Wood Movement Master: Calculating Wood’s Wacky Wandering

Wood Movement Master: Calculating Wood’s Wacky Wandering

It’s not every day (only about every other one) that we hear from a woodworker who wonders what went wrong with a project in which the wood has cracked. The general, all-encompassing answer is that wood moves, expanding and contracting with changes in temperature and humidity. The specific answer, with precise calculations that’ll say how much the wood will move in a particular project, is what the Wood Movement Master aims to provide.

A CD of PC-based software (nada for Mac’s), the Wood Movement Master is … well, it’s kind of a wood calculator on steroids. Its calculations can tell you: the expected annual movement of a board’s width from narrowest to widest; the width to cut a piece so that it fits into a fixed opening without expanding or shrinking too much; and the width to cut a piece for breadboard ends to evenly balance maximum and minimum widths with the lengths year-round.

The information the Wood Movement Master uses to make these calculations includes data on over 500 species of wood and 91 different (U.S.) climate conditions; it also comes already set up to work with 24 popular moisture meters.

If you don’t have a moisture meter, though, the Wood Movement Master will still work: it’ll just determine your wood’s current moisture content through relative humidity. If you have a different moisture meter than the top 24, or if you are using a five-hundred-and-first wood or living in a climate outside those pre-programmed 91, you can input the new information yourself.

Then, once that info’s in, you can use the Wood Movement Master to do multiple calculations at once for a chest of drawers, for instance and you can do so with entries in fractions.

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