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How to cure pecan.

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Forum topic by Huero posted 247 days ago 1015 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Huero

5 posts in 247 days


247 days ago

I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. My mom had to sell the farm last year to pay for my fathers care. Before it was sold, I was able to cut down the pecan tree that we played in as children. My question is how to best cure the wood. In particular, I cut one logs into 3” slabs and stickered them for the last 10 months in oklahoma. I want to use one of the slabs for a bar in my house. There is a fella down the way with a kiln that he uses for “reclaimed lumber.” But, he said that the reclaimed wood starts at about 12% moisture and ends up at 6%. After a year of being air dried, should I put it in a kiln?

Thanks for any info/insight,
Huero


23 replies so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

896 posts in 854 days


#1 posted 247 days ago

Get a moisture meter and see where you are at already, 10 months is a good seasoning period, and well, you may not have to kiln dry it.

(curing is not the correct term) you want to say dry or season in order to get responses.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

851 posts in 634 days


#2 posted 247 days ago

Not sure really need to send your slab to a kiln to finish drying or bring moisture content down. You want your slab to reach plus or minus 1 or 2 percent EMC for indoor use. If know average annual relative humidity for your area calculators like this fun to play with.

http://www.csgnetwork.com/emctablecalc.html

Just bring slab into house or climate controlled shop and find a place where can lean against a wall where can get air circulation should bring down MC to EMC in a few more months.

An inexpensive moisture meter will provide you ball park MC readings. I use a General pin type bought at Lowes.

http://www.csgnetwork.com/emctablecalc.html

Yes, logs and lumber often air dried before going into a kiln. Kiln drying is not any better than air drying because certain amount of wood degrade is exceptable. Normally kiln operators like to do single species because less degrade than drying mixed species unless mixed species similar.

-- Bill

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

981 posts in 975 days


#3 posted 247 days ago

I, too, would bring it into the house for a few months. Store it so that air can circulate on all sides.

-- Danny, Located in Perry, GA, Forester, Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2895 posts in 786 days


#4 posted 247 days ago

For something that thick, 3”, I’d definitely kiln dry it. A couple months stickered will get it down but the center of the wood is still going to shift on you if you don’t dry it properly. If you can find a local saw mill, they’ll do it for you cheap.

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

View mporter's profile

mporter

209 posts in 1077 days


#5 posted 247 days ago

+1 for wildwood

It is amazing to me how many people I hear say something like “This board has been air drying for 4 years now, it must be down to 6 or so percent.” That is impossible. Like wildwood said wood will never fall below EMC without energy being put into the wood.

Also as a side note if wood is kiln dried then stored in a non-temp controlled environment-it will go back to EMC. Kiln dry the board to 6% then leave it in a shed somewhere and 3 years later it’s back to 12%.

By the way the average EMC for your area is around 12.5%

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

667 posts in 1458 days


#6 posted 247 days ago

One thing missing is that pecan wood is a great home for bugs; kiln drying may not be necessary (tho I would recommend it after letting the slab set inside for a year) for drying, but it would be an excellent idea for pest control.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View mporter's profile

mporter

209 posts in 1077 days


#7 posted 247 days ago

Nomad62 bring up another great point. There is no way I wouldn’t pay a guy to kiln dry that piece. Why take the chance?
The wood is probably around 30% right now. What nobody has told you yet is if you bring this in your house and try to air dry it-it’s going to take another 2 years or so to get it workable. Have it kiln dried then start making the bar.

Going to make a hell of a good looking bar by the way.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

851 posts in 634 days


#8 posted 247 days ago

I stand by my post for drying couple of slabs. Drying wood more art than science whether you air or kiln dry. No, cannot tell you how many BF of lumber defect free dried in kiln, air dried or combination of both each year. Just know from experience expect some defects with whatever method used.

We do not know if Huero, end seal slabs before stickering and stacking to air dry. Now would be too late! Continued air drying might just be gentlest method of achieving success. Would think MC way less than 30% now.

Chapter 8 Drying Defects

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/usda/ah188/chapter08.pdf

Drying Hardwood Lumber

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr118.pdf

Drying wood nothing more of a water removal process, and wood dries from outside in. Air circulation and time will cause evaporation of water weight, allow cell to shrink and wood to harden. Of course like already stated wood will regain moisture content with changes in relative humidity.

-- Bill

View mporter's profile

mporter

209 posts in 1077 days


#9 posted 247 days ago

Wildwood,
It might be below 30% but just by a couple of percent. You think that storing a 3 inch slab inside will bring its moisture content down EMC in just a couple of months?

View Don W's profile

Don W

13924 posts in 1067 days


#10 posted 247 days ago

If you kiln dry it you’re sure. An average is an inch a year, so there is a chance you’re not a third of the way there. Even with a moisture meter you are going to have to cut it to get a good reading. If it was mine, and I had a kiln that close, that’s were it would go.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

851 posts in 634 days


#11 posted 247 days ago

MPorter, looking at the picture do not see a constant 3” slab, assume we are not looking at all the slabs though.

Yes, certainly do!

Carvers & woodturners often dry thicker blanks of wood. Know several carvers that store their carving blanks, in basements, garages, and shops.

When harvest bowl blanks often above FSP (MC more than 28-30%) end seal, store in my wood shed until can rough turn. After six months, those 6+ inches thick by 18 to 24 inches long blanks stored in my wood shed often below 20%. Shoot for longer lengths if possible learned to anticipate wood degrade in storage. Some species more forgiven than others.

MC drops as rough turn, and sit at back of my un-air/heated for up to a year or two. Most ready to finish turn in as little as two, three, to six months.

Before getting a moisture meter worked by feel and weight, my meter gives me a better picture to what is going on with wood’s MC if remember to use it.

-- Bill

View Huero's profile

Huero

5 posts in 247 days


#12 posted 245 days ago

Thanks for all the info fellas. I did seal the end grain when I cut down the tree. I brought this slab from Oklahoma to Idaho last week. That’s when I took the pick of it in my garage. Problem is that it’s only been here a week and it is really cracking. I will take some pics tomorrow. It makes me think that it’s losing too much moisture too fast now. But, heck I don’t know.
I will get by lowes and buy a moisture meter.

Thanks again for all your help. I will post a pic tomorrow.

Huero

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

981 posts in 975 days


#13 posted 245 days ago

Yes, the lower humidity in Idaho has accelerated the drying and the shell is drying faster than the core. This sets up stress which leads to the checks to relieve it. It would be best to slow the drying rate down by reducing the air flow (wind if outside). If it is checking, i would take it out of a heated and cooled space. Maybe stand it up in a corner of the garage.

-- Danny, Located in Perry, GA, Forester, Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2157 posts in 1460 days


#14 posted 245 days ago

WDHLT15, would standing the wood cause it to warp versus laying it flat? Just curious.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

981 posts in 975 days


#15 posted 244 days ago

No. It would not make any difference flat or standing as long as air can circulate on all sides. However, if you laid it flat on a floor where one side was getting air and one was not, the air side would dry faster than the floor side, and this could lead to cupping and warp.

-- Danny, Located in Perry, GA, Forester, Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill

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