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Re: Kiln Dry Lumber - Splits and Checks

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----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Turk <73527.1356(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 1999 12:08 PM
Subject: Re: double sided shear walls

I was not correcting the terminology, but trying to point out the difference
in the "opening" that you were trying to describe. A split goes all the way
through the post.  A seasoning check is only an opening in the wood that
does not go through the post. The structural capacity of the post is
effected more by a split. Seasoning checks have very little or no effect on
the strength.

Correct use of terminology is of major importance in engineering. It is fine
to use common words as you suggested for the "non-technical public", but I
think that on this list serve we should use the proper technical terms. For
example, I recall the recent thread about "dry rot". From the comments, it
was apparent that some commenters are not knowledgeable about decay. "Dry
rot" is a misnomer. Rot does not occur when the wood is dry (less than 19%
moisture content).

A. Roger Turk wrote:

> Thank you for correcting my terminology.  However, to the non-technical
> public who can visualize a "split" but thinks a "check" is something you
> write or a mark that you make, I think that describing what will happen as
> split is much better than saying "it will check."
> BTW, I also call soil, dirt!
> A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
> Tucson, Arizona
> Bruce Pooley wrote:
> . > Comment from Bruce Pooley: I believe that the post will have 3/4 inch
> . > "checks", not splits. Splits are defined in the grading rules as a
> . > separation of the wood through the piece to the opposite surface, or
to an
> . > adjoining surface, due to the tearing apart of the wood cells. Checks
> . > defined as a separation of the wood normally occurring across or
> . > the ring of annual growth and usually as a result of seasoning. Most
> . > the posts that I have seen exhibit "seasoning checks" and not splits.