American Woodworker

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Using Wet Wood


Q. I'm building outdoor furniture from rough cedar. When I cut the wood, it's soaking wet on the inside. Should I use polyurethane glue since it's a moisture-cure glue?

Not when the wood is that wet. Polyurethane glue uses moisture to cure, but too much moisture will cause the glue to cure before it gets a chance to soak into the wood fibers and create a bond.  You need to get the moisture content (MC) near the surface of the wood down to 10 to 25 percent before you use polyurethane glue (6 to 15 percent if you use a water-based Type II or Type III glue). Rough cedar from the lumberyard is often very wet, but it loses that water rapidly. The best thing to do is cut your lumber into rough sizes and then stack the wood indoors with stickers between each board so all four surfaces of each board are exposed to the air. Cedar dries rapidly; leave it for a week or two and you should be good to glue.



Howard Van Huis wrote re: Using Wet Wood
on 04-29-2009 11:17 AM

I would let the wood set untill it is 15% before glueing. moisten one part of are to be glued on the second board, or part, put the glue. I believe the bond is beter if the wood is dry and the surface of the glue area moistened.

Steven Turner wrote re: Using Wet Wood
on 06-14-2009 8:44 PM

Was the Cedar green or just wet from rain. If it was Yellow Old growth it really holds the water