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Good place to dry??

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Forum topic by MaroonGoon posted 366 days ago 539 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 562 days


366 days ago

I got myself a thermometer/hygrometer yesterday and tested it inside my house overnight. It seemed to be accurate saying that my house relative humidity was around 45% and 74 degrees. So this morning I reset it and placed it in my attic at 7 AM and checked it when I got home around 7 PM. Here is the reading. It was 30% humidity when I took the picture, it was 28% before I moved it to an area I could take a picture. The temperature was above 100 and had gotten up to 120 at some point. This seems like an ideal spot to “kiln dry” the lumber that I have outside sitting at 12-13%. What do you guys think?

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


21 replies so far

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1080 days


#1 posted 366 days ago

Yes, that will work fine at that beginning moisture content.

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

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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 562 days


#2 posted 366 days ago

How long do you think it would take to dry from 12-13% to 8% in these conditions? 2-3 weeks or am I being too optimistic?

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

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 890 days


#3 posted 366 days ago

Heat and humidity are key elements in drying wood, but air flow is just as important. If you want your boards to curl up like boat wood, the attic is a great place. The moisture has to be drawn out of the room. 30% at 100 degrees is much wetter than 45 at 75 degrees also.
A better idea is a basement floor, raised about a foot above the floor and stickered with a tarp over the top and the ends open with a fan blowing air across the wood 24/7. Might not get to hot, but removing moisture is more than heat.

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

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BigAndRich

26 posts in 422 days


#4 posted 365 days ago

But if there is decent circulation would an attic work? I’ve got a couple of walnut log pieces with sealed ends up in mine. I had the same idea as MaroonGoon while looking at solar kiln ideas.

-- Rich, Kentucky

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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 562 days


#5 posted 365 days ago

Thanks Russell I’ll take that fact into consideration. I certainly don’t want my boards to cup or warp :-/

So would a dehumidifier in a room or chamber have the effect you are referring to? I know that dehumidifiers reduce humidity but that in effect raises temperature also, right? If I didn’t store the wood in my attic, like you advise against, then I might just build a dehumidification kiln big enough to hold 100-200 BF or so. I’ve read on here of guys doing that to lower their wood at a stable MC and keeping it there.

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

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 890 days


#6 posted 365 days ago

MaroonGoon, you’re not talking about wood that has just been cut, your stuff is already at ambient humidity levels. I’d just put what I intend to use in the shop for a week or so to let it stabilize to that atmosphere. Even if you dry it with a kiln it’s going to take on the ambient moisture as soon as you take it out again. Hopefully your shop is climate controlled.

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

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 890 days


#7 posted 365 days ago

BigAndRich, I think a log will do fine, but not a lot of wet wood. Some guys want to stack 200 bf of fresh cut cherry in the attic and think it’s the same as a kiln, but it does more damage to the house than anything else. A few boards isn’t a problem, but a lot of wood evaporating in a poorly vented space is a recipe for disaster.

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

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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 562 days


#8 posted 365 days ago

Russell that’s part of the issue, my shop is uninsulated :-/ I’m having to figure out a way to keep the wood at 7-8% while being able to work with it in my uninsulated shop..If I built a 4’x4’x8’ long insulated box with a dehumidifier in it set at 40%, theoretically I could keep wood in it until I need to use it. Once I am done using it then I could stick it back in the chamber to maintain its MC. So technically the wood would be in 40% RH except for the 3-4 hours that I am building with it. I could be totally wrong but to me it makes sense…

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

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 890 days


#9 posted 365 days ago

The problem is that it will take on the humidity level of your shop no matter how dry you get it and may even become more unstable after you make it if it takes on ambient moisture. Depending on what wood you use, this can be problematic or not. Most woods like Walnut or the nut trees in general seem more forgiving of a few % points of moisture, but ideally you want to get the shop dried out with the dehumidifier and I’d think about an air conditioner too. I haven’t seen your shop so I don’t know what the challenges are, you might be in TX where nothing will get it cool and dry.

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

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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 562 days


#10 posted 365 days ago

I’ll be working with walnut so that is good I guess. Maybe that will help me out. Unfortunately I am in one of the most humid parts of Texas haha I may just have to follow your advice, at the expense of insulation and a dehumidifier :-/ Time will tell. I’ll let you know how everything turns out. Thanks for all the insight.

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

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1216 posts in 676 days


#11 posted 365 days ago

I am currently drying wood in cen tex. I am using the AC as a dehumidifier, the wood sticked with a little box fan moving air. that said, I have already dried wood out in the un ac shop. I intend to take it to the level of the wood out in the shop. If you are building projects to go in the AC, and you feel shrinkage is a problem, you likely need to invest in something to control humidity in the shop. Austin is no ‘Doches but I havn’t had problems yet with “ambient” moisture wood going into AC. Although I have had trouble milling poplar in wetter times. I will source it kd at %6 to %8 and will dry it if it needs, but rest it after milling before parts are cut to let it come up to ambient.

-- Who is John Galt?

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Don W

14665 posts in 1171 days


#12 posted 365 days ago

I’d try the attic. If you were putting green wood up there then I’d agree it MAY warp. I’m also assuming we’re talking about a small amount, and your attic is properly ventilated.

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

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WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1080 days


#13 posted 365 days ago

Green wood would be a poor idea in the attic for sure, but wood that is already at 12%, and you want to take it to 8%, that would be fine.

With your humidity in Texas, I would build with the 12% wood and allow for a bit of shrinkage. However, if you go the attic route, you will get to your goal in a couple of weeks for sure. Inside my house in Georgia, stickered behind the couch, starting in April, it took 4 weeks for red oak to go from 13% to 9.5%. It stayed at 9.5% until August, which was when I used the oak for wainscotting in the house.

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

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MaroonGoon

280 posts in 562 days


#14 posted 364 days ago

Cool, thanks for the input. I think I’ll try sticking a couple of boards up there at first to make sure it all goes well. If it does then I’ll put the rest up there and store it in the house once it is finished drying.

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

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RogerM

436 posts in 1003 days


#15 posted 364 days ago

I get a lot of my lumber (oak, cherry, maple, and poplar) here in South Carolina at a local one-man band mill. This wood is green and I sticker most of it and place it under a ceiling fan in a carport for around three months. From there I move it into the storage racks in the upper reaches of my shop (with stickers) that is heated and air conditioned. It takes about 9 months to get most one inch thick stock down to 8-10 %. Hope this info. is useful to you.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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