Drying un-sawn wood for natural looking items

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Blog entry by VMC2008 posted 07-01-2012 05:16 PM 1307 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all, I’m new to this website but I have some questions and this site seems to be the best place for advice.

My wife and I live in near Pittsburgh, PA (gives you an area of how the climate changes go from season to season) and recently had a walnut tree cut down on our property. The logs we had cut into various lengths and widths ranging from 2 FT long to 9 FT long and 2 IN diameter up to 18 IN diameter. My wife wants to use the logs in their natural state (NOT SAWN FOR PLANKING) to make various wood carvings, furniture, etc. for our home. We are wondering what the best type of dehumidifier for this type of drying process would be? Right now, we made a steel rack that is keeping the logs off the ground and “organized” in our garage. A fan is also in the garage to circulate the air and we are starting to price up dehumidifiers now. I don’t know if the ones sold in Home Depot / Lowe’s would be “okay” for this type of process and we are well aware that the “1 year per inch thickness” for drying formula.

Any advice with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

3 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2242 days

#1 posted 07-01-2012 06:01 PM


Welcome to LumberJocks , a world of advise, opinions, and experiences, all shared without judgement.

I’m not a real carver, nor a real carver’s son, but I can carve and whittle till a real carver comes. ;-)

...and there will be real carvers stopping by here shortly to address your needs.

Click on the “WATCH” button at the top right of your post and you will receive e-mail notifications as the real information is posted, or just frequently stop back here to read their posts.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3054 days

#2 posted 07-02-2012 01:29 PM

You did not mention whether you had sealed the ends of the logs yet or not, regular paraffin wax melted in
a double boiler will do it, or there are commercial sealers available, just google sealing logs for drying and you
will find a lot of information. Peeling the bark off will help the log dry a lot faster, since the bark is natures
way of keeping the moisture in the tree, just google how to peel bark from a tree to get more information.
If you do a search on this site and google on working green wood, you will find options of working the wood
before it is dry. That should take care of a lot of your spare time for a while. Hope you have fun with this
walnut, and will share your projects.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View tomd's profile


2149 posts in 3739 days

#3 posted 07-03-2012 04:34 AM

I also live just outside Pgh. Pa. and purchase alot of local walnut fresh from the sawmill. IMO stickering it and storing it outside under cover leaving the ends of the pile open to natural air movement will probably dry it best. Drying a whole log is almost impossible unless your willing to give it alot of years to dry. Carving wood does not need to be completely dry but furniture wood should be dry. I would advise to figure out what size pieces you want and cut to that measurement then dry. Logs will check unless sealed even then they offen check anyway. The thickest piece of walnut I’ve dryed was 3” and it took 4 years of air drying.

-- Tom D

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