How many years am I looking at to dry?

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 04-19-2012 09:57 PM 3126 views 1 time favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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469 posts in 3307 days

04-19-2012 09:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut

First time ever buying anything on Craigslist I just bought 350 bf of Walnut for $2/bf. All pieces are 8’ long with numerous 1” pieces, 7 2” thick pieces and one 4” thick pieces. All the 2” and 4” still have the bark on them. They were cut a month ago so how many years am I looking at until I can use it?

39 replies so far

View Gonecrazy's profile


41 posts in 2769 days

#1 posted 04-19-2012 10:03 PM

The standard rule of thumb is 1yr per inch of thicknes when stickered and covered properly …....

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4063 days

#2 posted 04-19-2012 10:04 PM

rule of thumb 1 year for each inch, Gonecrazy beat me to it

View robdem's profile


381 posts in 2846 days

#3 posted 04-19-2012 10:06 PM

Basically one year per inch of thickness of wood if letting air dry.But you have to make sure you sticker it so you get air movement between each layer of wood

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4200 days

#4 posted 04-19-2012 10:18 PM

First thing is to get the bark off. Yep! Thumb rule is 1 year per inch unless you can put it in a warmer environment. Get a moisture meter. 6/8 % is a great starting point. Be aware that there are some internal issues with any wood. Tension, grain, etc. Some woods will require additional conditioning after rough cutting/planing. I usually let my workpieces acclimate in the shop for a couple of days after roughing.


View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10374 posts in 4292 days

#5 posted 04-19-2012 11:15 PM


unless you can put it in a warmer environment.

I can help solve your problem!

I’m in HOT SUNNY Southern California… it would probably dry here much faster than there in PA!

You could ship me some of it… I would pay for the freight…
... I would get it Air Dried…
... When you are ready to make something, I could rough cut the boards into your Part boards, from which you would do the final cutting, etc….
... I would ship them back to you (probably UPS or Fedex) . you pay the freight on a small amount (not much waste)...
I get to keep an equal amount that was used for your parts!

How does that sound?!

Man! You sure got a super deal!

The last time I bought Walnut, a few months ago, I paid close to $9/bft 8/4

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4164 days

#6 posted 04-19-2012 11:29 PM

It will have to be steamed to get that store bought look you get at the mills. Am I right fellers?

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2817 days

#7 posted 04-19-2012 11:29 PM

Shouldn’t one seal the end grain with wax or paint?

Nice score on the walnut.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10374 posts in 4292 days

#8 posted 04-20-2012 12:40 AM

I understand that Air Dried is desired by the “purist” that works with Walnut…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3305 days

#9 posted 04-20-2012 12:48 AM

The one year per inch is a generalization, and I think a worse case scenario, but it depends on the humidity in your area and where you store it. I dry most of my lumber in my attic which is dry and warm in the summer, but it is shaded so it is not wicked hot up there. I find that walnut dries fairly quickly relative to other species. Last year I put some fresh cut 4/4 and 8/4 walnut in my attic in March and the 4/4 was down to 9% by the end of July, which is about as low as it goes in MN. The 8/4 was at 9% by October. As waho said, be sure to seal the ends of you will lose a lot of lumber to checking. If you seal it right away your loss will be greatly minimized.

Here are a few more ideas on stacking, storing, etc.:

-- PaulMayer,

View yellowtruck75's profile


469 posts in 3307 days

#10 posted 04-20-2012 12:55 AM

What should I use to seal the ends?

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1577 posts in 3805 days

#11 posted 04-20-2012 01:08 AM

Nice score..
As Waho6o9 said, seal the ends with melted wax or paint as an alternative.

How is the sapwood? pics please?

Is there enough 2” for another rocker?

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3305 days

#12 posted 04-20-2012 01:25 AM

For sealing the ends, you can use any latex paint, or a special wax emulsion that is formulated for this purpose. I have used both and they work equally well. The only advantage of the wax that I am aware of is that it won’t hurt your planer blades.

-- PaulMayer,

View WDHLT15's profile


1797 posts in 2716 days

#13 posted 04-20-2012 01:55 AM

I see the 1” per year rule-of-thumb quoted often on wood working forums. For me here in Georgia, it is a poor rule of thumb. Properly stickered walnut here under an open shed will air dry down to 12 % in less than 180 days. The 8/4 will take closer to a year, definitely not 2 years. I check my wood stacks with a moisture meter so that I am not guessing. If you do leave the 4/4 for a year, you will definitely be safe.

I have found latex paint to be a poor end sealer. Anchorseal is the very best stuff to use bar none.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Gonecrazy's profile


41 posts in 2769 days

#14 posted 04-20-2012 02:01 AM

The 1 inch per yr is just a general rule of thumb as always diferent conditions will always change the dry time …

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2504 days

#15 posted 04-20-2012 04:17 AM

Like everyone else is saying, about 1 year per inch thickness. If you live in a humid area, you can forget about getting it down to furniture dryness by just letting it air dry in the open. It will stabilize to around 15-22%.

Keep a cover over it and make sure it has proper ventilation. Get it at least 1 foot off the ground. Don’t put something like a tarp directly on it. Just get a roof over it. After 6-8 months, get it inside and let it finish drying in your home.

The ones at 4” may take a while longer. I’ve figured out that 1” dries fast (less than a year usually). 2” usually takes about 2 years (pretty much at the 1” a year mark). Anything beyond that and the times start extending beyond 1” a year. I live in Mississippi though and it’s definitely humid (and hot) here.

I wish I could dry stuff in my attic or crawlspace; but I have over 60,000 lbs of wood waiting to dry.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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