Drying Wood Queastion:

We had a storm last year that blew down 5 large pine trees in my yard. My friend cut them into 4/4 and 8/4, 8 feet long and 10-14 inches wide. I have them stacked with 1" square scrap sticks between boards. The 8/4, 18 each, are stacked in the boat house, open to the air at both ends, and the 4/4, about 24 each, are stacked in the heated garage/work shop. I will paint the ends today with some paint to seal the ends. I will not need the boards till this winter at the soonest.
I will use the 8/4 stuff for raised flower beds, some table tops, or whatever, and the 4/4 for furniture.
Lessons learned so far: It's good to have a chain saw! It's good to have a friend with an almost portable saw mill. It's good to have a pickup that tolerated gross overloading (Chevy S-10!) That wet wood is REALLY heavy! That the wood is beautiful, that pine with the blue areas, and many free of knots . That Flexall 4-5-4 is on sale at Walmart!
So... what am I forgetting?
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wrote:

I had a large 80' pine tree fall 2 months ago. So far I have stripped the branches. I turned some, but it is very wet. I plan on cutting a few 2x2' slabs to be used as chair seats. I have so much pine and can not give it away. It takes about 1 year to dry an inch, and if dried too quickly it will split. You may need a moisture meter.
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rich wrote:

They probably won't be dry by then. Normally a rough guess is 1 year per inch, then some more time in the shop to acclimatize after rough-cutting to size.
A moisture meter is probably a good thing to buy, since it will save some guesswork.
Chris
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I wouldn't have guessed 1 year per inch! Sounds like I get to make other things this winter. Pine, oak, walnut... all the same to me!
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In my experience, pine dries much faster than other, harder woods, especially in a warm climate..
I'd keep a close eye on it and mist them once in a while, assuming the ends are well sealed.. Never dried pine boards, but bowl blanks, even with the pith cut out, tend to dry very fast and crack a LOT.. YMWV
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 10:46:32 -0700, mac davis

I have successfully dried pine without cracking by keeping in a large bag of wet chips, allowing the chips to slowly dry over many weeks. Too much moisture for too long can grow fungus. With a solar kiln, wood can be dried in a month or two. Some wood is going to split or crack no matter what, making drying wood somewhat of an art. I would never attempt to make a table top with wood moisture above 10%.
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