kiln vs air dried

I'm sure this discussion has happened more than once on this site, but I've been doing some reading up on wood lately. There's a local guy who sells rough cut wood VERY inexpensively. All of his wood is air dried. I've read that there is a strong preference for kiln dried wood. I've only really used kiln dried myself till this point, I'm wondering what people's experiences are about using air dried for general WW purposes.
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Doug asks:

For production purposes, kiln dried tends to greater stability because the moisture content on the low end is more readily controlled.
That said, I've been using primarily air dried solid wood for upwards of 15 years now with no ill results, IF enough care is taken. I use a moisture meter; I allow a full year per inch; I try to do the last three to six months indoors, in my shop is preferable to my basement, because it is drier. I've been away from this area for a few years and have to relocate my wood sources, but I'll be getting on a couple pick-up loads (real pick-ups, not the S10 toy I'm currently driving) of red oak, as much white oak as I can get my hands on (probably not a whole lot: it looks as if I'll actually have to buy QS white oak, or rift sawn, through a cabinetmaker friend in S2S, which costs like compared to what I'm used to paying...though he gets a pretty good deal). The red oak and cherry that has been aging here is going to be just fine.
When you figure your losses on rough wood, especially if it begins green, you can double the price for losses in drying, and then you're getting what might be described as "log run" lumber, not graded stuff.
It's still worth it, IMO, but...
Another point: how dry is your source's wood. Where was it stored; how was it stacked; was it stickered properly.
Unfortunately, saving money on wood requires both work and some extra knowledge, but your way may be a very good way to get started.
Good luck.
Charlie Self "I think the most un-American thing you can say is, 'You can't say that.' " Garrison Keillor
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Does anyone have information as to when kiln drying came into use? I assume at some point all or nearly all lumber for furniture production was air dried.
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a totally engrossing work about the builder and building. Several references were made to drying lumber in a kiln.
In 1804 one of Thomas Jefferson'd builders, James Oldham, reported to Jefferson that kiln-dried lumber was indeed just as serviceable as air-dried, seasoned lumber, but "there is no such thing as a Kiln for dying Lumber in Richmond." Oldham therefore built his own with not much luck. He wrote, "Unfortunately for me Last nite about Twelve Oclock my plank kiln took fiar and was intirly consumd."
Certainly not a complete history of the process, but it offers some record of its use.
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"Charlie Self" wrote in message

Ever notice any difference with air dried with respect to look (grain differences, better color, etc.) when finishing?
I've heard old timer's say they can tell a difference, particularly with the family Juglandaceae.
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Swingman asks:

Walnut is one helluva lot prettier. It retains its coloring much better. You do get greater variations from white sapwood in more areas...walnut sold as KD these days is commonly, or so I'm told, steamed during drying, which creates a more uniform color. I like the way it comes from the tree.
Charlie Self "I think the most un-American thing you can say is, 'You can't say that.'" Garrison Keillor
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I buy almost all my wood either air dried or fresh cut and air dry it myself. More often than not kiln dried wood has defects from being dried to quickly. Unless it was left out in direct sun on a hot day, air dried wood tends to dry more slowly. Ever have a board warp terribly after you ripped it on the tablesaw? It *could* have been an inherantly unstable board, but chances are it was kiln induced stresses. There are some good kiln operators out there who don't ruin boards this way, but my sampling of a half dozen or so yards is that the good ones are few and far between. I've had very few issues with air dried wood behaving badly.
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Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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Agreed. At the local yard (Northland Forest Products in VA), I find that the 4/4 cherry is great, but the 8/4 and 12/4 often has internal checks in it, or warps furiously if you resaw it. From what others on the wreck have said, I suspect drying too fast is leading to case hardening.
G
Scott Post wrote:

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On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 15:31:10 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com (Scott Post) wrote:

This is a serious issue. I had the good fortune back in the 1970s to connect with a hardwood yard that knew its stock and would tell me if something had been abused in the kiln (and price it accordingly).
I got beautiful, properly dried quartered white oak, 4/4 planks, none of which have ever so much as checked on the plank end. I also got beech from which I could make rabbet planes without having to redress the sole after the wedge hole, etc, were cut.
In another place I heard the proprietor on the phone, telling an upstate kiln operator that he needed "that batch of walnut" right away. Needless to say, I never bought anything from that guy.
There are tables of kiln cycles for all native hardwoods available, and if you think of the inventory cost some of them entail, you can understand the temptation to speed things up, but it does ruin a lot of good lumber. There is a special place in hell for those people, I hope.
Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a
"Nuke the gay whales for Jesus" -- anon T-shirt
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http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr118.pdf http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/impgtr02.pdf
Once the first couple of "cycles" are over, it's all the same except drying defect.
I do my own.

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Once it's dried to your desired moisture content, it's dried. Wood dried by either technique will absorb moisture if exposed to moisture levels higher than they were dried to so it becomes somewhat moot after the fact. The obvious advantage to kiln drying is speed. The disadvantages are that it imparts some other peculiarities to the wood that air drying does not. Because of the speed of the drying, kiln dried wood will often exhibit stress problems when cut that air dried wood will typically not exhibit. I prefer air dried wood myself, but to be honest, it's more because I like the fact that it's a natural way of drying. Not that it means much, and I'm not much of a natural way guy in most things, but for some reason air drying just seems to strike me. Don't bother to try to figure it out - it must be my hidden feminine side coming through or something Freudian.
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I' ve used air dried wood for a few projects, but I'm very considerate of the fact that air dried wood moves much more than K.D. If you use "old Fasioned" wood work joints and allow the wood to move how it wants (floating panels and drawer bottoms, slotted screw holes that sorta thing ) just keep in mind that all wood will move a.d. or k.d. and keeping long grain alligned as much as possible will really minimize a peice tearing itself apart. Laminating wood is especially troublesome. read about how it was done in the the begining of the 20 century. I doubt you'll have much problem if you plan well. good luck
snipped-for-privacy@hvc.rr.com (Doug) wrote in message

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Not so. _Understanding Wood_ by R Bruce Hoadley would be a great read for you, or the PDFs at
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/TMU/publications.htm

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