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Drying Lumber

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Blog entry by Clay Ortiz posted 09-19-2010 05:09 PM 1281 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to post how I dried my first batch of lumber. The material that I am building my bench out of was from this first batch. So far everything is working out fine with the workbench. I haven’t had too much movement or cracking. At this point I think I am safe on the bench because it’s not going into a conditioned space.

Here are some pictures of the wood I am drying. It is at 12% mc.

This is the way it has been sitting for a little over a year now.

This metal roofing came off an addition job that I did so it had some holes in it. Under the metal roofing I have a layer of felt to catch any drips that come through the holes. Under the felt I put some house wrap to protect the sides of the stack from direct sun and rain.

I put some plywood under that just to help shed water.

These two pictures show how I stack the slats to create a slope for the tin.

Here you can see two layers of walnut on top of what I have left of pecan. I put the stickers on top of where the joists are in my platform. They are on 16” centers.

I just used what I had to add weight and keep everything flat.

This is the reason I had to unstack all this material. This system worked but it sure is a pain if you only need one or two boards. I plan to refine the process a little the next time. I think I can pour some concrete on some plastic with a grid of rebar and create a couple of loops sticking out of the top. That way I can use it as the roof and weight at the same time. I can hook a chain to the loops and set it on and off with my skid steer.

I am pretty happy with the results and I am definitely going to try it again. I am currently building a pole barn and plan on designating one of the bays for my lumber stash.

One of my neighbors told me about another neighbor that has an old portable saw mill with a VW engine on it. He said it is just sitting out in a field all covered with blackberry bushes. Maybe he’ll let it go cheap. How cool would that be?

Let me know what you think and thanks for looking.

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia



3 comments so far

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1971 posts in 2208 days


#1 posted 09-19-2010 06:20 PM

Really cool.
I’ve made some concrete slabs for portable steps, barrel stands, etc. I ran the rebar loop out the side but for this application I think the top would be the best.
The concrete could cause some condensation when it stays cool and warm air washed over it but I don’t think it would be enough to be a problem. Especially if you have a way to divert rain water below the concrete anyway. The barn bay would solve most of your rain issues anyway. I’ve got cinder blocks stacked all over a pile and it is a real pain to get a couple boards. They have been up a year or two now. May just add them to the dry pile and call it good.
Best of luck, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1624 days


#2 posted 09-19-2010 08:02 PM

What if you just built a shed roof with the tin and stack the wood under that? Would that work, or is it your climate that determines the way you dry the wood?

I just waxed the ends of some mahogany and stacked it on a shelf in my garage. It’s been there about 18 months. Not sure how ‘dry’ it is, but it’s really dry in Colorado, so I think it’s about finished.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Clay Ortiz's profile

Clay Ortiz

83 posts in 1811 days


#3 posted 09-20-2010 02:31 AM

I thought about a shed but to be able to stack some weight on top you would have to set the roof about three or four feet from the top of the stack. Then, if you did that rain could blow in so you would have to build walls. Everything that I have read on the subject says that you need the air to circulate freely around the wood. So I took it that if you put it inside a shed with walls it wouldn’t dry as well.

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

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