Skip planing large slab to help air dry

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 339 days ago 874 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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409 posts in 1699 days

339 days ago

I have roughly 150 – 200 board feet of black walnut that I have been air drying for 18 months. The slabs still have the bark on and are 8/4. Would it help the drying process if I skip planned them before I restacked them? Last I check the moisture several months ago they were between 8% – 10%

15 replies so far

View Woodendeavor's profile


216 posts in 1238 days

#1 posted 339 days ago

I do not know where you live but this sounds like equilibrium moisture content for where I live. That means they are as dry as they can possibly get air drying. You would have to use some type of kiln set up to get the moisture lower, put them in a hot attic or in a tent with a dehumidifier

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Canadian Woodworks

604 posts in 1702 days

#2 posted 339 days ago

Agree that is dry, from where I am as well

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View yellowtruck75's profile


409 posts in 1699 days

#3 posted 339 days ago

Currently I have the slabs in a basement and I will be moving them into the attic of my new shop in the next few weeks. Unfortunately the weather is getting colder so the attic won’t be as hot as I would like for awhile. Without utilizing a kiln will I be able to use it eventually?

I like in central Pennsylvania

View JamesT's profile


102 posts in 544 days

#4 posted 339 days ago

For where I live in S.E. Missouri 8-10% would be considered ready to use. If in fact its 8-10% all the way through the slab, not just the outside surface.

-- Jim from Doniphan

View woodtools's profile


21 posts in 921 days

#5 posted 339 days ago

Here in the Pacific Northwest 12-15% moisture content is perfect for building furniture.

View mrjinx007's profile


1370 posts in 399 days

#6 posted 339 days ago

If the walnuts are native, you are good to go. They are ready for your projects.


View gfadvm's profile


10736 posts in 1322 days

#7 posted 339 days ago

Those would be ready to use in Oklahoma as well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View yellowtruck75's profile


409 posts in 1699 days

#8 posted 302 days ago

What differences should I expect when working with air dried opposed to kiln dried?

I was going through my stash of cherry this weekend and I found a large set of bookmatched slabs that I am going to use for our new dining room table. The outside moisture label varied between 8.5% – 9.5%. I am gonna let it dry over the winter in the attic of my shop before working with it.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13783 posts in 970 days

#9 posted 302 days ago

Air drying, that’s about as good as it gets.

I have heard that wood dries faster if you do not plane it. I don’t know if that is true however.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View rustfever's profile


621 posts in 1942 days

#10 posted 302 days ago

They are as dry as they will get at this time of year. They may dry very slightly more if brought inside.
I vote for ‘Time to use em!’

-- Rustfever, Central California

View yellowtruck75's profile


409 posts in 1699 days

#11 posted 302 days ago

I would use them right now but I have several orders for chairs that will take me into next year so for now they will sit and maybe dry a bit more.

View Hammerthumb's profile


1210 posts in 607 days

#12 posted 302 days ago

If you live here in Las Vegas they might need more time, but for most parts of the country 8 to 10% should be fine to use.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Oldtool's profile


1781 posts in 822 days

#13 posted 302 days ago

According to Purdue University, you’re ready to go.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View jcsterling's profile


340 posts in 2217 days

#14 posted 302 days ago

Zach, that is good to go for air dried in our area.

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View yellowtruck75's profile


409 posts in 1699 days

#15 posted 301 days ago

Thanks everyone. Hopefully I will have time this winter to start our table.

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