What to Expect When Using Softwood Timbers

Go green for your next outdoor DIY project and consider using unseasoned timber.
Unseasoned timber, or green timber, has not yet dried thoroughly enough to be considered seasoned.  The moisture content of unseasoned timber can range from as low as 25% to as high as 100%. 

Whereas the moisture content for seasoned timber, particularly for South-East Queensland, ranges from 10% to 15%.

It is important to understand how the moisture content of timber affects the outcome of your project.

How Moisture Affects Timber

Green timber will continue to expand and contract with slight changes in moisture content.

You have experienced this phenomenon during humid summer months when you try to open or close a timber door but the door jams.  The door’s timber has expanded, having absorbed some moisture from the air, and the door no longer fits neatly into its frame.

Different species contain different moisture contents when green.  For example, Red Ironbark has a moisture content of 27% when green compared to Manna Gum which has a moisture content of 100% when green.

Australia’s Timber Plantations

The flexibility of unseasoned timber depends on its structure, and whether water can move freely within the timber.  More saturated green timber species are more difficult to dry completely and may still expand or contract slightly even once seasoned.

When NOT to Use Unseasoned Timber

DIY projects that do not allow for movement, such as furniture or flooring, are not ideal uses of unseasoned timber.

Furniture might become wobbly if the timber dries and contracts.  Flooring might become warped if timber absorbs moisture and expands.

Predicting the movement of green timber can be difficult.  However, unseasoned timber has a variety of outdoor uses that not only exemplify the timber’s qualities but also interact naturally with the surrounding environment.

When to Use Unseasoned Timber

On a grand scale, unseasoned timber is a great material to use for building frames.

Strong, green timber provides a solid frame.  Yet the ability of the frame to expand and contract allows the building to settle onto its own weight and settle into environmental conditions without loss of integrity.

Unseasoned timber is an excellent choice for sleepers, such as for a kids’ sandbox or a garden plot.

Green timber has not encountered any chemicals, it provides a safe sleeper for close interaction with your family and your food.

Unseasoned timber’s flexibility will adapt as the ground surrounding it morphs with the seasonal weather, keeping a solid sleeper intact.

Contact Narangba Timbers so we can help you to select the perfect unseasoned timber for your next DIY project!

Posted in Jack's Blog, Timber Suppliers Brisbane