when is wood dry

i am trying to determine if logs that have been stored at my mums house are dry enough to start using for turnings and carvings, i have tried to read through the old posts but each time i keep comming up with the idea of weighing the wood as it dries, which would be ok accept i dont know what it weighed when it started and i also have no idea how long its been drying, im hoping for some simple look for this or that, but i doubt it will be that easy. im hoping not to need to buy some fancy measuring contraption. also if i do use suspect wood how long before i would likely start to see cracks etc if it was too wet? well any help at all would be apreciated thanks in advance Brett Holmes
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Not precise, but you could look at the average density in the fpl site, weigh, and compute based on what you have, and get a good feeling for it. Hint - it's easier to compute this if you cut a 1" cube!
If you weigh your 1" cube and then dry it to ignition in the micro you'll get a good percentage. This has a tendency to irritate SWMBO, so you might want to stop the micro a bit short of where the data in stage one predicts oven dry should be.
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It depends how long they have been stored for. If they were stored for a couple of years in dry conditions chances are that they are dry. If not then the weight loss is a good way to check for dryness.
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Isn't "dry" a relative term? I'd consider "dry" to be when the wood reaches a dryness level that matches or is close to the surrounding conditions where it is going to be used. That could furniture general construction or some other creation.
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reaches
where
Ayup.
So when you check the % on your stored stuff, do a similar cube on your best shop stuff. Within a point or two - good!
If not, the questionable into the same environment in which it will be used, retest in two weeks.
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To establish this state in pieces of moderate size, suspend a sample by a suitable spring and mark the level of, say, one end. When this ceases to change, the moisture content has reached equilibrium with the surroundings.
Jeff G
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On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 05:01:46 -0800, holmsy wrote:

That's the beauty of it ... you don't care what the starting weight is. Simply weigh it. Then give it a span of time (a few weeks or a few months) and weigh it again. If the weight is less, the log is still losing moisture and should be allowed to continue drying. If it remained the same, it has reached equilibrium dryness (is as dry as its surroundings).
I say, to heck with it. Rough turn it now and boil it at the rate of 1hr of boiling time per 1" of edge thickness then wrap it in a paper bag or an old sheet for a couple weeks. Works for me. I've had one split piece out of 15 and I suspect that I simply didn't boil it long enough because all the others turned out really nice. YMMV.
Bill
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Cut and turn it green and use that most beneficent of potions: LDD!
Leif

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Derek Andrews wrote:

Case in point, a piece of cherry firewood that had been in Dad's outdoor but sheltered shed for 15-20 years. Should have been dry. The thing I made out of it cracked immediately, and then the cracks opened waaaaay up to maybe as much as 3/4" over the course of the next several days. Sigh.
This cracking business is definitely the crappy side of turning. Out of everything I've turned in a year or so, I've only had two pieces survive without some sort of warping or cracking or both (not counting stuff I turned out of KD stock). It's extremely discouraging. I've tried everything short of shaking a naked chicken at the wood. I have more or less given up in favor of more rewarding pursuits.
Can't turn anything of interest on a mini lathe anyway. Bah humbug. Great way to make shavings for fun, but a lousy way to turn out useful results.
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