Now I've done it. We recently had to take down a very big black
cherry tree on our property for fear limbs would fall off and hit the
house or a car. Anyway, I asked the guy if there was any chance I
could get a little bit milled as I thought it would be nice to make a
box or something small from a tree that came from our land, all .14
acres of it. He said "Sure, I have a friend with a mill".
Well, today I came home and pulled in the driveway and in the back, at
the far end of the driveway there is a pile of cherry in 12' lengths,
about 10 foot wide, and about 2' hight. Each one is ~4/4 or 5/4. I
stood there thinking what the hell am I going to do with all of this?
It is milled to thickness, but the edges need to be cut to width, so
there is a reasonable amount of waste.
I went and got my next door neighbor who also does some woodworking.
He said he has a spot on his land that we can use to stack it. I
found a good document on stacking so I think I'm good there. But
should I cut the wood to width before I stack it or just leave it in
it's "uneven" state and wait for it to dry? It will be outside for
the most part.
First off, let me be the first to say "you suck". Congratulations.
I would leave the edges as-is if space it not a major concern. You never
know if you will want to just a few short in-line-with grain boards from an
S-shaped stick. Or you may *want* that sapwood for an intentional color
Also the rough edges will help you reassemble the puzzle of the tree if you
want adjacent boards for optimal matching. Keep things in "flitch order" if
Basically, you save space but loose options when you cut off the edges.
Others have said to leave the edges and I agree, but it might be a good idea
to scrap the
bark off while it is green, insects and decay love bark.
It will be much nicer to work with later sans bark.
Notes on air drying, the further from the ground the stack is the better,
12 inches at least and
make the top layer some junk lumber or sheet metal roofing, you can lose a
good deal of
material from sun damage and drying too fast. I would paint the ends with
cheap latex paint
or melted wax, cherry is bad to split while drying especially the wides.
I know all this sounds like a lot of work but it will save you a lot of
Way cool. In addition to the other advice you've already received, I'd suggest
getting hold of a copy of "Fine Woodworking on Wood and How to Dry It" if that
isn't the "good document" you already have. There's loads of good information
there, not only on stacking, but on all aspects of the drying process.
I have done tons of air drying over the years:
If the boards have sawdust on them, wash it off with a garden hose
before stickering. That sawdust holds moisture and dirt dust that can
mold and mildew, causing black discoloration on the lumber.
If you are in a low humidity area, you may want to wet the boards
daily so that they don't dry too fast, however you don't want the
boards to rot. Do this as best you can so that the wetted boards
Don't sticker the lumber in direct sunlight...some boards will dry too
fast. For air drying lumber, a slow-drying process is best. Fast
drying lumber will check and warp.
Check around for a kiln and see if the price for kiln drying is in
Thanks for all the replies. I'll post a picture of it all when I get
a chance. The best part was my wife asking "Great, how are we going
to get rid of all of it..." I love her.
I did find this web site:
So, I won't cut it down, get it way up off the ground, and put
"sticks" in between it and cover it with something for a roof. I'll
look around for a kiln, but I have no idea where one could be. At the
risk of CSE making a midnight run I'll tell you I am on the NH
Seacoast, so if anybody knows of a kiln in that area please let me
Thank you for that. Turns out Rand Lumber is right around the corner
from me and they do "custom drying". I haven't lived in this area all
that long and don't know a lot of the local business'. I don't have a
truck so I'll see what the cost would be to pick it up. Had I known
there would be this much I would have gotten ahead of this and had
them deliver it there. I like saying "this much"...
Oh, man. You need to 'splain to your wife that what you've got is
worth a lot of money, even wholesale. Share with friends, make
projects. Cherry may well be the sweetest North American wood to work,
and the most beautiful.
Of course, what you've got doesn't look anything like that black crap
sold in furniture stores...be glad of that.
About a year from now, properly stickered and covered cherry should be
down to usable dryness. Check with a meter. Finish dry in your attic
for maybe two or three weeks for cabinet wood dry. Once dry, move the
And, most important: ENJOY! You have a once in a lifetime deal.
First of all, your doing it all wrong. You need to store that wood on
my property where it will well taken care of. What's your address -
I'll come and get it for you. I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself.
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