post #31 of 31
Originally Posted by tweakz View Post


The problem with wood grown on hills is that it can be denser on one side than the other. When the wood gets wet or goes through temperature changes; it causes more warping and stress (at least from what I've read from board makers and if I'm describing it right). If you want harder or denser wood; just use another tree variety?.


Assuming the wood is of the same species and there is reasonable care in the control of moisture content after the tree is harvested, then the differences of density of wood is generally a product of the density of the tree ring growth pattern.  Yes, a tree growing on a hillside can have a different growth pattern from the downhill side of the tree to the uphill side, but I'm not all that sure as to how hilly Michigan is.  However, the weather patterns in Michigan involve very cold and prolonged winters, and that is a detrimental factor in idealized tree ring growth patterns (from the viewpoint of growing trees quickly).  For that reason, such "distressed" wood would have tight grain patterns and would be harder than wood from the same species from more moderate climates.  That's a reason that northern-grown maple is much preferred over southern-grown maple for cutting boards.


Properly dried wood generally doesn't go through that much change in dimensions during temperature changes unless it has inadvertently soaked up unintended water.  That's why there are such procedures as air drying under shelter, visual inspection and moisture meters.


For warping and splitting after the board is made (provided it was properly manufactured in the first place, with quality control and proper selection), then that's why cutting boards and chopping blocks have treatment from mineral oil and proprietary formula treatments.  It's to place such mineral oil in the capillaries of the wood so as to prevent undesired water moisture from entering the capillaries.


As for just buying a board made from another tree variety, you're just going to face the same issues about individual tree growth.



Galley Swiller