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Storing kiln dried lumber

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Forum topic by millzit posted 02-14-2012 03:26 PM 2431 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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millzit

111 posts in 968 days


02-14-2012 03:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question cherry

OK, I made a home made kiln.

Inside is about 500’ of cherry that was air dried for about two years. I tried making a project from it, but when I moved the completed project into the house, it moved. A lot. So my LJ buddy terryR suggested a homemade kiln. I bought the idea. Luckily I have a 40×50 quanset hut to store wood in and had room, so I built a kiln. First, I laid down 6mil plastic on the floor and then stacked the cherry with 3/4” spacers between each layer. Then I built a 2×2 frame around the stacked wood and covered that with one piece of 6mil. Duct taped the joints at the bottom and one end. In one end of the kiln is a heater, fan and de-humidifier. I kept the temp around 80. That seemed to get the most drops/time from the dh. It took about a week to fill the #2 washtub to 3/4 full then the drops seemed to slow down. Yesterday I received my first ever moisture meter. (how have i gotten along all these years without one?)

I opened the kiln this morning for the first time and checked the moisture content. 5.9-6.1%!!!!!!!!

My question now is…....do I store the lumber in the kiln all wrapped up or open it up to the atmosphere? I have more wood to dry and will just build another kiln instead of trying to play musical wood stacks. I can easily open up the end to remove the equipment to place in another kiln…....

Time to make some sawdust!

-- .......now cut that out!


9 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5697 posts in 2094 days


#1 posted 02-14-2012 03:47 PM

I would imagine that your shop’s average humidity is higher than 6%. I think, I’d remove the kiln and leave the lumber stickered in place. Then wait until it acclimatizes in your shop before using it in a project.
Daren Nelson, a fellow LJ, sells plans for a humidifier based kiln. In reading some of his posts here and on other forums, I don’t believe he uses any heat in his.
He’s a giving guy and would probably gladly help out with any questions you may have, regardless of your kiln design. Here’s his LJ page. Daren Nelson There’s a link there to his web site and a link from there to his kiln plans.

-- 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 Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

716 posts in 1624 days


#2 posted 02-14-2012 04:09 PM

A lot of your answer depends on the mc of the wood when it went into the kiln, but since that info isn’t available I would recommend letting the wood set in your kiln for a few days and see what the reading is then. Kilns take the moisture from the outer edges of the wood, and the inner wood needs to have the time to wick its moisture thru the outer wood; that said, it’s not uncommon for a person to get a reading so low quite quickly and think that the reading is accurate thru and thru. Most of the time the center of the wood (especially if it is 6/4 or thicker) will still be quite moist, which will wick thru in a few days and up the reading. 1 week is mighty quick to get so low unless the wood was dry to begin with. This error in drying (not that you made an error, just an example to support my statement) is what causes most checks and surface tensions that arise later when working with the wood. If all is good, and I hope it is, you can store the wood anywhere under cover but it is best to wrap it tightly and as well sealed as possible until you use it.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2062 days


#3 posted 02-14-2012 04:54 PM

I agree with Nomad… waite a week or two for the MC to balance out and then check it again. And as crazy as this sounds, do you have your wood stacked with a slight incline? On slow operating kilns it does help. I like to have never got the MC down on some walnut until I elevated one end by about 2 ”.
You also have to remember this is a slow process. You may have to repeat what you have already done multiple times before the MC is truely low and balanced.
Also, don’t check the MC on boards on top of the stack or outer edges, check the boards in the middle.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

804 posts in 1809 days


#4 posted 02-14-2012 05:00 PM

Hey Gene, thanks for the link to Daren Nelson’s kiln plans. I am very tempted to put one of these together…I have a tendency to collect green logs locally and it’d be great to be able to resaw them on my bandsaw and then kiln dry them at home…

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5697 posts in 2094 days


#5 posted 02-14-2012 05:46 PM

Elizabeth,
You are welcome. Tell him I sent you so I can get my referral fee….hehehe. Just kidding.
He’s a great guy. And a wealth of great information. You’ll enjoy dealing with him.

-- 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 millzit's profile

millzit

111 posts in 968 days


#6 posted 02-14-2012 06:40 PM

c’mom guys, you’re killin’ me here! wifey said i could get a new table saw when the cherry was ready for projects…...

I guess deep in my heart I already know what you guys and my LJ buddy terryR have been telling me. I can definitely see one mistake I made was not stacking the wood so I could take a reading from the middle of the stack. I can also see the point of stacking the wood at an angle. With the structure of the cellulose being as that of a straw, the water would ‘drain’ to one end. That would be the end I put next to the dh. I had a heater in it initially to raise the temp and then let the dh maintain that temp, but it’s winter and the hut is not heated and it seemed to drip the best at around 80 degrees. At the beginning, the drips were about 1/2.5sec. It has slowed down to 1/20secs.

Since I don’t have that new saw yet, I will let it sit for one week and then check again. I will leave it covered and when I check, maybe get my LJ buddy over here to help me get to the middle of the stack.

In the meantime, will check out that link. Thanks!

-- .......now cut that out!

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2062 days


#7 posted 02-14-2012 06:46 PM

You can always go with, It takes time to get the new saw setup and it will be ready when the lumber is !

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1142 posts in 1142 days


#8 posted 02-15-2012 04:18 AM

Once you are satisfied that it is dry, if you leave it in that hut that is not heated or cooled, it will acclimate to the equilibrium moisture content based on the humidity and temperature in the building. In your example, it will gain moisture so it will become kiln dried lumber with an air dried moisture content! If you wrap it tightly in plastic like thick ml polyethylene or house wrap and seal it up good, it will be good to go for a long time as the wrap will retard the regain of moisture and slow it down to the point that you would not have to worry about it.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

716 posts in 1624 days


#9 posted 02-15-2012 04:53 PM

Sorry about that saw millzit, didn’t mean to spoil anything lol. Just to say it, wood should dry thru the sides, not the ends; the ends should still be coated to deter moisture loss, if not you run a much higher chance of it splitting lengthwise as it dries. Tipping the stack is used to improve air flow that isn’t keeping up with the moisture loss as the heat will lift air along the wood surface. There is a million miles of science and info on drying wood, this here is a tip of an iceberg. Best of luck.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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