How Does the Winter Weather Affect Your Woodworking?

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Small wooden bird house with iron roof hanging in cherry tree - Image Depositphotos.com
Small wooden bird house with iron roof hanging in cherry tree - Image Depositphotos.com

There is no denying that it is cold outside at the moment. While most people hate the freezing weather, there are those who love this time of year because it means that the festive period is upon us and we can enjoy mulled wine, ice skating, and all of those other Christmassy activities. However, if you’re planning on doing some woodwork during the winter period, you may be wondering what this cold weather means for you. With that being said, let’s take a look at what Calderbrook Woodworking Machinery say about the ways in which the cold weather can impact your woodwork and some of the things you need to be mindful of. 

A lot of people overlook the impact that the weather can have on their woodwork project. After all, cold wood machines the same as warmer wood from a practical point of view. However, this is actually only the case if the moisture content and the humidity content are the same. Therefore, you can experience the same sort of woodworking conditions, if you make sure the environment is right so that the wood is not impacted. 

Glue

One of the big differences between warm and cold wood is that they glue quite differently to one and other. The main problem here is that when the adhesive comes into contact with the cold wood, it will cool at a quick rate, even if the adhesive itself is warm. This makes it become a lot thicker than it typically would, and so it does not flow very well, or spread out and fill all of the tiny little nooks and crannies. Furthermore, you may find that the chemical reactions and/or drying that are needed for curing the adhesive slow down or do not even happen at all. You need to make sure that the surfaces that are being glued and the adhesive being used are around 70 degrees. 

Finishing

You also need to think about the finishing process, as the temperature has a significant impact on this, from fish eyes to poor curing. The finish, air, and wood must all be at the right temperature, otherwise, you will find yourself running into a number of different problems. The low humidities in the plant that tend to come with the cold weather can also have an impact on finishing. It is factors like this that you are really going to need to think about when it comes to working throughout the cold months.

Humidity problems 

Last but not least, when the weather is cold outside, it pretty much always means that the humidity levels are going to be low in heated areas, including in your customer’s office or home, your manufacturing plant, and your wood storage area. As a consequence, the wood can start to dry out, and this is when shrinkage happens. If there is too much shrinkage, it can end up cracking in the finish or the wood. You may even notice that the wood starts to warp a bit as well, so this is something you will also need to manage during the winter.

Final words on doing woodwork during the winter period and the difference this makes 

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when it comes to doing your woodwork during the winter period. It is all about being prepared. If you follow the tips and suggestions that we have mentioned above, you can give yourself the best chance of making sure that your woodwork project is a big success, no matter the weather outside.