Need advise for drying 8/4 cherry.

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Forum topic by crank49 posted 05-13-2012 03:12 AM 1931 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4030 posts in 2968 days

05-13-2012 03:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: air dry cherry dh kiln question

I just bought a couple hundred board feet of 8/4 cherry.
Eventually I plan to make a dining room table from this.
My question is I need specifics of air drying process.
1. I know it needs air flow and has to be stickered.
2. I plan to stack it with sticks on about 24” spacing.
3. It will be in my garage, in the dry, and not covered.
4. Do I need to seal the ends to prevent checking?
5. Do i need to do anything in particular to prevent bugs? What?
6. I am considering building a DH kiln. Is it okay to air dry a few months before putting in the kiln?

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

11 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2284 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 03:32 AM

Air drying will only take you to ambient humidity. Plan one year per inch. I’d find someone in the area who has a kiln and you should have the dried wood in about a month or so.
If you leave them on the garage floor, be sure to keep the stack at least a foot off the floor.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2284 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 03:33 AM

Yes you need to seal the ends. They will dry first and split, (check).

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3301 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 03:58 AM

if you have a can of paint, just use it to seal the ends, and since your going to sticlk it, and it will be dry, it will be fine until you put it into the kiln, would like to see your stash of wood when you get some pictures to show, you know what they say, no pictures, it didnt happen,,,lol…...good luck

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Bobmedic's profile


379 posts in 2799 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 04:04 AM

That will be a huge dining room table if it takes a couple hundred board feet of cherry to make. lol

View killerb's profile


150 posts in 2396 days

#5 posted 05-13-2012 03:23 PM

air flow, you need air flow. if the air is not moving over the lumber, you will get stain. bob

-- Bob

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#6 posted 05-14-2012 03:04 PM

Thanks for the replies and suggestions.
I will seal the ends.
I don’t actually have the lumber yet, but will post pictures when I get it.
Just asked a local mill to cut it for me on Saturday.
He has a few 8’ to 10’ logs, 18” diameter.

Yes, the table I designed is 42” wide and 96” long, so that is a big table.
In fact, it’s so big I will probably build something else smaller first to hone and verify my skils before I jump in over my head and waste a bunch of good lumber.

My only “table projects” so far have been my workbench and a lathe and grinding stand.

View WDHLT15's profile


1742 posts in 2473 days

#7 posted 05-16-2012 02:20 AM

You need air flow all around the stack. Definitely seal the ends. Paint is a very poor choice to end seal wood. Use anchorseal or Bailley’s end sealer. Cherry is pretty forgiving to dry, and it will dry faster than 1” per year. With good air flow, that 8/4 cherry will take a bout a year to dry.

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

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#8 posted 05-16-2012 03:15 PM

I went to the mill yesterday after work and that is some beautiful cherry wood he has. I can get the whole bundle for a good price and I am considering it. Especially if anyone else out there would like part of it. I potentially could have over 500 brd ft. Most of it is over 10ft long. about half of it is sawed 8/4 and half is 4/4. I’m located in south central Tennessee.

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3364 days

#9 posted 05-16-2012 05:32 PM

I have some walnut slabs that are 3” thick. I found a high school with a solar kiln and we expect that the wood will be dry in about 3 months. Not as fast as a regular kiln but faster than air drying. But I am told that the wood will have a lot better color

I don’t know if that makes a difference to cherry or not but it is an option.


View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2262 days

#10 posted 05-16-2012 07:04 PM

You definitely don’t want to dry it too fast. I usually air dry mine first and then look at other means of drying it. Kilns usually will kill any bugs in the wood.

If it’s in your garage, airflow is going to be an important item to address. Stack it 1’ off the ground with at least 1” stickers and do not stack it up against a wall. There should be at least 1’ clearance, but I would suggest more. You can seal it with latex paint. If you want to go an extra step, there are products that work as anti-stain agents. I have no experience with those though.

A DH kiln may be a great addition and help reduce the costs of having so much wood dried. I usually decide whether or not to have a tool or capability based on how often I would use it. If this is all the wood you ever plan on drying or you’re going to be doing it rarely, I’d say drop it off. If it becomes a regular occurrence, build a kiln.

I live in central MS (not too far from you I guess) and I just let it air dry most of the time. During the winter months it can get pretty dry and you can finish the ones you need off by taking them into your house for a few weeks/months.

Just remember you’re probably going to have to work the wood when it’s done drying, so don’t let them mill it too close to the final dimensions you wish to have.

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

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3317 days

#11 posted 05-18-2012 02:29 PM

I think you should just give up and give me a ring. I’ll come and get rid of that pesky wood for you… ;)

Here’s a project for a solar kiln I favorited a while back. Maybe this will help(?)


-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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