Looking for a way to dry raw wood.


I am using small ( 8 inch) diameter trees for a project and would like to know a quick way to dry them.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance. Darrell
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Aint no quick way-- Unless you saw them up & make a kiln. Wood air dries at about 1" a year. Remove the bark--Paint the ends immediately after cutting-- there are commercial waxes available for this ( ck out alt.woodturning) I've always used gloss oil based paint. I've had pretty good luck air drying in the shop after I sawed the boards to 1.5"-- You did not mention what kind of wood nor what you are going to use it for. Aeromatic Cedar won't need much drying time, but it will split like crazy if you leave it in the sun Good luck
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Phil at small (vs at large) wrote:

I have a few acres and a quite a few young birch. I am making coasters. I cut up a bunch from a just cut down tree and wound up with a ton of end grain sanding. I was hoping to help myself out by drying the timber.
Thank you for your input, if I cut them about 1/2 inch wide the seemed to dry by the fire fairly fast.
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Yep, wood loses moisture from the end at about ten times (10-15 according to FPL) the rate of face grain. Phil heard an inch per year somewhere, and has not, apparently done much drying or research. That "rule" applies to boards in outdoor New England.
For biscuits, you're going to want to cut them green, because birch, especially white birch, spalts so easily in the log. The bark is waterproof, and so will hold the interior above 20% MC - the mold point - for a _very_long time. Removing the bark is a guarantee of radial checks, so you're doing the right thing - less the fire, which might increase the rate of checking - right now.
We turners often sand at about 100 while the wood is wet, using open coat stearated paper. Cuts faster then, one grit from reality after it dries, and doesn't build up heat and produce end checks so readily.
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I have a lot of birch trees in the woods around my house, and what you say about the bark holding the moisture in is really true. If a birch goes down and I leave the logs intact, they will rot very quickly. Within a year or two, they are not even usable for firewood, and after several years, the inside completely rots out, and you have an empty hull of bark. As I heard on a Canadian TV show once, "even the lowly beaver knows not to cross a stream on a birch log". HOWEVER, once, when a BIG birch came down, I took about a 6' long section of the trunk, and split it down the middle into 2 pieces. I was intending to make a bench out of it, but never got around to it, and just left it out in the woods. After about 6 years, I thought for sure that it was rotten, however I needed a piece of birch for a small project I was working on, and remembered that split trunk, which still had the bark on it BTW. Went out in the woods, and I was really surprised. The wood had dried very nicely, and was hard as a rock. Birch cuts like butter when green, but once dried, it is quite hard. Anyway, it may not be necessary to completely cut up the wood. You may be able to just split it in two. Of course, I have no idea of how long it really took to dry, as 7 years is a bit excessive, but at least it doesn't rot while waiting to deal with it if you split it. One thing though, when splitting birch, you almost have to have a hatchet or machettee handy to cut the bark down the split.
The thing I don't understand about birch though, it that when you pick up a green log, it seems very very light, compared to say oak or maple. It even seems less dense than pine. However, after it is dried, it seems like it somehow gains density, which doesn't seem possible to me at all. Once dried, birch is considerably more dense than pine, and is as dense as maple and nearly as dense as oak. I don't understand this at all.
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point -

checks,
SNIP
Yep, waterproof made it ideal for another use - canoes. Has to do with a bunch of oils in the bark, which is another thing the bark is used for - starting a fire even when damp.
Difference between green and dry wood is easily ascertained at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm
Take a peek at Chapter three, where you'll find that yellow birch and red oak are both about .66 s.g. , and both start at roughly 80% MC. Must be an illusion on the weight difference.
Oh yes, the boys who bring the logs up from Superior saw and use them as if they were fresh. Nicer if they're sawn with someone else's teeth, though.
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Make sure you dry your wood if you see bore holes that look like somebody had a handful of darts and was banging on it. Powder Post Beetles infest the wood and they are 1/4 the size of termites. The larvae feeeding/growth cycle is up to 10 years and they don't come out of the wood until they are mature... then they mate, bore back in and lay eggs. Many very old houses I inspect here in MA have timbers made on site with a portable sawmill. They used wet wood and now the current owners are looking at jacking the sagging basement and chemical treatments. Not an issue with pens, but I have come across Powder Post Beetles in furniture made in High Point that wasn't properly dryed before using. A dining room table was about 12 years old and all of a sudden the lady noticed mounds of powder under it.
And yes, I am a licensed inspector.
Mike
wrote:

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On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 00:53:54 GMT, the inscrutable Darrell

A bigass long honkin' microwave. ;)
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Sorry for changing the topic somewhat, but I'm also curious about drying very wet wood. In particular, I own some property along side of a small lake that years ago used to be used for logging. Ie the lake dammed up and made bigger, logs hauled to the lake, then the dam opened so that the logs flowed downstream. Or so I have been told by the local historians. Anyway, although this is a small lake, it is about 50' deep in places, and every year a few logs float to the surface, and these logs must have been down there for 100 years. I've seen Norm on PBS getting old lumber from commercial places that recovered such underwater logs, but I was wondering if there was any way for an amateur to do it. Ie if I were to drag one of these logs up, would it start rotting right away, or can I let it start to dry naturally? Ie I'm thinking that it would be too wet to cut to length with a chain saw even. The logs I've seen aren't big enough to be commercially valuable, ie only a foot or so in diameter, but I thought it might be interesting to try to get some small boards out of it. Anyway, I'm just curious whether anyone has ever tried this.
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Hi Bill,
The rule for air dried lumber is that it needs to be cut into planks ASAP after the tree is felled. This is because of the facts that George has clearly stated, ~ end grain dries much faster than side grain. People who disregard this will find end grain checking sufficiently destructive to warrant moving their lumber which was previously destined for furniture into the fireplace. (Been there, done that)
As far as lake-salvaged lumber goes, probably the same general principles apply, just no idea who is going to rip lumber with water coming out of it.
Bill Jones wrote:

drying
opened
local
logs
getting
logs,
that
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get
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