I have heard a rule of thumb for 1 year/inch. (I understand that is
dependent on humidity, temperature, air circulation, species, etc. and I
have to get a moisture meter to know what is going on; but that is all
besides the point of my question)
I cut some 3' 3x3s from wood that wasn't any good for boards. Might need
them for table legs someday, who knows. Will they take 3 years to dry (or
at least three times as long as the 1" wood) or will being square make them
hopefully this is my last lumber making question. I am out of wood and
everything is painted and stacked. Whew.
Nope. I've heard 1 month/inch. I'd sticker it, cover it on top and to
block direct sun, on the S side of the house, open to the wind. Then
after June, July, and August (except in Puget Sound area) declare it
seasoned and air-dry. YMWV
It depends on what kind of wood it is too. Examples:
1) I bought some freshly-cut koa while I was in Hawaii two years ago.
Each piece is 2" x 8" by 25" long. It took a full 2 years for it to be
ready to work, as indicated by the moisture-content meter.
2) I bought some 2" thick slabs of freshly-cut redwood burl in
November. It's ready to use now -- actually it was ready after 4 months.
But the 1-year-per-inch rule is probably good for most hardwoods. This
is for air-drying properly stickered wood.
Rule of dumb. Outdoors, New England, no central heat or air. Wood skidded
after sufficient snowfall, sawed in spring after planting, used next
winter, because that's when a farmer could work for cash. Means it dried
say six-seven months.
First, back to the fpl site, where you'll find that the inverse square rule
applies. Double the thickness, almost four times the time to equalize.
Believe they say "more than three." Second, evaluate the grain direction.
I'm presuming you have heartwood, but not boxed hearts, or you might as well
plan on burning them this fall. Lots of curvature means lots of
distortion. Flatter is better, and flat and parallel to the sides is usable
nearly green with little penalty.
Sticker and keep in open shade, bring in for the winter, with stickers for
all side access, use in the fall.
When sawing for grade, the sawyer will cut boards around the heart, since
that's where the branches originate, and where their remains are. It's
called "boxing," and it results in a piece of wood which is entirely
unpredictable in whether or not it will split, where it will happen
(believe me, it'll be where the wood has no knots ). Where the heart runs
in and out of any pieces you might have, I'd recommend cross cutting,
end-treating, and stacking those without the heart separately.
Next time you're at the Borg, look at the 4x4 pieces they have, and see what
happens with boxed hearts.
Sapwood walnut is softer, sort of ugly in the white. Kiln operators
normally steam it to get some of the extractives from the heart to color it.
Remains soft and weird-looking, though. "White walnut" is butternut, a
related species, and pretty good looking in its entirety.
As I recall hearing it, it was 1 *summer*/inch. Which to me means 3
hot, dry months per inch. So, if you're in the desert southwest that's
closer to 9 months. Here in southeastern PA, where summer consists of
days on end of 90+% humidity, probably longer.
Another option is forced drying. The June issue of Woodwork
(http://woodwork-mag.com /) has an article on forced drying using a home
made kiln consisting of a plywood box and a dehumidifier. They took
wood from 24% moisture to 11% in 4 days.
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