View Full Version : Dress in green?

9th October 2013, 11:09 AM
Hi everyone!

New to the forum,

I have a large amount of exterior cladding to do (1000 odd Lm) I've ordered green hardwood fence palings that I plan to dress and dry or dry and dress before use. What would the fine people of the forum recommend?

the finish doesn't have to be perfect

I'm worried the slight cupping involved in the drying process will make it difficult to plain or thickness

I'm also worried the hours I put into dressing will be undone by the air drying

any tips or trick would be appreciated

also what effect does green timber have on blades and tools?


10th October 2013, 10:58 AM
Green wood tends to clog up a power planer. I have had that happen with a hand power plane. I would not even try wet wood in the thicknesser. That said pailings will not take more than a couple of months to dry. Stack them on a flat surface so that airflow gets between the boards. In fact use some as stickers(spacers) between the layers. A bit of weight on top like blocks,bricks or something. There have been plenty of threads on here on drying wood. If you pay attention to the stack and keep everything nice and flat then cupping and twisting will be much reduced.
Be aware that when dry they will be harder to nail and may split so you may need to pre drill.

10th October 2013, 07:01 PM

Besides clogging of the tools does the natural drying of dressed timber distroy the finish and if so would an oil or water based finish help prevent the cracking of timber as it dries?

Thanks again

11th October 2013, 08:43 AM
You could seal the cut ends with old paint, end grain sealer or wood glue to prevent checking and that is usually done when drying timber. Leave the rest bare to allow it to dry. Read up on drying timber. I am sure Google will have plenty as well as past posts on here. My comment on splitting was in relation to nailing the harder dry wood.

18th October 2013, 04:38 PM
Good Morning Ryan

I pretty much agree with John.

Green timber is a bugger to plane - cutter clog up, extractors do not work well and sticky, corrosive sap goes everywhere. Secondly, it does not stay palned - many timbers surface check as they dry.

Timber can twist and/or cup as it dries but, as John says, good technique can minimise these issues. It also depends on the quality of the timber, and palings are unlikely to be very high quality. Also, splitting when nailing can be an issue - you may have to pre-drill.

Do you know what species of timber you will use? My guess is that it might be the components of Vic Ash - alpine ash or mountain ash - E delagensis or E regnans - or some other common eucalypt of lower value such as shining gum - E nitens.

Also, what are you planning to clad? How important is the finish? Could you clad the structure with green timber? Planed or unplaned? My shed was clad with green with macrocarpa (softwood) planks 20+ years ago and is still very sound. Most houses built before the 1970's were framed with green eucalypt, and they are still sound.

Fair Winds