Wood Gloat and advice request

About two years ago, a neighbor cut down a tall cedar tree in his front yard. It was a mixed blessing: I hated to lose a living tree on my block, but the roots aren't growing into my sewer lines anymore.
He had a crew of people feeding chunks into a Gravely chipper, and I saw my opportunity. I asked the guys to take the bottom part of the trunk, cut it into two roughly eight-foot lengths, and leave'em in my front yard so I could hire a mill and harvest planks.
I should mention that this is in a row house in West Philadelphia, so tree harvesting just _does not happen_ around here.
Anyway, this past spring, a friend tells me his father in law has a sawmill in NY State. He hauled the two logs away. Last night, I come home to find a two-foot-high, seven feet long stack of fresh cedar boards.
Now, for the advice. The boards are still moist. So they're going to have to dry in my basement for a while. I'll set them up on stickers this weekend, and I guess I'll seal the ends with some latex paint. The basement is not completely dry, but it doesn't flood. But does anyone have any advice on drying this stuff out? Any idea how long it'll take (I expect at least a year)?
Also... any ideas for a cedar project? (Aside from humidors.)
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BrianSiano wrote:

The rule of thumb for a board is one year of air drying for each inch of thickness. So if these boards are 4/4", next year you can make sawdust, assuming that your basement is reasonably dry.
    the wood bicycler,     jo4hn (or is that recycler?)
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I've made some dandy bat houses out of cedar.
Ed
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On Wed, 3 Dec 2008 19:02:47 +0000, Ed Edelenbos wrote

My Hero !!
What kind of fastenings are you using and do you need to take precautions to keep wrens (or other local small bat-box cloggers) out??.
Very well-weathered pine seems ok (chisel-scuffed and weathered before assembly). Haven't solved the roof problem yet.. relying on steep roof slope only but wondering about nailed-on (stainless nails) felt for next year's batch. Can't use wood treatments or any kind of finish, as some of you doubtless know.
Round here we have pipistrelles (and sopranos,) daubentons and noctules.. all asleep now.. Awwwww....
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Heck, those bats eat lots of mosquitoes. They are my buddies.
I just use aluminum nails. When I was taking them to craft fairs, I made several batches with brass screws, though. I still know people who have them and they are still fine with either (some 10 years or so later). A little grayer maybe. I had one in a tree for about 5 years until a storm took the tree down. I took the house off and put it in another tree. For the roofs, I used tapered siding at about 20 degrees or just a 1 by ripped down the center.
The boxes I made were open on the bottom and they had baffles with slits cut in them (for the bats to hold onto with their feet). I never heard of (or saw) anything but bats living in them.
Ed
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On Thu, 4 Dec 2008 01:03:00 +0000, Ed Edelenbos wrote

Thanks. Useful stuff.
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Very cool. I envy you. I have never had the opportunity to do such a thing as this but someday. From what I have read you are headed in the right direction. A few considerations.
1. The stickers are real important. Not to wide so they cover too much area. You need to make sure the stickers don't harbor and start a mold process or you can add some nice stain stripes to your wood. I've heard of maybe using some of the plastic fake wood decking material as one possible alternative.
2. The stickers also provide a flattening effect so make sure you are precise and thoughtful in how many and how they are placed. This is a concern but I don't recall enough the standards or methods exactly.
3. You don't want it to dry to fast so you are probably OK. People usually cover the top with a tarp to slow the evaporation even if it is under a roof.
4 Airflow is critical. You might consider a fan at least part of the time on some regular basis.

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I have a little experience with this: Sopping wet white pine for a barn.
1. Leave it outside covered and stickered for at least a month. The stuff that I brought inside turned my shop onto a sauna. You want to loose the bulk of the moisture before bringing it inside. My casual observation was that moisture loss was not linear. Moisture loss slows over time. Restacking at some point is probably a good idea at some point anyway.
2. Be generous about the space between boards. Initially, I used 1/2" stickers with about 1" between boards. Not enough. After a couple months, the outside of the pile was clearly dryer than the inside.
Enjoy the "stash",
Steve

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