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Forum topic by David posted 03-21-2011 11:50 PM 4430 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David

196 posts in 1418 days


03-21-2011 11:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lumber craigslist cherry

Found a local guy on craigslist selling kiln dried 4/4 cherry at a good price per bf, since I’m pretty new to working with hardwoods, is there anything I should look out for? I’m going to check out the wood tomorrow night and potentially buy as much as I can fit in the truck if the quality seems good.

“cherry boards 4/4, 5” – 8” wide, 5’ – 7’ long, kiln dried”

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/


15 replies so far

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David

196 posts in 1418 days


#1 posted 03-21-2011 11:59 PM

There’s another posting for cherry that has been air drying for 18 months in a shed, is this long enough that I could start working with it and not worry about it splitting later on?

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/

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rhett

699 posts in 2421 days


#2 posted 03-22-2011 01:03 AM

I prefer to buy from craigslist only because you are usually buying a few trees someone had sawn so the boards will be of the same flitch. It is very common to find wide bookmatched boards etc. Keep in mind that this is ungraded lumber and it will have defects like knots and sapwood.

Be careful of air dried lumber that has been improperly stored or looks to have powderpost beetles or other boring insects. You do not want to introduce infested wood into you stack dry or not. This is the plus of kiln dried as it kills any wood bugs that may be present.

Rule of thumb for air dried wood is 1year per inch. If you are looking to go this route to save some money, invest in a moisture meter. I got a good deal on some cherry a few years back, before I had a moisture meter, even after acclimating in my shop, halfl the pieces I built from that stack self destructed. It was pretty stuff though.

-- It's only wood.

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Sawmillnc

150 posts in 1809 days


#3 posted 03-28-2011 07:07 AM

Please stop perpetuating the “Rule of Thumb” . It is wrong. Cherry 4/4 green dries at this time of the year in about 120 days. 8/4 in 160 days.

-- Kyle Edwards, http://www.sawmillnc.com, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

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rhett

699 posts in 2421 days


#4 posted 03-30-2011 09:27 PM

Please don’t assume that because you saw rough lumber, that you can override a “Rule of Thumb”. I would have to disagree that any “Rule of Thumb” is wrong. They are approximations to establish a guide line, not absolute law.

Your time line for “this time of year” is based on a specific species, the climate of your given area and ideal storage conditions. I would have to believe that different species, climates and storage solutions, averaged out across the US, would equal roughly a year per inch. There is a reason that one year per inch for air dried lumber is a “Rule of Thumb”. I didn’t pull that out of my arse, it is a guide line that more WW’ers follow than not.

So, to the OP. If you live in Iron Station, NC (near Charlotte) and you want cherry that was saw 120 days ago then it is probably dry. Or do like I suggested and buy a moisture meter if you are unsure.

-- It's only wood.

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HawkDriver

447 posts in 1387 days


#5 posted 03-30-2011 09:52 PM

Ok so I’m confused. Someone please set me straight. I have never purchased wet lumber but may in the future. Can you please explain the “1 year per inch”? I’m not asking to be rude, but because I honestly don’t understand it. Im guessing it refers to the thickness per board? i.e. a 4/4 board would have a 1 year drying time?

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

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David

196 posts in 1418 days


#6 posted 03-30-2011 10:24 PM

That’s the way I understand it. Fortunately it seems like everything I find here in WI on craigslist has been drying for years or is kiln dried. Either way I’ll probably pick up a moisture meter, seems like cheap insurance.

On the topic of recently cut wood, I’ve been thinking of just building a cheap drying box myself out of some plywood, a couple of 100W light bulbs, fan and a temperature control. Anyone else do this before?

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/

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Scsmith42

125 posts in 1431 days


#7 posted 03-31-2011 10:44 PM

Rhett, knowlegeable lumber professionals have been trying to kill the “1 year per inch rule of thumb” for a long time, because it is so grossly misleading. Kyle and I, as well as many other lumber professionals, are well aware that this “rule” has been around for a long time. That does not make it accurate, and if you ever attend any professional lumber drying courses (as have Kyle and I) you will most likely hear the “rule” derided by the instructors.

You are correct in that the actual drying time depends upon species, thickness, and local environmental conditions. However, the “1 year per inch” rule realistically only applies to slow drying species such as oak, sycamore, etc, especially in thick planks.

In the CONUS, probably 75% of all wood species dry at a rate faster than “1” per year”.

I’m sure that you did not realize it, but the person that you derided as being a “rough Lumber Sawyer” is not only highly respected in our industry, he has operated a kiln for many, many years, and dried tens of thousands of board feet of lumber, including container loads of thick slabs. He knows what he’s talking about.

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

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rhett

699 posts in 2421 days


#8 posted 04-01-2011 01:20 AM

It is not my intention to downgrade any fellow woodworkers profession or knowledge base. I still have an entire encyclopedia’s worth of knowledge to learn about the characteristics of wood.

That being said, your statement about slow drying woods justifies my above ignorance on the specifics. For a safe and good guide line, most woods will be dry and workable within the parameters of one year per inch.

Absolutely correct or not, it is a set of guidelines to determine if a wood is ready to use or not,. Without the knowledge base you or any other respected sawyer has, short of a moisture meter, it is a baseline.

Professional, wood genius or other, you have to admit that most woodworkers can be safe in assuming that lumber is ready to go at the above”Rule of Thumb”. I don’t need to know the exact timeline of seed germination to grow vegetables, I just need a rough guideline to grow a garden.

-- It's only wood.

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Scsmith42

125 posts in 1431 days


#9 posted 04-01-2011 01:53 AM

Rhett, I appreciate where you are coming from, and also appreciate the positive tone in your response. I too have much to learn, and the older I get the more I understand that there is much more that I still need to learn.

What many woodworkers don’t understand is that lumber can and will start to degrade if air dried too long in an uncontrolled envionmnent. If you’re a professional operation air drying in specialized drying sheds, you have more fudge room. Whenever lumber dries and then regains moisture, damage can and will occur (which happens frequently when AD outside and exposed to extreme humidity changes.

You might find the attached link educational.

http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/forums/sawdry.pl?read=679171

Dr. Eugene Wengert is pretty much the foremost authority in the US on drying lumber. He has taught lumber courses at the University of Wisconsin as well as Virginia Tech, authored numerous publications (of which I have several), and served as an expert consultant to many, many drying operations in the industry.

Here is a direct quote from Dr. Wengert about this particular rule of thumb>

”That rule of thumb is not even close to the truth. For 4/4, oftentimes it is well air dried within 60 days; 8/4 in about 180 days of good weather.

Air drying longer than needed can increase checking, warp, discoloration, etc. In fact, get air dried lumber into a shed to prevent these losses, as rain and sun cause loss. ”

One of my drying instructors, Dr. Joe Denig from NC State University, has expressed similar opinions as Dr. Wengert during some of my classes.

On a side note, I really enjoyed reviewing some of the projects shared on your blog, especially the G&G inspired table and the cherry gunstock. Those really look sharp!

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

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David

196 posts in 1418 days


#10 posted 04-02-2011 09:31 PM

There are a couple listings in my area, all of them 2.50-3.00 per bf. Only problem now is nobody on craigslist seems to actually return my calls or emails :(

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/

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Sawmillnc

150 posts in 1809 days


#11 posted 04-02-2011 11:36 PM

rhett,

I apologize if my tone came across as terse. It would have been a better response if I had explained the premise of why I way denigrate the 1” a year rule. Scott explained perfectly why in that degrade can occur if left to air dry a significant amount of time which include insect damage, checking and warp.

Scott,

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

dmwahl, Good luck with your cherry!

-- Kyle Edwards, http://www.sawmillnc.com, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

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David

196 posts in 1418 days


#12 posted 04-04-2011 07:06 AM

Picked up ~50 bf of air dried cherry today, all 5/4 and 8-10’ long, 7-10” wide. The lady selling it was 80 years old but looked about 65, even helped me pick through the boards. I’ll post some pics once I plane/joint it and actually start building something with it… eventually :)

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/

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David

196 posts in 1418 days


#13 posted 04-13-2011 05:00 PM

Here are a couple pictures of the wood, first is just the rough lumber, second is the end of one of the boards, freshly planed.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/

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bevins587

33 posts in 1369 days


#14 posted 04-14-2011 08:21 PM

That second picture shows some nice looking lumber.

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David

196 posts in 1418 days


#15 posted 04-14-2011 08:44 PM

It’s an end of the top piece in the stack shown above it, nothing except running it through the planer. I was very pleasantly surprised.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/

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