LumberJocks

Help drying

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by john2005 posted 239 days ago 897 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View john2005's profile

john2005

594 posts in 680 days


239 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question milling

I was able to round up a few logs from a plumb tree. It was cut down 3 months ago and stored under a deck in the shade till I was able to pick it up. Problem is, (after getting this 4-500 lbs of wood home) that after I milled it into 1” boards, it is wanting to crack. In fact most of it is wanting to crack. I have the ends sealed and keep it under a tarp until I am ready to cut the next piece, but its cracking at a faster and faster rate. Today I cut one board out of the center and it had cracked almost the entire length 3 hours later. What do I do to slow this down? Somebody please help me, this is beautiful wood! Thank you

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.


33 replies so far

View sciolist's profile

sciolist

1 post in 366 days


#1 posted 239 days ago

I know this is probably something you don’t want to hear right now, but I don’t think you can do anything at this point but wait things out. You don’t mention a species, but I would bet that the wood is probably still very wet, overall. 3 months for air drying timber is, IMHO, too short a time for the water content to evaporate evenly across your boards, so they’re going to crack if you work them. If you have a hygrometer, you can check the moisture content of the boards that you have, but I would probably sticker the pile, put it all back under the tarp, and forget about them for at least another 3 – 6 months.

-=T

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

761 posts in 458 days


#2 posted 239 days ago

Possibly stick and stack it, and add moisture (?) and re-tarp it to slow the drying process? I have a lot of walnut that I accidentally waited too long to seal the ends before I got it stickered and have a lot of checking or cracking, mainly at the ends of the boards. I would not work with it for a good while, but I sure would like to see pictures!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

860 posts in 637 days


#3 posted 239 days ago

Are you talking about plum wood from a fruit tree? Most fruit woods prone to cracking, splitting just looking at it.

Since do not know diameter of logs here is my best guesses.

Cutting through pith (center of log) dealing with juvenile wood prone to splitting. Cracks can radiate outward from the pith too!

You are dealing with some reaction wood bent trunks or limbs.

Not enough air circulation under the deck, logs stored directly on the ground and picked up more moisture or did not lose much in storage. Temperature too hot under the tarp cut boards drying too fast; again not enough air circulation.

Might look for tips, trips & techniques of air drying on the web. Several good You-tube videos.

-- Bill

View john2005's profile

john2005

594 posts in 680 days


#4 posted 239 days ago

It is plum, like from a fruit tree. I did cut the pith out as part of my attempt to stabilize the wood and I have kept it under a tarp to slow the drying. I have 4 pieces that are about 4-5’ long and the largest starts at 14” dia and ends around 8” on the smallest section. Its all fairly straight, and interestingly doesn’t even have too many branches. I thought this would be an easy one, but its not looking like it. I had even started to rough out a bowl that was about 8” dia. The old belt on my delta lathe wore out before I could hallow it out so I put a bag over it and walked away. I came back the next day with a new belt, but it had already split in half.
I am suspecting that most of it has to do with the wood coming from seattle area and me trying to work it in MT. LOTS drier here. I have it in the garage which is the coolest place on the property, and its covered but its not enough. Anybody ever risk running a humidifier in their shop with all their tools?

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)

bondogaposis

2233 posts in 854 days


#5 posted 239 days ago

It is so hot and dry here right now the wood is drying too fast. Single digit humidity. I would spray water on it and keep it covered until the weather changes. It might not work but you have nothing to lose at this point.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

13947 posts in 1070 days


#6 posted 239 days ago

Is it stacked and stickered? Is it only cracking wen you work it? How are you working it? How thick is it cut?

If you try to re-saw or work lumber that is still to green it will split. I doubt its dry in 3 months.

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

View john2005's profile

john2005

594 posts in 680 days


#7 posted 238 days ago

I like the spray water idea. I had thought of a humidifier but didn’t want to rust all my tools . That would probably be more controlled. Thx
It is stickered and stacked and all I have done by means of “working” is run it through the bandsaw, rough milling out 1’’ boards. I have a few that are 3” blocks for spindles but the bulk is 1”. I thought if I got it opened up it would dry more evenly, but that is not the case. One of the logs had even started to split almost the entire length so that one I cut out the split before resawing the rest.

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

896 posts in 857 days


#8 posted 238 days ago

Actually, wood can dry in three months. Someone said on this site that wood takes an average of an inch per year to season, but that is a huge falicy. Wood can dry alot faster depending on species, conditions….
If I put a log under a porch here, it’d probably not season all that fast, considering 90% humidity and almost daily rain fall, however if I were to put it in a climate controlled area stickered with good air movement it’d dry alot faster. But he’s in Montana, so his conditions are vastly different. What I’d suggest is run down to the harbor freight and pick up a cheap moisture meter. That would give you an idea if your lumber is already too dry.

Iffen people were to actually read up on what classifies hardwoods and softwoods, they’d understand that the cellular structure of trees is not the same, and that there is a huge difference in softwoods and hardwoods on their structuring. But instead we’re gonna throw around the falicy inch rule and claim it as law…

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

View Shawn Masterson's profile (online now)

Shawn Masterson

1047 posts in 451 days


#9 posted 238 days ago

don’t be so harsh it is just a generic rule of thumb not goshile

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

896 posts in 857 days


#10 posted 238 days ago

Have to be, too much ignorance on the site about it shawn. A general rule of thumb, which isn’t even accurate in the first place, gets taken for dogma by those who have no real education on the matter, who then misinform the masses, who then continue to do the same. It’s like people teaching that the world is flat still.

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

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

13947 posts in 1070 days


#11 posted 238 days ago

So what is the average time it takes wood to dry?

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

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

983 posts in 978 days


#12 posted 237 days ago

Depends on the species and your particular climate conditions. The real fast drying species are soft maple, yellow poplar, black walnut, and cherry. The oaks have to dry slow or they will have internal checking and honeycombing. In my climate with a lot of good air drying days, I would say my “average” for most species is 6 months. That would be to dry down to 15% moisture. Can’t get much lower than that with our humidity in Middle GA.

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

View john2005's profile

john2005

594 posts in 680 days


#13 posted 237 days ago

I have to agree with TCC here. It is dry year-round and while most of the native woods are pines, firs and spruces, an 8” log can dry in one year. Cracking and checking are commonplace though, unless you try to slow it down, which is what I am hoping to do. Beautiful wood, hate to loose it.

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

668 posts in 1461 days


#14 posted 237 days ago

If it cracks that quickly then the wood is simply under too much stress to stay together. Drying rates and temperatures will not mean much, if anything, if the wood is unstable. Some wood is just that way, seems that tree is too. I’ve had boards split their length once sawn, just the way it goes. Get what you can from it, try to not expect much.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View john2005's profile

john2005

594 posts in 680 days


#15 posted 234 days ago

Any of you think that cutting into smaller width boards (say from 5” to 2.5”) would help in any fashion? Or is my stress issue still going to ruin me? Thanks for the feedback

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

showing 1 through 15 of 33 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase