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roughsawn green oak

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Forum topic by weldoman posted 497 days ago 1221 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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weldoman

52 posts in 644 days


497 days ago

A local sawmill sells roughsawn oak @ .80/ bd.ft., Is this something I could air dry and build cabinets with in a year or so?

If possible, seems better than paying $2.+ at the hardwood dealer for kiln-dried stuff.

-- missouri, dave


13 replies so far

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pmayer

565 posts in 1652 days


#1 posted 497 days ago

It depends on the thickness and where you store it. If it is 1” thick and you store it in dry area, then yes, I believe you will be able to use it within a year in Missouri. If you store it inside and put a fan on it, then I would say that should be easily ready in that time frame. Be sure to seal the ends or it will split and you will lose some of your savings. Sticker it every 16” or so, and keep the stickers neatly aligned vertically. Put some weight on top of the stack (like cement blocks) to apply weight and keep it from distorting as it dries. I have never dried oak but I have air dried a couple thousand board feet of maple, cherry and oak and have good luck with all of that. If I get 1” material this time of year it is ready to use by mid July, give or take. I store the wood vertically until it is down to about 20%, and then sticker/stack it. This prevents sticker staining which can be a problem in some species.

At that kind of savings I think it is well worth the effort. I also like working with air dried lumber as it is easier to work with hand tools, and with cherry and walnut I generally prefer the color of air dried stock, although I have not noticed a difference with oak.

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

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NGK

93 posts in 498 days


#2 posted 497 days ago

Green wood needs to be air-dried outside (wind helps dry it), stickered, on a good flat base, and covere with “tin” for up to a year. That brings it down to EMC (Equilibrium Moisture Content) of about 16 percent in the midwestern states (MO, IA, IL, WI, IN, OH, etc.).

Then before you make true furniture you had better drop the moisture further, down to about 8 percent. This can be done by making a solar kiln and drying it there for about a month, OR by storing it in a sealed room with a dehumidifier. Alternatively you can store it for a few months in the environment where it will be utilized—like your living room, or even under the bed, but not stacked tightly.

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weldoman

52 posts in 644 days


#3 posted 497 days ago

Thanks for the tips guys, might be worth a shot.

-- missouri, dave

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

486 posts in 1486 days


#4 posted 497 days ago

well if your going to get alot of green oak a mimi kilm works great Im building a biger one this spring.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1060 posts in 1063 days


#5 posted 497 days ago

Yes, you have to have airflow. Do not stack it inside or in a basement when green.

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

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RussellAP

2935 posts in 873 days


#6 posted 497 days ago

I had some red oak that sat outside stickered for 6 months in Kansas City, it was 5/4 and it was workable this winter. Of course I don’t make anything from oak, it’s treated more like pine in my shop for benches and shelves and bracing of other woods. So I don’t really care that much about the 10 -20% moisture. It’s a beautiful wood when worked properly, but it’s just everywhere and I’m sick of it.

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

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bondogaposis

2419 posts in 938 days


#7 posted 496 days ago

It is well worth it if you have the room and patience to stack and wait.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

565 posts in 1652 days


#8 posted 495 days ago

Drying wood doesn’t necessarily need to be done outside. I dry lumber inside all the time in pretty large quantities. You just need to provide air flow with a fan, and some way to remove moisture from the air such as a dehumidifier. I air dry lumber down to 8-9% consistently in my shop and in the attic above my shop.

In fact, I just brought in 400 bf of 8/4 walnut into my shop a few weeks ago and it is already down to 20%, starting from 50%. If it was sitting outside it would still be sitting at 50%. MN winters are dry, so bringing wood indoors can give you a great jump start on the drying process. I believe that I will have it down to 10% by July, and ready to go by fall.

Here is an article that I wrote on this topic which might provide some useful tips: https://www.wwgoa.com/articles/one-great-tip/should-i-buy-my-lumber-green-/

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

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NGK

93 posts in 498 days


#9 posted 495 days ago

Yes, Mr. Mayer—Shall we just call your “fan” a form or artificial and non-free wind? And, yes, most of us know about and use dehumidification kilns. Some of us even compbine the above two with solar kilns.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1060 posts in 1063 days


#10 posted 495 days ago

pmayeer,

Oak is persnickety. If dried too fast, it will check and internal honeycomb. Walnut is very forgiving. Drying inside is species dependent.

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

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pmayer

565 posts in 1652 days


#11 posted 492 days ago

WDHLT15, are you saying that oak should not be dried inside because it will dry too quickly? This is still far slower than a kiln. I have not dried oak before but it seems that drying it inside would not accelerate it to an unsafe degree. I keep my shop at 62 degrees in the winter, and it rarely gets as high as 80 in the summer, whereas outside temps can be up to 100 here.

NGK, I was responding to your point that wood needs to be dried outside. Some people are concerned about the moisture introduced through the drying process, which can be considerable with large quantities of wood and needs to be dealt with, but can be done. I thought that perhaps this is where you were coming from when you made the point that it needs to be done outside, so thank you for clarifying. Your claim that that most of us (presuming you mean LJ members) use dehumidification kilns seems off base to me and would surprise me if it were true. I don’t believe that it is uncommon, but I don’t think it’s the defacto either. My wild guess would be the highest percentage of wood used by LJers would be kiln dried, some respectable amount of “unassisted” air dried , and a small minority of solar/dehumidification kilns. But, as I said, mine is just a guess. It would be an interesting survey.

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

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NGK

93 posts in 498 days


#12 posted 492 days ago

pmayer—-Let’s not beat this topic to death. First I implied that lumber stacked outside is BETTER than stacking it inside (because of better natural) air flow which helps speed up the drying process. Then I stated that the wind is free, whereas your fan costs money to buy and money (electricity) to run. EITHER of these methods merely brings the moisture down to 15 percent in IL. Outdoors with a breeze and indoors with a fan are faster than indoors with NO fan. In a shed or basement with little or no air movement you are risking the development of mold or fungus, as fresh-cut logs are as high as 60-90 percent water.

Next someone is bringing up solar and dehumidification. One or the other or both OR ALOT OF TIME is necessary to take it wn to 6-8 percent for proper FURNITURE construction. Solar is cheaper than dehumidification once you have the facility built. It may be slower (like 30 days), but it’s easy on the wood, as every night when the sun goes down the moisture in the center of the board creeps out to the drier exterior. This prevents cracking, checking, and honeycomb as it allows the wood to “rest” or equalize every night.

Dehumidification is not free because of the cost of the dehumidifier AND the electricity. Solar AND dehumidification can work together, but I’d turn the electricity off at night for the above explained “rest” for the wood. You can also use artificial heat (electric or furnace) heat with dehumidifiation.

Repeating—Drying lumber is most often a TWO-stage process. Dried in a stickered pile is relativlely free except for labor and the cost of a metal stack roof and waiting about a year. Stage two takes it from 15 percent down to typically 6 percent and is more costly but only 10-30 days. Different species dry at different rates.

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DKV

3056 posts in 1091 days


#13 posted 492 days ago

What do the people at the local sawmill say? Did you even ask?

-- 2014 will be a different year...at least for me it will.

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