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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Default Wood Movement & Finish

Well, once again I must turn to my friends in Router Form to help ease my mind or give me advice on what to do. I have build a small box (see picture below) to hold K-Cups. It is mitered case construction glued together with Tite Bond Extend Wood glue. I live in Peoria (Phoenix) AZ and I am giving this to my Aunt who lives in San Francisco, CA. The case is solid maple with cherry trim and drawer fronts. I have finished it with Watco Cherry and natural Danish oil. Question, will wood movement be a concern in a Bay Area Climate that is more moist the Arizona? Should I not only put Watco oil on the outside but also in the interior? Would adding a coat of Minwax Wipe-on Poly help or any other finish on top of the oil? I have not added any finish to the drawers; should I?

Thanks for any advice.

PS It is already 80 degree here in my shop!
PSS The back of the box is 3/4 inch birch plywood because I was concerned a solid maple back might expand and push the joints apart.
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Last edited by Seldonman; 02-10-2015 at 07:23 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 08:12 PM
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The truth is that none of those finishes offer much protection against humidity. Even the wipe on poly wont prevent wood movement but it may slow it down a bit.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Chuck for the information. I was kinda thinking the same thing myself, that is, it won't stop it, just retard it somewhat. My nightmare situation is I give it to my Aunt and the next day it falls apart like a house in a Popeye cartoon!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 05:48 AM
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Hi Jim, you didn't give the dimensions of the box, but I am guessing it is fairly small. Since the top and sides are oriented the same way any movement would not matter. Not sure what the bottom is made of. If it is 1/4" plywood that is floating - there won't be any problems. If the bottom is 1/4" plywood and glued in then you might have problems with the sides expanding from front to back the sides can't expand. If the bottom is like the sides, then there won't be a problem. I would not be concerned about the back. If there is movement with the top and sides it will be from front to back so 1/4" ply for back would do. Regardless of the humidity I wouldn't be concern about it falling apart.

I too make boxes. I generally finish the inside with shellac just to seal it. I don't put oil finishes on the inside because of the smell lingers. I hope this helps. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kentucky for putting my mind at ease. The dimensions are approx. 8.5" wide x 8.5" deep by 9.5" high. The top, bottom and sides are solid maple with the back being 3/4 ply.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seldonman View Post
Well, once again I must turn to my friends in Router Form to help ease my mind or give me advice on what to do. I have build a small box (see picture below) to hold K-Cups. It is mitered case construction glued together with Tite Bond Extend Wood glue. I live in Peoria (Phoenix) AZ and I am giving this to my Aunt who lives in San Francisco, CA. The case is solid maple with cherry trim and drawer fronts. I have finished it with Watco Cherry and natural Danish oil. Question, will wood movement be a concern in a Bay Area Climate that is more moist the Arizona? Should I not only put Watco oil on the outside but also in the interior? Would adding a coat of Minwax Wipe-on Poly help or any other finish on top of the oil? I have not added any finish to the drawers; should I?

Thanks for any advice.

PS It is already 80 degree here in my shop!
PSS The back of the box is 3/4 inch birch plywood because I was concerned a solid maple back might expand and push the joints apart.

Jim,
Your box is small enough that I wouldn't worry about dimensional changes becoming too much of a problem. I expect the worst that might happen is that the drawers could stick. If you've allowed for that, I think you're golden.

No finish will completely stop moisture exchange between the wood and ambient air. The gross changes when moving to a different climate, or even the seasonal changes some areas of the country experience, are going to occur regardless of finish. A film-forming finish will retard the exchange of moisture from the surface to the air enough so that moisture can move THROUGH the wood as fast as it is absorbing or releasing at the surface. Thus you hope to maintain equilibrium within the board and avoid warping or cupping from a large moisture differential within it.

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” - Mark Twain
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 09:05 PM
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Jim, that is a beautiful K-cup holder. The maple/cherry contrast is striking and the cherry grain is awesome. Nice job.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 02:34 PM
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Hi, Jim.

Your aunt will be proud of that wooden box.

We, woodworkers are everywhere!!!
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