How to Work with Green Wood

Overview

Most woodworkers prefer to work with seasoned or kiln-dried wood rather than working with fresh, green wood. Green wood is filled with water, which makes it difficult to cut; the soft, water-filled cells of the wood tend to bind saw blades. Also, green wood eventually dries, and when it does it shrinks and often changes shape. Because of this anything built with green wood must take the future shrinkage of the wood into consideration at the time of construction. But even when the shrinkage is taken into consideration there is the potential problem of warping as lumber dries, making house framing, for instance, somewhat tricky when using green wood. On the plus side, if you are shaping wood for a boat or for a rocking chair or some other project which requires a bent shape to your wood, then working with green wood and drying it in the shape desired can be the best way to go.

Step 1

Replace your saw blades with the widest-toothed blades you can find, three to four teeth per inch maximum for all power blades. If blade teeth are closer together the blade will not be able to discharge the wet sawdust fast enough and the blade will quickly bind or friction will create enough heat to damage the blade.

Step 2

Feed green lumber into a saw slowly. Never force or shove green wood through a fast-moving blade. The blade needs sufficient time to get rid of the wet sawdust and this can only be achieved if the wood is allowed to feed itself through the blade.

Step 3

Apply green wood sealer (available at most large hardware or home improvement centers) to your green wood after cutting, especially to the end grain. This will slow down the drying of the wood and help prevent cracking and warping.

Step 4

Store green wood in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Spray the wood with water occasionally to slow down the drying process or the wood may crack, split or warp. Do not cover the wood with plastic, as this only encourages the growth of mold and fungus.

Things You'll Need

  • Green lumber
  • Wide-toothed saw
  • Three- or four-tooth skip-tooth band saw blade
  • Green wood sealer

References

  • How to turn green wood on a lathe
Keywords: green wood, cutting wood, woodwork, sawing green wood

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Work with Green Wood