Who takes the time to dry and prep their own wood?

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Forum topic by MrWoodworker posted 06-21-2011 06:06 PM 2294 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 2588 days

06-21-2011 06:06 PM

I’ve decided that while it’s nice to save some money and buy rough, green wood from a mill… it’s such a pain!

Joint, plane, sand, grind, grrr, dry, wait… oops, didn’t anticipate it bending like that. Aaaargh.

Ok, generally, it’s not that bad… but I just don’t care to do it, with the exception of some fancy or intriguing wood.

How many of you take the time and trouble to “make your own wood”, or do you just buy it “ready to go”?


17 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10373 posts in 3641 days

#1 posted 06-21-2011 06:46 PM

I’m not set up to dry it, but I usually buy hardwoods in the rough, but dry.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2874 days

#2 posted 06-21-2011 07:15 PM

I have a bit of a different opinion as I actually enjoy the process of jointing and planing rough lumber with machine or hand planes. Its rather rewarding.

I don’t think wood ready to go exist unless your speaking of MDF or Plywood. I don’t dry much lumber but I get all of my lumber rough sawed.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2648 days

#3 posted 06-21-2011 09:26 PM

I get all my woods (soft and hard) in the rough and do all my own prep work. This way I can control quality a lot better.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 06-21-2011 09:37 PM

I guess I’ll have to say ‘me’?

while I don’t mind drying ‘some’ – mostly I’d get my hands on rough but DRY lumber and mill it s4s according to needs.

you can see some posts I made about getting rough lumber here (I also got some hardwood pallets from time to time):

and the only ‘green’ lumber I dried is also mentioned there and can be seen here:

it is a PITA to produce lumber from green but it is rewarding. that said, not rewarding enough to make it a full time thing – but once in a while sure.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3034 days

#5 posted 06-21-2011 09:40 PM

I too have worked some of my own lumber. But a lot of it comes from Pallets.

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3062 days

#6 posted 06-22-2011 12:33 AM

I don’t dry my own wood, but I buy rough sawn lumber with one straight edge from my lumber supplier. This lets me mill it how I want it and avoid those annoying differences that often show up between two batches of dimensioned lumber.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10473 posts in 3422 days

#7 posted 06-22-2011 12:58 AM

Sometime some of the local woods like mesquite and manzanita, I get green and in the log. I rip it as best I can, resaw it and stack it. Usually resaw to 5/8 or 5/16 In AZ 5/8 planks will dry in less than a year.
The other stuff I get is usually all AD or KD and planed to 15/16.
I enjoy the process of taking wood from the log to the assembly bench.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3296 days

#8 posted 06-22-2011 04:27 AM

Just retired and still making my wood. All storage is filled. I still have a bunch to go. I like taking and handling logs on the hoof, trying to move them around W/O equipment. All carving wood is air dried—one year, then in the heated shop for a hit and miss planing, dry for weeks-many months. Still learning lots from folks in our region. Put lots of effort into projects processing wood that yield very little. Still learn more with every adventure.

Mr woodie, I can’t hardly stand the thought of purchasing finished lumber when I can do a decent job with just about any thing. I don’t scrounge much but usually pick up from sales because Grand dad moved to the home, rocky marriage or people selling small amounts for a very low price. Usually pay $.70 for softwoods and $.96 for hardwoods. Many exceptions when making instruments and work to an order. Good luck. Enjoy the planing and jointing using hand tools-lots more mentally engaging and sense of accopmlishment. Good post. s

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2829 days

#9 posted 06-22-2011 04:42 AM

I have to admit that much of my lumber is kiln dried and almost completely finished and just needs to be cut to side. Part of that is just finding a place that sells rough cut kiln dried lumber at a decent price. The place I buy my boards from does sell rough but the price difference isn’t worth the time, energy, and tool wear to do myself; usually about .20 cents a bf.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View rustynails's profile


747 posts in 2522 days

#10 posted 06-25-2011 05:10 AM

I usually get kiln dried rough cut lumber. I am not really into milling it to finish boards but the cost difference makes me go that wrought

View rep's profile


95 posts in 3103 days

#11 posted 06-25-2011 06:24 AM

I am clearing the land, saw milling the trees, air drying, kiln drying, and jointing/planing. Just now getting to the point that I can start building stuff with the lumber. It is a lot of work, but very satisfying for me. I don’t want the wood to go to waste.

-- rick

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#12 posted 06-25-2011 07:22 AM

I have some small logs laying all over the place I need to get cut up and stickered.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


244 posts in 3915 days

#13 posted 06-25-2011 01:52 PM

I purchase all my lumber green , season it for at least one full year on stickers and dry it in my dry kiln. I have lumber that has been on stick for 10 years, close to 40,000 bd ft of lumber on hand, and of course mill it myself. I think milling lumber is part of woodworking. I’ve been a self employed woodworker for 20 years and decided in the beginning that the only way I would survive is to be independent and have my own lumber supply. Who has time to look for weeks to find what you need, not to mention being at the mercy of whoever has it when you pay for it. Plus I know my lumber is properly seasoned , dried and stress relieved. There are lots of kits out there that you can purchase and just put together

-- mike & judy western md. www.

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3754 days

#14 posted 06-25-2011 02:07 PM

Here in the U.P. I’ve had a lot of red and white pine sawn for me by a sawyer with a Woodmizer. These are mostly trees that were felled in storms. After about two to three years they are ready to use.

I’m presently making window, door, and baseboard trim for my brother-in-law, and start the process by truing up the sawn edge on these rough 8 ft boards with a #7 jointer plane.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View northernCAN's profile


11 posts in 2684 days

#15 posted 06-25-2011 02:23 PM

I like starting from the standing tree to the finish project it is so rewarding and it means more to me. I only use the wood i cut from my property. sure its a lot of work but that is why i do it.

-- Derek,northerncan

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