Drying time for sawmilled lumber

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Gaffney 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #580259

    donhatch
    Participant

    I have some honey locust boards that were cut a couple of months ago by a local sawmill. The tree was about 2 feet in diameter and had been felled about two years ago and laid in our yard until I cut it into 10 foot logs this spring. The boards are 1 inch thick. I now have them stacked in a open shed. I’m wondering if they would be dry enough to use to build a garden bench.

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    #580284

    Larry Geib
    Participant

    You figure a year per inch of thickness, so your 24” diameter logs are not very far along. Had you millled and stickered them two years ago, they might be usable now.

    #580404

    donhatch
    Participant

    So the fact that the tree was cut down two years ago doesn’t count for anything in the drying process? Since I’ve always heard that wood loses most of its moisture from the end grain, I was hoping it would be farther along.

    #580794

    Larry Geib
    Participant

    It counts for some, but not in terms of having dried lumber ready for a project. And while moisture does leave your log though end grain more readily, it is species dependent and often not a good thing. It can lead to cracking and splitting as the wood dries.

    You should seal the end grain, if you haven’t already, with wax or paint to reduce the moisture loss through end grain.

    Read this:

    https://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/how-to-succeed-at-air-drying-lumber

    We dip them in an anti-stain sealer, and then put them on stickers [strips of wood that separate the board layers],” he says. “And we seal the ends.”

    #584733

    Peter Gaffney
    Participant

    I just bought some lumber yesterday that was felled during the drought here in California. Wood was already cut and drying, but not ready for projects. Here’s how I have it in my garage with a fan blowing and the garage cracked a bit and the side door open for circulation.

    [attachment file=”584734″]

    [attachment file=”584735″]

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