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How dry does wood get?

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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 03-01-2009 07:42 AM 1002 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


03-01-2009 07:42 AM

I see the specs on most moisture meters show the bottom end of the range to be 6%. How dry does wood get? Is it below 6% much of the time? If it does get that low, does it come back up aclimatizng to coastal climates?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence


9 replies so far

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kiwi1969

609 posts in 2908 days


#1 posted 03-01-2009 08:40 AM

It will aclimatise eventually. Wood we used in the Philippines usually ended up at 18 to20% after kiln drying if left alone. Maybe you gotta live in a desert to get 6%!

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

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TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#2 posted 03-01-2009 08:54 AM

Hmmm, I suppose it might not be that low here on the left coast of the US either then. I’ve never thought much about it before. I have always used wood kknown to be dry.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Minuteman's profile

Minuteman

58 posts in 2843 days


#3 posted 03-01-2009 04:19 PM

Kiln dried wood does adbsorb ambient moisture while being worked and even with the stain is applied at the exposed surface and open grain. Tennessee and Georgia usually has high humidity during the summer time and it will effect the project.
Attached is a good article from the University of Kentucky
http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/for/for55/for55.htm
Also a kiln opreator handbook
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Dry_kiln_operators_manual.html
University of Missouri
http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/forestry/g05507.htm

I use a small kiln to keep my project dry while working rifle stocks due to the warpage of the wood can impact the accuracy of the rifle.

United States forresty division put out a phamplet also and it shows the various drying variations around the nation due to the moisture content in the air versus wood and drying allowances.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr81.pdf

-- Major Walt Timoschuk,III

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RichardB

70 posts in 2955 days


#4 posted 03-04-2009 05:21 AM

If you’re in Death Valley, the wood will get down to 2% humidity or less. It just seems to disintegrate into splinters, which is why, I imagine, that the picnic tables are cast concrete or aluminum instead of wood.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#5 posted 03-04-2009 09:01 AM

Thanks Minuteman, those links pretty well answer the question.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Dadoo

1789 posts in 3457 days


#6 posted 03-04-2009 12:35 PM

I dunno guys. I found that a piece of walnut I’ve been saving turned into a pile of sawdust…and my son also has a new door threshhold. Walnut of all things. I wonder which big box store he got that from?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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Kindlingmaker

2656 posts in 2993 days


#7 posted 03-04-2009 05:16 PM

I do live in the desert and if you want to see dry wood… well, I seldom can buy wood from HD or Lowes in the summer time because the stores are air conditioned and as soon as I take the wood to my truck it is already drying; checks, wraps, cups and everything else you can imagine. Wood left outside for the summer gets so dry you have to soak it in water to start a fire with it! ; ) lol

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

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TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#8 posted 03-04-2009 08:13 PM

That’s a good one Kindlingmaker :-))

Thanks for the thoughts boys, the links by Minuteman are quite educational. Looks like dry here on the left coast is wet on the high desert plain and there is no such thing as dry in the midwest ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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8iowa

1546 posts in 3228 days


#9 posted 03-04-2009 08:42 PM

In his book, ” Woodworking Wisdom”, author Nick Engler states, under the topic of “Drying and Stacking”, the following;

“Stack the green lumber on a rack outdoors. Let the “free water” evaporate, seasoning the stack for three to four months during a time when the average temperature is above freezing. Then move the stack to a sheltered, but unheated, location inside a barn, storage shed, or garage to remove the “bound water”. The wood is ready to shop dry when the moisture content drops below 12 percent,”

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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