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Drying Cherry Lumber

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Forum topic by andy81563 posted 08-15-2012 12:53 AM 1664 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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andy81563

22 posts in 1037 days


08-15-2012 12:53 AM

I am in the process of building a craftsman style house for myself and I intend to do a portion of the interior wood work including cabinets, window and door trim. I have an opportunity to purchase a large amount (3300 board feet) of rough sawn 4/4 cherry lumber that has been air stacked and dried for over a year. It is, though, too high in moisture for cabinet work. I have talked to someone who can kiln dry it for me but he says if I am not prepared to store the dried lumber in a climate-controlled atmosphere the kiln drying will be a waste of time. How could I proceed with this project if I do not have the room to store all of the wood properly? Should I just get it kiln dried a small amount at a time? The price I am gong to pay for this lumber makes it worth doing something unconventional as opposed to buying the wood from a lumber yard.


26 replies so far

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2646 days


#1 posted 08-15-2012 01:13 AM

get it KD, then rent a mini storage unit, stack and sticker it. look at craigslist and Kijiji, you might find some one with a barn with cheap storage, or make a knock down lean-to on yr property ?

or rent but a trailer, like the trailers you see going down the highway, cheap and a dime a dozen

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11688 posts in 2441 days


#2 posted 08-15-2012 02:54 AM

No sense bringing it to the kiln until you’re ready to use it : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2646 days


#3 posted 08-15-2012 03:09 AM

I disagree

spend the money now a it avoids moving it 14 flippen times so do it while KD prices are cheap cuz when you finally build your home

time will not be yr friend

; ))

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

609 posts in 1818 days


#4 posted 08-15-2012 04:35 AM

I wouldn’t bother with a kiln at this point. If you can get possession of it now and move it to a dry place, sticker and stack it properly, I bet you can have it down to a low enough moisture level within a few weeks this time of year. Cherry dries really quickly when its put in the right environment, and that wood must be in the mid teens or so. For the projects you are describing you can get away with being a tad high (couple %) on MC as the pieces you will be using are relatively small and the movement should not cause catastrophic distortion. If you were building a dining table, it would be a different matter.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1017 days


#5 posted 08-15-2012 04:38 AM

I agree with Dusty. Kiln drying wood and having no good storage for it when your done is a fool’s use of money (with exceptions: It will kill insects and things of that nature).

Personally though, since you intend on using it for cabinets, I’d wait until you are ready to that before getting them kiln-dried then stacking them out in the humid air again. If you were using it for outside use or possibly certain types of furniture, I’d say go for it, but in this case, I advise against it (unless you think there’s an insect problem).

You could wrap the lumber in plastic after you’re done and store it in a dry cool place. Like Moron said, if you can find a climate-controlled storage unit, you could go that route. The prices here for that type of unit are about $75/month though.

To summarize, only kiln-dry it when you’re ready to use or ready to properly store or if you need to kill off some bugs.

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

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2646 days


#6 posted 08-15-2012 05:30 AM

all these guys with previous experience kill me in their expertise in building a craftsman type home, in their previous experience with buying 3000 ft of 4/4 cherry timber will guide you in their expertise of “what to do”

this web site is full of fools

kid you not………just look at their projects to be sure

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1017 days


#7 posted 08-15-2012 05:52 AM

all these guys with previous experience kill me in their expertise in building a craftsman type home, in their previous experience with buying 3000 ft of 4/4 cherry timber will guide you in their expertise of “what to do”

this web site is full of foolsMoron

Moron, you seem overly critical of someone you know little about. He said he wanted to use it for cabinets, trim, etc.. I’m not here to guide him on what’s best for the style he’s building. He wanted to know whether to kiln dry or not. I gave him reasons to and not to.

I don’t see where Paul, Dusty, or I made any statements that we had experience buying 3000 ft of 4/4 cherry before or gave advice on building a craftsman home. I guess you have reading comprehension issues.

To me (as I stated in my advice, Personally though), kiln-drying at this stage if all you plan on doing is putting it right back out in humid conditions is a complete waste of money (unless you’re trying to kill insects or similar). I don’t see where that warranted any sort of attack by you.

Just because they’re different than your opinions doesn’t make them wrong. I cut and dry my own lumber. I think that qualifies me to give some advice on what to do.

Not only that, I don’t understand how you think drying lumber now at what I guess is a universally lower price all around the world (my kiln still charges the same as they did last week and the week before and the week before….) is cheaper when you factor in renting a trailer or a climate-controlled mini-storage. It’s a wash in my opinion. What if he won’t get around to working on the cabinets and everything else for a year?

kid you not………just look at their projects to be sureMoron

As for projects, I heed the advice that others have given that if I don’t want projects to be copied then don’t post them. Does that mean I think my projects are super secret 100% original great? No. I just don’t feel like posting them. Last I checked, posting projects doesn’t make your advice any better.

I checked your projects and there’s some good stuff. Not really my style, but it’s good nonetheless. That being said, does it make you an expert on everything? No, not even close.

Yep, just confirmed… it’s still called Lumberjocks and not Moron’s Way is the Right Way. Hope you had a chuckle and didn’t take it too seriously; I just don’t understand what your last post was all about.

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

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2646 days


#8 posted 08-15-2012 05:56 AM

your gallery is empty

its easy to talk the walk

far harder to walk the talk

too many words

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1017 days


#9 posted 08-15-2012 06:01 AM

What is it with you? Do you think projects make you experienced at giving advice on drying lumber or do you think actually doing it does?

your gallery is empty
its easy to talk the walk
far harder to walk the talk

What does that have to do with anything? Do you want pictures of me cutting and drying lumber? You know… the stuff that’s actually somewhat relevant to this post?

Sorry if I made you read so I’ll finish this up with random pounding on my keyboard

;lkagjir 9u9 t kf\kewr0i9uwt iw

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

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2646 days


#10 posted 08-15-2012 06:18 AM

the older I get the more I realize the less I know and the less inclined I am, to help those who know less

old words of wisdom “The best reply to a fool is silence”

“unwatch”

let the wolves eat each other : ))

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View andy81563's profile

andy81563

22 posts in 1037 days


#11 posted 08-15-2012 09:26 AM

Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to respond. I forgot to mention that I live in northeast Alabama and the humidity here is outrageous, especially in August and September. Things do get better in October but now it is rough. I need to get a moisture meter so I can check the MC but the guy at the lumber yard says it is probably around 15% now. I can imagine if I dry it in a kiln now it will suck up the moisture when it comes out. If I could find a climate-controlled storage unit for $75 a month it would be great. This amount of wood, though, is going to take a 10×30 room and they go for $100-125 a month here. It may just be best to dry it as i need it.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1245 posts in 887 days


#12 posted 08-15-2012 11:50 AM

Storing & stacking (stickered) in a garage running simple fans to keep up air circulation through stack will bring down MC.

This little video might give you some pointers on stacking & storing your wood.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/Materials/MaterialsArticle.aspx?id=29500

-- Bill

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1017 days


#13 posted 08-15-2012 02:41 PM

Andy, you are doing the right thing (IMO). I live in Central Mississippi and I don’t see my stacks getting that dry unless they are out of the open air or inside my house.

I have several pieces that I air-dried that are 4/4-8/4 hovering in the 9.5-10.5% MC range. They’ve been in my house since November, but achieved that MC in late June or so. They were previously in the 15-20% range.

If you have room in your house to store some boards, you can do that. But, as you said, you have to have some room to do so. You could probably get by with a little less room than 10×30 if you stack it high, but that’s completely dependent on how well the wood stacks and the airflow and temperatures you’re experiencing.

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

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2098 posts in 941 days


#14 posted 08-15-2012 04:48 PM

A couple of comments:

1) Sounds like Moron is having a bad day . . .

2) I have heard that cherry is tricky to dry (but very stable once dry) – better make sure it isn’t already knackered.

3) Whatever you do, the wood will take on the environment you store it in. You haven’t said what that is (as far as I see) and so it’s hard to say what to do. Many use the rule “1 year for each inch of thickness” when air drying so it may well be fairly close to equilibrium already. Better test it . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

609 posts in 1818 days


#15 posted 08-15-2012 05:13 PM

Yikes…this thread really went sideways for no apparent reason. Here is an article that I published on air drying lumber: http://www.wwgoa.com/articles/one-great-tip/should-i-buy-my-lumber-green-/

I would get a moisture meter and measure the MC of this wood, and some kiln dried lumber that is stabilized in the current humidity. The mc values might be closer together than you think. If you can just get the wood to the driest spot possible (indoors, off the ground, etc.) and run a fan on it and run a dehumidifier in the room you should be able to get it to a point within a few weeks where you can feel comfortable working with it.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

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