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View andy81563's profile

Drying Cherry Lumber

by andy81563
posted 08-15-2012 12:53 AM


26 replies so far

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2581 days


#1 posted 08-15-2012 01:13 AM

get it KD, then rent a mini storage unit, stack and sticker it. look at craigslist and Kijiji, you might find some one with a barn with cheap storage, or make a knock down lean-to on yr property ?

or rent but a trailer, like the trailers you see going down the highway, cheap and a dime a dozen

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2376 days


#2 posted 08-15-2012 02:54 AM

No sense bringing it to the kiln until you’re ready to use it : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2581 days


#3 posted 08-15-2012 03:09 AM

I disagree

spend the money now a it avoids moving it 14 flippen times so do it while KD prices are cheap cuz when you finally build your home

time will not be yr friend

; ))

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

593 posts in 1753 days


#4 posted 08-15-2012 04:35 AM

I wouldn’t bother with a kiln at this point. If you can get possession of it now and move it to a dry place, sticker and stack it properly, I bet you can have it down to a low enough moisture level within a few weeks this time of year. Cherry dries really quickly when its put in the right environment, and that wood must be in the mid teens or so. For the projects you are describing you can get away with being a tad high (couple %) on MC as the pieces you will be using are relatively small and the movement should not cause catastrophic distortion. If you were building a dining table, it would be a different matter.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 952 days


#5 posted 08-15-2012 04:38 AM

I agree with Dusty. Kiln drying wood and having no good storage for it when your done is a fool’s use of money (with exceptions: It will kill insects and things of that nature).

Personally though, since you intend on using it for cabinets, I’d wait until you are ready to that before getting them kiln-dried then stacking them out in the humid air again. If you were using it for outside use or possibly certain types of furniture, I’d say go for it, but in this case, I advise against it (unless you think there’s an insect problem).

You could wrap the lumber in plastic after you’re done and store it in a dry cool place. Like Moron said, if you can find a climate-controlled storage unit, you could go that route. The prices here for that type of unit are about $75/month though.

To summarize, only kiln-dry it when you’re ready to use or ready to properly store or if you need to kill off some bugs.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2581 days


#6 posted 08-15-2012 05:30 AM

all these guys with previous experience kill me in their expertise in building a craftsman type home, in their previous experience with buying 3000 ft of 4/4 cherry timber will guide you in their expertise of “what to do”

this web site is full of fools

kid you not………just look at their projects to be sure

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 952 days


#7 posted 08-15-2012 05:52 AM

all these guys with previous experience kill me in their expertise in building a craftsman type home, in their previous experience with buying 3000 ft of 4/4 cherry timber will guide you in their expertise of “what to do”

this web site is full of foolsMoron

Moron, you seem overly critical of someone you know little about. He said he wanted to use it for cabinets, trim, etc.. I’m not here to guide him on what’s best for the style he’s building. He wanted to know whether to kiln dry or not. I gave him reasons to and not to.

I don’t see where Paul, Dusty, or I made any statements that we had experience buying 3000 ft of 4/4 cherry before or gave advice on building a craftsman home. I guess you have reading comprehension issues.

To me (as I stated in my advice, Personally though), kiln-drying at this stage if all you plan on doing is putting it right back out in humid conditions is a complete waste of money (unless you’re trying to kill insects or similar). I don’t see where that warranted any sort of attack by you.

Just because they’re different than your opinions doesn’t make them wrong. I cut and dry my own lumber. I think that qualifies me to give some advice on what to do.

Not only that, I don’t understand how you think drying lumber now at what I guess is a universally lower price all around the world (my kiln still charges the same as they did last week and the week before and the week before….) is cheaper when you factor in renting a trailer or a climate-controlled mini-storage. It’s a wash in my opinion. What if he won’t get around to working on the cabinets and everything else for a year?

kid you not………just look at their projects to be sureMoron

As for projects, I heed the advice that others have given that if I don’t want projects to be copied then don’t post them. Does that mean I think my projects are super secret 100% original great? No. I just don’t feel like posting them. Last I checked, posting projects doesn’t make your advice any better.

I checked your projects and there’s some good stuff. Not really my style, but it’s good nonetheless. That being said, does it make you an expert on everything? No, not even close.

Yep, just confirmed… it’s still called Lumberjocks and not Moron’s Way is the Right Way. Hope you had a chuckle and didn’t take it too seriously; I just don’t understand what your last post was all about.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2581 days


#8 posted 08-15-2012 05:56 AM

your gallery is empty

its easy to talk the walk

far harder to walk the talk

too many words

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 952 days


#9 posted 08-15-2012 06:01 AM

What is it with you? Do you think projects make you experienced at giving advice on drying lumber or do you think actually doing it does?

your gallery is empty
its easy to talk the walk
far harder to walk the talk

What does that have to do with anything? Do you want pictures of me cutting and drying lumber? You know… the stuff that’s actually somewhat relevant to this post?

Sorry if I made you read so I’ll finish this up with random pounding on my keyboard

;lkagjir 9u9 t kf\kewr0i9uwt iw

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2581 days


#10 posted 08-15-2012 06:18 AM

the older I get the more I realize the less I know and the less inclined I am, to help those who know less

old words of wisdom “The best reply to a fool is silence”

“unwatch”

let the wolves eat each other : ))

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View andy81563's profile

andy81563

22 posts in 972 days


#11 posted 08-15-2012 09:26 AM

Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to respond. I forgot to mention that I live in northeast Alabama and the humidity here is outrageous, especially in August and September. Things do get better in October but now it is rough. I need to get a moisture meter so I can check the MC but the guy at the lumber yard says it is probably around 15% now. I can imagine if I dry it in a kiln now it will suck up the moisture when it comes out. If I could find a climate-controlled storage unit for $75 a month it would be great. This amount of wood, though, is going to take a 10×30 room and they go for $100-125 a month here. It may just be best to dry it as i need it.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1099 posts in 822 days


#12 posted 08-15-2012 11:50 AM

Storing & stacking (stickered) in a garage running simple fans to keep up air circulation through stack will bring down MC.

This little video might give you some pointers on stacking & storing your wood.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/Materials/MaterialsArticle.aspx?id=29500

-- Bill

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 952 days


#13 posted 08-15-2012 02:41 PM

Andy, you are doing the right thing (IMO). I live in Central Mississippi and I don’t see my stacks getting that dry unless they are out of the open air or inside my house.

I have several pieces that I air-dried that are 4/4-8/4 hovering in the 9.5-10.5% MC range. They’ve been in my house since November, but achieved that MC in late June or so. They were previously in the 15-20% range.

If you have room in your house to store some boards, you can do that. But, as you said, you have to have some room to do so. You could probably get by with a little less room than 10×30 if you stack it high, but that’s completely dependent on how well the wood stacks and the airflow and temperatures you’re experiencing.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2097 posts in 876 days


#14 posted 08-15-2012 04:48 PM

A couple of comments:

1) Sounds like Moron is having a bad day . . .

2) I have heard that cherry is tricky to dry (but very stable once dry) – better make sure it isn’t already knackered.

3) Whatever you do, the wood will take on the environment you store it in. You haven’t said what that is (as far as I see) and so it’s hard to say what to do. Many use the rule “1 year for each inch of thickness” when air drying so it may well be fairly close to equilibrium already. Better test it . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

593 posts in 1753 days


#15 posted 08-15-2012 05:13 PM

Yikes…this thread really went sideways for no apparent reason. Here is an article that I published on air drying lumber: http://www.wwgoa.com/articles/one-great-tip/should-i-buy-my-lumber-green-/

I would get a moisture meter and measure the MC of this wood, and some kiln dried lumber that is stabilized in the current humidity. The mc values might be closer together than you think. If you can just get the wood to the driest spot possible (indoors, off the ground, etc.) and run a fan on it and run a dehumidifier in the room you should be able to get it to a point within a few weeks where you can feel comfortable working with it.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1070 posts in 1813 days


#16 posted 08-15-2012 05:32 PM

Hi Andy.. i have remodeled my entire 950 sq ft condo in Black Cherry wood, all the trim, all the built-ins,... granted after 10 years… I only have 12 projects before I can happily sit back and start dreaming of selling the place and starting again. I started with one large purchase of about 2,000 sq ft of air dried stock, but I have since used a lot of wood and learned a whole lot about how the wood works, how it grows, it’s nuances between figured and straight grain, and humidity and finishing. I am in love with this wood.. and I discovered I am really allergic to it.

So for my 2 bits…. heavily figures and woods with bark inclusions.. do not kiln dry because the wood increases in tension and once you cut it… given your thin stock, it will cup, bow, and twist. If you have straight grained and clear woods it does not seem to matter much if you kiln or air dry. I have tried both and the complications are minimal. Personally, given where you live… the longer it sits the more it will expand and contract.. and the stresses either erupt in cracks or checking.. or it will be stable forever… the longer it sits uncovered the darker it will get from just oxidization.. and DO NOT KEEP ANYTHING NEAR SUNLIGHT or UV EXPOSURE it will darken in uneven ways. and keep in mind that if you are going to use veneers.. be careful to match colors as paper back veneer does not darken as much… avoid sap wood or you’ll have to go back several times over the next few years to touch up the stain when the heartwood gets darker and darker.

But if you have limited stock and are going to use it sooner than later (within than 6 months) get it professionally dried. Honestly, there is little right and wrong with black Cherry… until it comes to finishing… and then send me a PM for some tips. LOL I know I have no pictures of my place posted yet.. but I have done so much work I have been holding out for a blog post. But here are some….

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3445 posts in 1501 days


#17 posted 08-15-2012 06:11 PM

I have found there is a difference between free moisture content and bound moisture content. Kiln drying lowers the bound moisture content, that is the water bound in the woods cellular structure. Spray that same KD lumber with a hose and its free moisture will increase, but will dry again in a day.
I have 1000 b.f. of oak that was kiln dried, and stacked and stickered in the garage (not air conditioned). The moisture content increased to 8-10% in that environment. I run the fans and dehumidifier for a few days before I need project wood, and it dries out quickly.
As long as you can store it inside – stacked and stickered – you should be fine to have it kiln dried.
Or better yet build a portable kiln with pvc pipe and tarps. Add some box fans, a home dehumidifier, and heater. Presto! in two weeks you will have dry lumber.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15235 posts in 1255 days


#18 posted 08-15-2012 07:56 PM

How long before you will use the lumber?

I’d do one of 2 things. Either just sticker it in a dry spot until you use it, which should lower the moister content or

I’m with the comments about kiln drying it yourself, even if its a makeshift kiln in a storage unit. It shouldn’t take much.

I agree kiln dried lumber will dry quicker, but once its kiln dried I’d try my hardest to keep it dry.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112313 posts in 2265 days


#19 posted 08-15-2012 08:09 PM

I say buy the wood and build your own solar kiln ,the cost should be less than having your wood kiln dried and you will have a place to store some of the wood. There are lots of sites about building and using a solar kiln here’s one of them. http://www.solarkilninfo.com/details-of-my-solar-kiln-construction

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15235 posts in 1255 days


#20 posted 08-15-2012 08:24 PM

if you just put ’’kiln’’ in the search here on LJ’s there’s lots of information. I had this one Favorited. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/63805

cheap, easy and in my future i hope.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Scsmith42's profile

Scsmith42

125 posts in 1365 days


#21 posted 08-16-2012 03:56 AM

Andy, I am a miller and a kiln operator, and there has been some good advice and some not-so-good advice offered on this thread thus far.

Here is my 2 cents.

As others have stated, if you kiln dry the wood now and then store it in an uncontrolled environment, it will pick up moisture. Lumber reaches a moisture content that is in equilibrium with the environment that it is stored in; which in your part of the country is typically 12% – 14% if stored outside, and 6% – 8% if stored in a modern air conditioned home.

The primary advantage that kiln drying offers for air dried wood is sterilization, as well as a rapid way to bring the moisture content down to below 10%. In your situation, I would study the boards for any signs of a pest infestation. If no signs exist, then I would consider several options, which include storing it stacked and stickered in an environment with a dehumidifier (set at 40%) and gentle fans running across it. Once the lumber equalizes around 8%, you can dry stack it and keep the dehumidifier running to keep the external portions of the boards dry.

A second choice is to store the lumber stacked and stickered in an attic. It will dry out and sterilize itself just fine within a few weeks.

Your third choice is to store in in an uncontrolled environment, and then to build you own drying/sterilization chamber and process it as needed (will take maybe 4 days or so to bring it from 15% down below 10% and sterilize it.

If your lumber exhibits any signs whatsover of a bug infestation, then by all means have it sterilized in a kiln and then dry stack it in a humidity controlled environment afterward. It needs to either be run as a separate kiln load, or added into an existing load once the load is at the same MC% as your lumber. If the kiln operator wants to mix your lumber in with a load of green lumber, politely thank them and walk away – they don’t know what they’re doing.

The advice that others have offered on this string about cherry being difficult to dry or moving around on you if you put it into a kiln is not applicable to your situation. The reason why is that most of the damage that occurs during the drying process takes place from green down to 35% moisture content. It doesn’t show up howerver until the lumber dries below 25% MC (even though the damage took place earlier). If your lumber is going to warp, twist or otherwise move, it’s going to do so based upon what has already happend to it – not what you would do to dry it down another 7%.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1173 posts in 1164 days


#22 posted 08-16-2012 11:04 AM

I agree with Scott. Sticker it in an enclosed space with a simple de-humidifier and Walmart box fan.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1070 posts in 1813 days


#23 posted 08-16-2012 03:57 PM

I’m sorry.. I read it and it didn’t sink in.. cabinetry.. I was all about trim work and built-ins. I don’t make cabinets. Sorry.. he he :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 952 days


#24 posted 08-16-2012 04:08 PM

Scott, you don’t think it’ll be too hot in his attic in Alabama? I think the temps in my attic (central MS) reach over 120°… maybe 130°. I would think that’s a little too hot for the wood and depending on the attic design there still may be significant moisture in the air.

Maybe the fact that it’s already dried down a significant amount may change that though. What are your thoughts?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Scsmith42's profile

Scsmith42

125 posts in 1365 days


#25 posted 08-17-2012 04:45 AM

Doss, 4/4 cherry that’s been air drying for a year has got to be in the 12% – 15% MC range. There’s no problems at all putting 15%MC lumber in a 130 degree environment, especially considering that the temp and RH% range will vary significantly during each 24 hour period.

Keep in mind that as the temperature goes up, the RH% goes down since hot air absorbs more moisture. And, when the attic cools down at night the RH% will go up, conditioning the lumber (similar to a solar kiln).

Now if the lumber were green, it would be an entirely different story. But at 15% MC no worries at all.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1173 posts in 1164 days


#26 posted 08-17-2012 11:29 AM

I wish that I had designed my attic 30 years ago to handle some wood drying. I also wish that I had a kiln like Scott!

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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