats even funnier is I was in Oregon and Washington,go figure. (I/we) dealt with Parr Lumber,not a stick of non dripping wet wood to be found.I agree with OP in regards that wood should have a moisture content,but soaking wet wood is problematic.Maybe we (thekctermite/myself) should have met a number of years ago.Might have made it to retirement earlier............
In my area (during my years as a lumberman in the late 90's), dried lumber comes in 2x4 and 2x6, and the bulk of everything else is green. Any 2x10/2x12 dried lumber around here was standard and better. I had to convince the owner of the yard I worked for to allow me to bring 2x10 and 2x12 #2 fir dry stock into inventory for my commercial jobs that required dry #2 for floor joists and header stock. I couldn't keep enough of it on the shelves, and I was buying semis and rail cars of it.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #15
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they use local/regional lumber distributors.

in my area HD lumber is nice and straight, undamaged.

Lowes lumber on the other hand is ALWAYS twisted and/or severely crowned, along with terrible cuts (almost all of there 2x4 shipments are from knotty sections of pine where strips several feet long will be MISSING from the 2x4 edges from large knots/rot that fell out during milling).

it is such a joke that i once needed a single 2x4 and happened to be there and literally unstacked half of their pallet (that was on the second level shelf, about chest height). i stacked it all along the wall.....about 30 sticks. One employee looked at me, but then just put his head down in embarrasment and kept walking. My plan was to say "wait, you mean you guys are really going to sell these, i was setting them aside for the scrap pile."

Anyway I know the local lumber distributer sales person for this region and they tell me which stores get the good wood!

And further, as any builder knows, you are supposed to account for shrinkage in your framing as it is normal and expected.

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I'd be shocked if you found any straight lumber at all at Home Depot

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