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Kiln dry lumber that has been air dried for years?

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Forum topic by MaroonGoon posted 361 days ago 654 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 555 days


361 days ago

Hey guys,
I went and picked up a big load of walnut and some cherry today. The seller said that it has been air drying for over ten years and it looks like it has. I tested the MC with my cheap Lowes moisture meter and is around 11-12%. I’m assuming that is because it has been stored and dried outside and since it is so humid in these parts it can’t get any lower than 11-12% while outside. Would you guys recommend building a solar kiln or something of that sort in order to get it down to the 7-8% that I need it to be before working it?

Here’s some pics of my stack. About half of it is 8/4 and the other half is 4/4.

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso


10 replies so far

View watermark's profile

watermark

394 posts in 540 days


#1 posted 361 days ago

I think you could get the moisture down pretty quick with a solar kiln even if it’s a make shift one from plastic sheeting and a simple house hold fan. Here is my solar kiln and a link to a good article. Simple ratio to remember is for every 10bdft of lumber you want 1 sqft of collector.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1066 posts in 1073 days


#2 posted 360 days ago

Put it in your house in several out-of-the-way places on stickers and it will equilibrate to the ambient relative humidity and moisture content in your house in about three weeks. I am sure that it would depend on how much you have, and it only needs to dry a few more %. The equilibrium moisture content in my house in the Spring, Summer, and Fall is between 9.5% and 10% here in Georgia. I use 12% air dried lumber all the time and allow for a little shrinkage in the design.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14606 posts in 1164 days


#3 posted 360 days ago

I wouldn’t worry about kiln drying it. Either way it will settle back to the moisture content in your shop then its final resting place.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 555 days


#4 posted 360 days ago

Thanks watermark ill check those links out.

Ok cool, I may just sticker it in the house for a couple of weeks and see how quickly the wood acclimates to the indoor environment. My shop is uninsulated inside a warehouse so I’m afraid if I stick it in there the MC won’t get down as low as it needs to go for indoor furniture. I’m also considering building a miniature kiln with a dehumidifier in it that I can stick in my shop so I can keep the wood in it even after it has dried down to 7-8% so it won’t regain moisture. Any thoughts?

Also, just say if I was to build with the wood at 12% and it dried to 9% indoors, I know it will move but will it make so much of a difference to be a problem? I mean will it move 1/8” or more or less?

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View Don W's profile

Don W

14606 posts in 1164 days


#5 posted 360 days ago

You should always consider expansion when your building. If you do its not a problem. My house is heated with wood in the winter (dry) and humid in the summer. No matter what yours is now, it may change. You never know where your life will take you or your projects.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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WDHLT15

1066 posts in 1073 days


#6 posted 360 days ago

Expansion is much worse than shrinkage in my experience. You can design in a little shrinkage much easier than swelling.

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

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2938 posts in 883 days


#7 posted 360 days ago

Consider the insects that might find their way into the house. Solar kiln or at least some black plastic over it on the driveway stickered in the sun for a few weeks. Leave the ends open so air can pass through. You want at least 140 degrees to kill off the nastiest of the larva.

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

View MaroonGoon's profile

MaroonGoon

280 posts in 555 days


#8 posted 359 days ago

Thanks Don I havent thought about moving and youre right. I am getting married in December so who really knows where life will take me?! haha

Cool, thanks Russell that’s good to know. I didn’t see any signs of bugs in my lumber but ill make sure I kiln dry it if I find some. The black plastic sounds like a good simple idea.

After sleeping on it I believe I am going to build a “dehumidification chamber” that I can put in the warehouse where my shop is. Just a box big enough to hold around 100 bf with a dehumidifier in it so I can dry the wood there in my shop and be able to leave the wood in it when im not working with it so it doesn’t regain moisture. If I was to do this do y’all think I could get away with using a 30 pint dehumidifier since its in such a small space? I feel like a 70 pint would be overkill for this situation and I could definitely use the money I would save by buying a smaller dehumidifier.

I would build a solar kiln or the like and I’m sure it would work fine, but I have no way of keeping it dry after I kiln dry it other than keeping it inside my house and that’s not really a feasible option considering I would be taking the wood and returning it to my house every time I go out to my shop. Am I over thinking this?

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View Don W's profile

Don W

14606 posts in 1164 days


#9 posted 359 days ago

Is the wood in your house really 7-8%? It’s better to over think it than under think it. Experience will give you the best results.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View MaroonGoon's profile

MaroonGoon

280 posts in 555 days


#10 posted 359 days ago

Well, I bought a thermometer/hygrometer and tested the temperature and humidity level in my house and it is right around 75 degrees F and 45% RH which according to this calculator the wood would be 8.5%. I have it in my attic right now and after I get those results I will test it in my shop and see the differences in temp and humidity.

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

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