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Forum topic by JohnnyBravo635 posted 02-04-2015 12:36 AM 1162 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JohnnyBravo635

8 posts in 710 days


02-04-2015 12:36 AM

I just cut 2 black walnut trees and 2 Eastern red cedar trees(beautiful colors). I live in eastern Ohio and it is below freezing. I have not sawn the logs yet. It may be a week or 2 before I saw the lumber. Should I coat the ends of the logs now to avoid end checking? Do they dry despite being below freezing? If I need to coat them now, what should I use being that it is below freezing out?


18 replies so far

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HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 680 days


#1 posted 02-04-2015 12:45 AM

In whole log form they won’t check in 2 weeks, especially at these temperatures. You have plenty of time I’d imagine.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1041 days


#2 posted 02-04-2015 01:12 AM

checking is from drying and if it’s freezing it shouldn’t check or dry much.

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JohnnyBravo635

8 posts in 710 days


#3 posted 02-04-2015 01:15 AM

Thank you for the prompt replies. After I saw them on the mill, what is the best coating to put on the ends? Would be safe to air dry them in my basement for a month or two before I put them in the kiln? Humidity in my basement ranges from 30-50 and the temperature ranges from 50-60.

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buckeyedudes

152 posts in 2594 days


#4 posted 02-04-2015 01:45 AM

Hey JBravo – nice job with getting some good ole Ohio lumber. Agree with others that you don’t need to do anything to the ends of the logs yet. I also live in Eastern Ohio and have done this many times. I use left-over oil based paint for the ends of the boards. (You do not need to buy any special sealants, etc.) As you are stacking and stickering the boards after they are cut, heavily coat the ends of each board with the paint and get it on the ends and about 1” up on the faces.

Here’s a trick I got straight from a lumber brokerer; Your end stickers should be placed as close to the ends of the boards (2-3”) and the ends generally will not split past these ends stickers. I have done this dozens of times and it is nearly bullet proof. Of course there is exception to anything in life, but in general it controls the end splits fantastic!

Stack and sticker (properly) and let the boards settle for a couple weeks under good ventilation. Turn boards over and put the bottom boards on the top and the top boards on the bottom. Repeat a couple of times. This will minimize warpage, twisting, and you will get more even drying. I wouldn’t put them in a basement due to the big swing in humidity it may cause bad warpage and cracking. I always used my unheated garage or back building with really good air flow.

With walnut you need to let it air dry one year unless you are in a hurry to use it. BUT you will get the most remarkable streaks of purples, pinks, and blues in your walnut if you let it air dry for a year before kiln drying.

Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

2014 Ohio State Buckeyes – Undisputed National Champions!!

-- Before you louse it up, THIMK!

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WDHLT15

1572 posts in 1942 days


#5 posted 02-04-2015 02:21 AM

I have had poor results with paint. Anchorseal is the best end sealer. I always end seal immediately after felling. That is a good practice.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 680 days


#6 posted 02-04-2015 12:18 PM

If you don’t have to KD the wood I wouldn’t do it. I think that air dried wood is more stable in projects and it walks less on your bench too. But if you want to get into the wood RIGHT NOW, and who could blame you, I’ve had success with oil based spray paints before.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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JeffP

573 posts in 857 days


#7 posted 02-04-2015 02:02 PM

Horned, newbie here. Can you provide some explanation on “walks less on your bench”? I had no clue what that meant. thanks!


If you don t have to KD the wood I wouldn t do it. I think that air dried wood is more stable in projects and it walks less on your bench too. But if you want to get into the wood RIGHT NOW, and who could blame you, I ve had success with oil based spray paints before.

- HornedWoodwork


-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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tnwood

249 posts in 2552 days


#8 posted 02-04-2015 03:03 PM

Coat the ends of the logs with Anchorseal or paint or something now. The cold temperatures don’t prevent drying, just slows it. The fact that the logs were cut during the winter means they have less moisture now than they would have in the spring and summer months but you still need to slow the drying to prevent cracking.

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HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 680 days


#9 posted 02-04-2015 03:26 PM

Sorry I’m using stupid jargon there, unnecessary really. What I mean is that whenever you make a cut in a board or plane a board, basically any changes you make to a piece of wood, the wood reacts. In KD lumber there are more internal stresses because the wood dries faster on the outside of the board than the interior. The tighter wood on the outside girdles the wood on the inside of the board. This means that when you cut the wood it twists, checks, racks, cups, warps, winds, crooks, bows and basically gets up and walks off of your bench.

Not all KD lumber does this, but it is more prevalent in KD than in air dry. For my money air dried wood is superior to KD for this reason. If the person running the kiln knows what they are doing and the wood is properly stacked ans stickered, it can be kiln dried without too many issued. For fine work where 32nds matter, KD has a higher frustration factor.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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ric53

147 posts in 985 days


#10 posted 02-04-2015 10:45 PM

Rule of thumb is 1 year of air drying per 1” of thickness. Unless you live in a very dry area you will probably only get your wood to between 12 & 15 percent so let it dry as long as you can possibly wait. I have walnut that I cut 4 years ago and am going to let it sit another year or so before I use it. There is nothing like working with AD lumber.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

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Logboy

43 posts in 2696 days


#11 posted 02-05-2015 12:07 AM

At these temps you dont have to end coat anything. Personally I dont end seal anything I’ve cut unless I’m putting it in my kiln. Air drying outside is done so slow and with a natural stress relief cycle at the end of each day so I found it really wasnt necessary. Wood dried in my kiln is another matter and must be end sealed or it splits. Keeping your stickers close to the end will help.

What thickness will your lumber be? You didnt say. With the humidity that low in your basement (30%) you might dry 4/4 walnut lumber a bit too quickly. Cedar is forgiving to dry. The lower temps will help, but wood really doesnt start to dry until its above 45 degrees. At low temps with high airflow and low humidity you can actually case harden your lumber. Our kilns arent meant to operate below 80 degrees and even then the temp is too low. The moisture on the outside will come out, but the moisture on the inside will be stubborn and not dry. You then dry the outside and not the inside and you’ll have a mess of problems.

The “rule of thumb” about an inch of year is a poor rule of thumb. Pine and cedar can be air dried to 12% and ready to use in 2-3 months under the right conditions, while a slow drying wood like white oak might take two years. I have 3” white oak that is still at 16% moisture after 3 years, while 3” elm is already at 12% after 18 months. Like I said, a poor rule of thumb.

Get a moisture meter so you know whats going on. Terms like “air dried” and “kiln dried” are essentially meaningless unless youre referring to an actual moisture content. “Kiln dried” softwoods can be as high as 17% out of the kiln. You can easily air dry to 11-12% in months with fewer ill effects. Improperly kiln dried lumber is no more superior to air dried than improperly air dried lumber is superior to kiln dried. Properly air dried lumber will almost always have fewer side effects. I air dry everything before it goes in the kiln unless I have no choice. Most drying defects happen EARLY in the drying process, above the fiber saturation point, not later on when its shrinking.

Depending on the amount of lumber youre putting in your basement, you could have a ton of moisture added to your air. A few pieces are one thing, but a whole stack? Youre adding gallons of water to your air, and it has to go somewhere. How will you remove it? My kiln shoots up over 80% humidity at the beginning of the cycle with water condensing on everything. You could actually make it rain in your basement if youre not careful.

-- No log is too big to saw! www.logboy.com

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JohnnyBravo635

8 posts in 710 days


#12 posted 02-05-2015 12:37 AM

I have a dehumidification system in my basement which I never let it get above 50% humidity(mainly to keep it from getting musty and to eliminate an environment for mold). It only drops down near 30% humidity in the winter when we have a long cold spell and the furnace runs a lot. I can keep it warmer if I need to. I just never worried about keeping it much warmer than 60 because it is not a living space, it is a wood working shop. Now in the summer my basement temps reach near 75 degrees. The walnut will be cut 4/4, 8/4, and 12/4. The cedar will be 8/4 and 2” – 4” logs.

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Logboy

43 posts in 2696 days


#13 posted 02-05-2015 01:19 AM

Ok, youve just complicated matters. Your 4/4, 8/4, and 12/4 walnut all have different drying rates with 12/4 being the slowest. 4/4 walnut can lose 8.2% moisture per day. 8/4 can lose 4.9, while 12/4 can only lose 2.9% (roughly). You’‘ll probably damage the 12/4 and 8/4 in those conditions if you keep it that dry. Air dry it outside for a few months. Even a kiln cycle would take forever to dry properly and would still have more defects than air dried. Get a moisture meter. Every woodworker should have one anyway. You’ll be surprised to learn the “kiln dried” lumber you bought from the store is not as dry as they claim.

How much lumber would you be putting down there? Or if you dont know that, what diameters are your logs? (I can calculate it). Putting green lumber with a fan on it in your wood shop is a bad, bad idea. All your steel tools will instantly rust. Unless youre only putting a couple boards down there or you have a massive 220v dehumidifier staying ahead of all the moisture youve added to the air (unlikely) you probably wont remove it fast enough to keep from rusting your tools. Ask me how I know.

-- No log is too big to saw! www.logboy.com

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Logboy

43 posts in 2696 days


#14 posted 02-05-2015 01:20 AM

I forgot to ask, are your cedar logs really only 2-4” in diameter?

-- No log is too big to saw! www.logboy.com

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JohnnyBravo635

8 posts in 710 days


#15 posted 02-05-2015 01:36 AM

4 logs 12 foot long 18-24” diameter of walnut. 3 logs of cedar; 1st 24” diameter 12ft long, 2nd 20” diameter 12ft long, 3rd 12” diameter 10 ft long. Please tell me the best thing to do with it, what humidity and temp inside vs putting it outside, and if I can kiln dry it to speed up process towards the end. I basically want to get good quality wood the fastest way. I understand you can’t rush it too fast. I really appreciate the help.

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