what to do about 8/4 white oak?

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Forum topic by waterlogged posted 02-06-2010 03:47 AM 1664 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3045 days

02-06-2010 03:47 AM

Hello to all
This is my first post and I’m not sure where to put it, but here it is . I just acquired 140bft of 8/4 white oak and most of it is 11 to 14 inches wide. I checked the MC and it’s between 14 to 18%. I don’t know when it was harvasted or how it was dried. I would like to use it for arts & crafts style table legs or cabinet corners. I’m thinking it will take at least 8 months to get down to 8% MC. Ok here the question. Should I cut the stock to a rough length and width now to premote faster drying ? or do you think the stock will warp? Also ,how should I go about drying it? As of now , I have it stacked and stickered in my basement where it’s 48 degrees. I live in michigan.

15 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117085 posts in 3570 days

#1 posted 02-06-2010 03:50 AM

It doesn’t seem you have to many choices,unless you want to put it in your house. Other wise store it as high off the floor as possible.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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3 posts in 3045 days

#2 posted 02-06-2010 03:59 AM

Thank you a1Jim for your imput .

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3815 days

#3 posted 02-06-2010 04:22 AM

Another note I would add is that your wood may be dry already. Straight from a kiln it should be in the 8 to 9 percent range but once it acclimates to ambient conditions it could be in the 12 to 14 percent range. 18 is a little high, though. As Jim said get it up off the floor and stickered as high as you can.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3058 days

#4 posted 02-06-2010 01:28 PM

I go along with Jim.. If you have the room in your house, put it there but keep it off of the floor especially if it is concrete. Jim would proably agree with me, at least 2 weeks then check it again.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3519 days

#5 posted 02-06-2010 04:40 PM

Stick it in the house stickered and with a fan blowing on it. Then keep an eye on how much moisture you are losing each week.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3754 days

#6 posted 02-06-2010 04:58 PM

I dry my wood in the loft of my U.P. “workshop in the Woods”. This takes full advantage of Michigan’s relatively lower summer and winter humidity. A basement however, is not usually a great place to dry wood and running dehumidifiers can get expensive.

If possible, get the wood out of the basement. Have you got a spare room upstairs? In the wintertime, your heated house has a very low relative humidity, and will promote rapid drying. If by the time summer arrives, and the MC is still too high, take the wood to a lumberyard with a kiln. This is nice wood and well worth some trouble and expense.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3455 days

#7 posted 02-06-2010 05:07 PM

Send it to me. It will dry really quick here

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3886 days

#8 posted 02-06-2010 05:12 PM

wax or paint the ends to prevent checking and cracking.

rule of thumb on AD lumber.

it takes one year plus a year for every inch of thickness. 1” = 2 yrs, 2” = 3 yrs

there are two kinds of moisture in wood, that which is free (between cell walls) and that which is trapped (within cell walls) and sometimes sticking a moisture meter in it, reads free moisture.

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

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3168 days

#9 posted 02-06-2010 06:24 PM

Just my two cents, 14 to 18% sounds like it has been air dried to me. I have some 8/4 stock that has been drying in a shed for about a year now and that is the read i get on it now. Unless you have a really dry basement I would try to find a different drying place. The moisture will cause fungus to grow and discolor the wood.(found this out the hard way). Outside on sticks with a cover where air can blow thru is a better way. Only 140 ft shouldn’t be to hard to find a place.

View unisaw2's profile


209 posts in 3028 days

#10 posted 02-06-2010 07:16 PM

If you rough cut it to length and width it will dry faster, but it is going to continue to move, so plan on milling again. I agree with okwoodshop, unless you have a really dry basement, get it to a dryer place to finish drying.

I had a large White Oak tree cut down and milled in 2006. It was stickered and air dryed in a shed for a year. Got the MC to about 15%. Brought some of it into a heated space in 2007, The moisture content is now down to 9%, and I’m just starting to use it.

White Oak at the saw mill

-- JJ - Northern Illinois

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5032 posts in 3886 days

#11 posted 02-06-2010 07:57 PM

9 % is good enough for me, on the MC for AD wood.

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

View waterlogged's profile


3 posts in 3045 days

#12 posted 02-07-2010 01:26 AM

Thank you all for the imput to my question. Thank you Jim

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John Gray

2370 posts in 3879 days

#13 posted 02-07-2010 02:02 AM

My 2 cents:
If I had it in my basement I would run a room dehumidifier and keep a fan blowing through it, stickered and off the floor of course.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View bandman's profile


79 posts in 3383 days

#14 posted 02-07-2010 02:48 AM

Since the lumber is in the air dried range, I’d recommend taking it into a heated area in your
house and let it come down to the 7 to 10 percent MC range. Cutting it to rough width
and length (oversize) I don’t feel would hurt the situation, as the wide widths will slow
the wood acclimating. In a heated area the wood should acclimate to a dry condition in
4-8 weeks +/- from air dry and be ready for use. Another option would be to find a local
kiln operation that could dry the material for you as well, usually running in cost of 0.35
to 0.50 per bf for finish drying. Hope this helps..

-- Phil

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3519 days

#15 posted 02-07-2010 03:07 AM

The one inch per year rule does not apply when drying lumber indoors since the relative humidity will be much lower than outdoors, and also because you can add fans to increase airflow which will significantly speed up the drying process.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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