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Forum topic by warden4u posted 12-11-2013 07:46 AM 943 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 1861 days

12-11-2013 07:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I was wondering how long do you let all kinds of wood (oak, hickory, cedar) whatever is in Oklahoma dry out before using for in a project? Maybe tree been cut down´╗┐ been laying there for a while?

-- Charles, Kiefer, Oklahoma,

4 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29406 posts in 2367 days

#1 posted 12-11-2013 12:18 PM

Preferred is 6-8% moisture. Just because a log has been cut for a while helps but doesn’t insure that it’s dry. Needs to be slabbed and stacked. Buy a moisture meter to test it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3346 days

#2 posted 12-11-2013 01:17 PM

I’ve always used the rule of thumb: 1 year of open air drying for each inch of thickness.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1780 days

#3 posted 12-11-2013 01:18 PM

The longer the tree has been laying around before being cut into boards just increases the chance of decay or cracking. It does not really dry out much while still in the round Once it has been cut into boards, stacked and stickered so that air can flow between the boards, and is in a dry unheated area, it takes about a year per inch of thickness for the wood to equalize with the environment. Here in Minnesota that is about 10-12% moisture and is called “air dry”.

Monte mentioned 6-8% which is the target when “kiln dried” in a temperature controlled oven. Indoors where it is heated in the winter that moisture content is where the wood will eventually end up, so having the lumber kiln dried is a good idea. If you do not kiln dry the lumber but instead air dry it for a couple of years, just bring it indoors for a few months before working with it and allow it to equalize with the indoor humidity, or plan your design so that the wood can shrink a bit as it dries to a lower MC indoors.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2719 days

#4 posted 12-13-2013 03:19 AM

Hey Charles, You are my neighbor! I’m in Jenks and just bought a WoodMizer sawmill. I find the lumber from standing dead trees is a LOT drier than from live/green trees. Also some woods dry MUCH faster than others (cypress dries very quickly). Send me a pm and come visit.

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

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