Air drying or Kiln drying

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Forum topic by Steve1376 posted 02-27-2009 12:22 AM 1371 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 3072 days

02-27-2009 12:22 AM

I just milled three red oak logs, 600 bft for $85.00, which is the best way for drying oak. I have some air dried cherry that seemed to dry ok is there a preference for each type of wood.

-- Steve Phelps

6 replies so far

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3328 days

#1 posted 02-27-2009 12:35 AM

IMO red oak is best kiln dried. I do agree like you mentioned cherry and I too think walnut are better air dried. Oak can degrade in an uncontrolled environment (air drying) more easily than some other species. It can surface check badly for one thing just left to dry in the wrong conditions. There will be people chime in on both ends of this some will say everything has to be kiln dried while others will say nothing does…depends on where you live. In central Illinois EMC is 10%-12%, make something from that and bring it in the house where it’s final EMC will be more like 6% you are probably asking for trouble.

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3550 days

#2 posted 02-27-2009 01:39 AM

For sure, kiln dry your red oak if you can.
If you can’t find a local kiln then consider making a solar kiln, even a passive one.

Now let’s go to the Moonlight for Burgoo.

-- 温故知新

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 2824 days

#3 posted 02-27-2009 01:42 AM

It can be dried either way, but I have to agree with Darren that kild drying would be best due to the problems that red oak has in the weather.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

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150 posts in 2841 days

#4 posted 02-27-2009 03:31 AM

kiln for sure
cedar does great are dried
most of the time i’ve seen a kiln therm. it has been around 98 degrees
If you can’t find a kiln put it in the attic parifin the last 2 inchs of each board, stickered horizontal and vertical put some ratchet clamps on it and let it cook for 6-10 weeks if you have a moisture meter even better in the spring it should go from 70 degrees to about 140 in the summer and if your ridge and eve vents are functioning properly you should have constant air flow. if it is very humid where you live you can tarp with bisqueen and dehumidifier

-- jay Rambling on and on again

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150 posts in 2841 days

#5 posted 02-27-2009 06:47 AM

ps my sawyer also has told my neighbor that he doesn’t care if you air dry Red Oak for 20 years it will break joints and surface check after milled I believe this as he is very quick to push green wood and air dried lumber but when a friend told him about the attic he stopped and thought for a while
I came up with the attic from seeing the process of kiln drying and a friend who had successfully dried and glued lumber that has been built for 10 years and is still kicking
I’ll look into this solar kiln idea but buying and or building something you already have seams like a bad idea to me
also sun bends and changes the color of wood so dark,dry,hot are good
this is not all first hand knowledge don’t try this at home but I think it should get some good discussion going

I think red oak is pretty have some in the shed would never buy it for myself

-- jay Rambling on and on again

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28 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 02-28-2009 09:08 AM

Thank you all, I have talked to the gentleman about drying this lumber, @ .25 cent a Bdft I believe I will have it Kiln dried. Thank you all for you input, I do like the attic idea just not for this amount of lumber. drgoodwood, I do like Moonlite, but not for the Burgoo, the buffet is absolutely the best thing in the place.

-- Steve Phelps

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