I just got some old growth douglas fir beams that I'm thinking about
resawing up and using for trim, bookcases, etc. They've been stored
outside so are a little wet. If I'm going to store them for awhile,
should I seal the end grain? Or is that just done with green wood?
I think I got a good deal, 3x16" by 19' for $20 each. Nice tight
grain, pretty clear. If anyone in the seattle area is interested the
guy has plenty left.
Nice score, Matt.
Re-saw them before you dry them. Timber that thick will take forever.
You might also 'case-harden' thick timber, where the outside of the
stick is dry, but the center still wet or wetter. You can shellac or
paint the ends, but I don't. By the time the timber has been handled,
stacked, transported and restacked, etc. the ends get dirty and the
grit plays hell with your tools. I have to cut off the tips anyway, so
I don't bother. What small cracks develop are cut off the ends anyway.
If there is a weakness in the wood, I'd like to know so I will end up
working with sound wood.
Just stack it well and protect it from the weather if you are going to
store it outside.
Stack them up off the ground on 4x4s that are leveled. Sticker them
every 2-3 feet with the ends well supported with stickers. Keep the
stickers vertically aligned with each other so they don't cause a
board to develop sway back. Top it off with a plywood and tarp cover
with a generous overhang to keep off the rain, but don't drape the
tarp down the sides of the stack. The stack will want a lot of air
circulation to dry and to prevent mold while it dries.
Arrange the stack so that the long side faces prevailing winds. That
is probably north west where you are. You want the air to pass through
the stack at 90 degrees to the ends.
Check the stack for boring insects occasionally. If you see any
evidence, like bore holes with sawdust outside of them, give the wood
a turpentine or mineral spirits brush.
Hope this helps.
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