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Thread: Can plywood or lumber get too dry in storage? How to store?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Niagara, ONT Canada
    Posts
    426

    Question Can plywood or lumber get too dry in storage? How to store?

    Hi folks,

    Have heard in the past that wood can get too dry to build with, losing all it's spring and snapping when you try to bend it. Does this also apply to plywoods? Not sure if all the kiln drying and heat pressing in the gluing gets them drier than normal lumber as supplied or not.

    Anyway, so here's the situation, received intel that a somewhat local supplier is selling AB "exterior" ply, stamped with DFP and BS1088. I believe there is 1/2" at least, not sure about other sizes. Pretty sure a Home Depot would be selling this as "marine" grade, for a hundred a sheet, but it's priced $5 or so more than most generic exterior ply, so still about a third of marine ply price. So the real question is, if I lay in a "stock" of a few sheets of this, will it still be as good as it is now (I know, fake and seconds around) some few years in the future if it sits in the rafters of my detached garage for a while. Garage is not super well ventilated, but you'd call it drafty in winter, so cold as hell then, and hot as hell in summer. Humidity would be close to "ambient" I think, up to 100% summer, 0% winter, but relative may be lower when it's sunny hot and it's 40C in there and 30 outside. I see boatshops on youtube just seeming to have dry attics for wood storage, so is that ideal or just what they got?

    I've seen a pic of the stuff looking all beautiful and tiger stripey, and the stamp, but haven't checked it out in person yet, could be a thin face veneer mulch core disappointment. If it turns out to be good stuff though and with a variety of thicknesses available cheap, it will be tempting to so something quick and dirty with this, tightbond II and porch paint.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: Can plywood or lumber get too dry in storage? How to store?

    At that price I'd think it'd be worth grabbing a few sheets even if it's just for forms and patterns! But check it out first! After reading John Harris' article on ply I'm very leery of what I see advertised.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    45,884

    Default Re: Can plywood or lumber get too dry in storage? How to store?

    I cannot see it deteriorating. If you are worried move it to the build workshop a couple of weeks before you cut into it so that it can stabilise to the humidity of your build space.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Can plywood or lumber get too dry in storage? How to store?

    I doubt ply can be "too dry" but you could contact the APA (American Ply Assoc) and ask them. That will eliminate bogus hearsay info. For $5 a sheet you don't have much to lose anyway. Ply can warp so precautions are a good thing. I air dried 3/4" pressure treated ply sheets by placing on my flat shop floor with old car batteries to weigh it down. It sat over a yr and came out perfectly straight.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Niagara, ONT Canada
    Posts
    426

    Default Re: Can plywood or lumber get too dry in storage? How to store?

    Heh, wish it was $5 a sheet. It is $5 a sheet more than typical price for "mystery wood" SPF* BC exterior ply. So about $35 for the 1/2" instead of 30ish (CAN), but still way cheaper than any variety of marine while still appearing to meet same standard.

    *Stores here are getting "inventive" with the SFP/SPF initials, officially it should be Spruce Pine Fir right? I've been seeing crap like Sanded Fir Plywood, Standard Fir Plywood, Softwood Fir ply, Spruce Plywood Fine ... Not sure if it's deliberate to muddy waters on substandard stuff or just general stupidity.

    At $5 a sheet I probably would have missed it by now and they'd be like this in the parking lot...
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    56,382

    Default Re: Can plywood or lumber get too dry in storage? How to store?

    No issues. My family was in the plywood business for years. The veneer for plywood is cooked all to heck before being assembled into sheets then cooked again in a hot press. Nothing your garage throws at it will dry it out further.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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