Reply by WDHLT15

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Posted on Drying logs without cracking

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1786 posts in 2648 days

#1 posted 12-03-2014 12:48 PM

They will almost all crack. The center 10 rings or so are juvenile wood that shrinks more than the wood in the outer ring. This sets up stress, and the crack relieves the stress. It take a while for them to crack, though, so it is better to cut them right before the wedding a couple of days so that the surface can dry, but the stress that creates the cracks has not developed. The fact that they are not fully dry as they will be used for the wedding won’t really matter (Who will know?), and after the wedding, no one will care if they will crack.

Some species are poor choices, that is, they are almost guaranteed to crack. Oaks are not good. Cherry is not good. Hickory and pecan are poor choices. The better choices are the species with spiral or interlocked grain. The spiral grain helps to hold them together against cracking. Sweetgum, elm, and balckgum are good. Walnut is not spiral grain, but behaves better than most species.

Softwoods dry faster than hardwoods and are also prone to cracks.

The bark will stay on better if the tree was felled in the dormant season. The worst time for retaining the bark is the Spring when the cambium is most active.

Here is a sweetgum cookie. Sweetgum can be very nicely figured, but it might not be available in your area.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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