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Air Drying in Arizona

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Forum topic by KenBry posted 804 days ago 1053 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KenBry

449 posts in 1051 days


804 days ago

Does anyone have any experince drying green lumber in Az? I am considering trying to get a few downed trees and getting them cut and drying them my self. But I am wondering how the dry heat here affects things and so forth.

We have had several wind storms here and I thought I could gather some of those down tree trunks. There is always downed trees from one storm or another.

I have access to lots of Mesquite, euculiptus, jacarandia and odd things here and there.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.


10 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

691 posts in 1562 days


#1 posted 804 days ago

I had some black walnut logs, around 36” wide, sawn up after they had sat under cover for about 6 months and sent them to Nevada in the early springtime. I’m in NW Oregon. My brother down there let them set and dry for about a month then sliced them up and completely tricked out the inside of his home with it. Absolutely beautiful. But walnut is forgiving, and can put up with stresses other woods cannot. This is getting pretty late in the year to send wet wood down there, but if you can control the woods’ drying then it may still work okay. Best of luck.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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KenBry

449 posts in 1051 days


#2 posted 804 days ago

Yea, I was looking at using locally found woods and thought that drying out the lumber to fast in this heat might not work out to well.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5418 posts in 2033 days


#3 posted 803 days ago

Ken,
I’m in Snowflake and have brought back several hundred green BF of various species from TN, AR, GA, IL.
After about 3-4 months, everything is dry enough to use.
My mesquite takes less time but I’m not sure how long it laid in the log before I got it and milled it.
One caveat, most of mine is under roof and what isn’t is tarped. The pieces exposed seem to check readily.

-- 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

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KenBry

449 posts in 1051 days


#4 posted 803 days ago

Yea, I was thinking about Tarping and end painting to keep things from going to crap. But for the moment it’s more a thought about doing this than practice.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

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zombeerose

66 posts in 2759 days


#5 posted 803 days ago

I live in Peoria, AZ and am in the middle of drying some rough cut pieces of mesquite/ash/eucalyptus in my garage. I cut them extra thick (1.5-2”) and heavily coated the end grain with latex paint. Make sure you stack them evenly with separators (~ every foot) made out of a wood that won’t discolor (oak has tannins that can stain). Considering the intense dry heat here in AZ, I would be less optimistic about drying outside, but if you do, I would opt for a shaded area then cover with plywood and weight it down. Make sure you elevate the boards off the ground/concrete. Ensure adequate airflow around all surfaces. Oh ya… and be patient … figure a year for every inch of thickness. Good luck :)

-- Maximize - Your Time, Your Experiencies, Your Life, Yourself!

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1080 days


#6 posted 803 days ago

No way that it will take one year for 1” wood to dry in AZ. Walnut and cherry dry to 12 – 14% here in GA in about 4 – 5 months, and even red oak air dries in 6 – 8 months. The humidity in AZ is much lower on average, so fast drying will occur. The moisture meter does not lie.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5418 posts in 2033 days


#7 posted 803 days ago

Yep, no need to wait a year. Like I said earlier, 4 summer mo. for green stuff from back east. Mesquite, maybe a little less.

-- 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 KenBry's profile

KenBry

449 posts in 1051 days


#8 posted 803 days ago

I was thinking AZ in the summer = kiln dried, LOL

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View RichardDePetris's profile

RichardDePetris

25 posts in 289 days


#9 posted 173 days ago

Are you guys saying that I don’t have to wait a whole year for my lumber to dry? I live in GA and I have some 8/4 that I’m anxious to use. Right now it is stickered and end sealed under my porch away from rain, but gets lots of air flow.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

691 posts in 1562 days


#10 posted 172 days ago

There is a calculator for how heavy a given wood is at a given moisture content; 1 is located at woodweb.com, you’ll need to do a search for it but it’s there. Is it based on one board foot, so the best thing a person can do is create a test piece that is exactly 1 board foot and weigh it for comparison with the calculators number. Keep said test piece in amongst the stack for accuracy and keep measuring it until you are satisfied. Differing woods dry differently, so test for yourself for the best answers.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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