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How Long Should My Air-Dried Slabs Be Inside Before Milling

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Forum topic by Rmckee47 posted 03-14-2017 08:10 PM 1076 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rmckee47

25 posts in 1822 days


03-14-2017 08:10 PM

I have some 15” wide 8’ long pear wood slabs that have been air drying, stickered and under pressure in my garage for three years. I moved them into my basement shop over the weekend, where a few swipes with a plane revealed wood the color of an autumn sunset. I can hardly wait to start jointing and cutting. The moisture content is 13%.

How long should I hold off cutting the slabs to dimension? I plan to cut them right down the middle where there are slight cracks. I don’t plan to resaw for now, just want boards that are manageable.


8 replies so far

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mramseyISU

524 posts in 1385 days


#1 posted 03-14-2017 08:16 PM

I’d give it a few weeks. I shoot for a minimum of 2 no matter what when I bring boards home.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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WhyMe

910 posts in 1401 days


#2 posted 03-16-2017 12:55 PM

If you have a moisture meter I’d wait to see if the moisture drops down and then stabilizes. Is your basement shop a real dry basement? Your environment is going to determine the lowest moister content you can achieve. Ballpark I’d look for under 8% if possible.

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bonesbr549

1445 posts in 2907 days


#3 posted 03-16-2017 01:18 PM

How thick are the slabs. Rule of Thumb is 1 year per inch? That percent seems still high to me. Depending on what you doing with it of course. I do not like working anything over 10, but totally depends on your usage plans.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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Rmckee47

25 posts in 1822 days


#4 posted 03-16-2017 04:36 PM

The slabs are 3” thick. I have read that outside you’re not likely to get under about 15%. If true my 13% outside is in the ballpark. Yes, my shop is dry. I’ll take a cut in a couple weeks and see where I am. Thanks for your comments.

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pintodeluxe

5468 posts in 2653 days


#5 posted 03-16-2017 04:47 PM

For most hardwoods, I kiln dry to 6-8%. I think that figure is unreasonable for slabs.
If you get the core moisture content down to 10% (measured on a fresh end grain cut , 1.5” deep) you will be looking pretty good. I also look at the moisture gradient between core and shell. I like to have the two differ by no more than 2-3%.

If the shell is 13%, the core may be 17% or higher.

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

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XquietflyX

339 posts in 800 days


#6 posted 03-16-2017 04:57 PM



For most hardwoods, I kiln dry to 6-8%. I think that figure is unreasonable for slabs.
If you get the core moisture content down to 10% (measured on a fresh end grain cut , 1.5” deep) you will be looking pretty good. I also look at the moisture gradient between core and shell. I like to have the two differ by no more than 2-3%.

If the shell is 13%, the core may be 17% or higher.

- pintodeluxe


This…
Most of my 8/4 wood needs to be inside the better part of a month before i even consider milling it. although i’m usually good with between 10% and 12%

-- You can tell a lot about your wife by her hands, for example if they are around your throat she's prolly pissed off at you...

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wflather

32 posts in 886 days


#7 posted 03-16-2017 05:01 PM

I’ve been told to air dry 1 year per inch thickness.

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Rmckee47

25 posts in 1822 days


#8 posted 03-16-2017 05:22 PM

Thanks to all. Looks like I will be waiting longer than expected.

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