Drying whole logs with bark on

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Forum topic by Briguy posted 03-30-2011 03:49 PM 9187 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 3100 days

03-30-2011 03:49 PM

I picked up a large pice of poplar and a couple pieces of willow logs that are 20-24” long and maybe 24” diameters. They are pretty heavy. I was wondering the best way to dry them without cutting or debarking. If I can dry them intact I can use them for end tables and such. I do not have access to a kiln and they are in my garage sitting upright on 2×4’s.

Any suggestions would be great.


5 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3064 days

#1 posted 03-30-2011 06:12 PM

If you have not already done so you need to endseal the logs with a good quality product, such as Anchorseal. This will minimize the amount of checking (cracking due to drying stresses). You might want to consider putting them in your attic if you have access to it and room to store them there. Generally, most experts say that lumber takes one year per each inch of thickness to properly dry and that the thicker the lumber the longer it takes. You may not manage to keep the bark on either, since in many cases it will peel off once the log dries out.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 2882 days

#2 posted 03-31-2011 10:54 PM

Lumber dries very poorly in log form, and even if you apply end sealer the log will eventually check badly. End sealer (which I recommend) will prevent most checking from starting for about 2 – 4 months, and even then it is not uncommon for a few large checks to start.

Your best bet is to have the logs rough sawn into thickness suitable for your future use, and sticker them for air drying. However, it is just about impossible to mill 24” long logs on most sawmills because you can’t dog the log down.

Poplar and will both dry very rapidly; much more quickly than “1 year per inch”.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2865 days

#3 posted 03-31-2011 11:07 PM

Unless Wood-miser has changed their design, sawing logs that are 24” long is not a problem. I often saw shorter than that if I am cutting up wood for turning. Now what would be a challenge is sawing up a log that is 24” long 24” in diameter. Manipulating a log of that size would be difficult.

-- Barbara

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3992 days

#4 posted 04-01-2011 03:08 AM

Although you will lose a little more wood, if someone near you has a chain saw mill, it will work to slab them out, or quarter saw them. If you have a bandsaw that will resaw, just knock them down to a size you can handle on it with the chain saw mill to reduce waste in chips.



-- Go

View Briguy's profile


21 posts in 3100 days

#5 posted 04-06-2011 09:44 PM

Thanks for the great ideas, I haven’t had any time to deal with the logs yet. I do have a mini mill attachment for my chainsaw. I will slab everything except for the poplar I think. The poplar piec I have has a nice cross cut profile. I was thinking of cutting it cross-grain and using it for end tables and cutting boards.

Any ideas on how to dry cross cut slabs?


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