I have a 5ft 10'' log that I would like to transform in useable wood...
question is do I need to let the log dry first and then cut it in boards, or
should I slice it when wet, or in between?
Which is, of course, baloney. It varies according to species and climate
and was conservative to begin with. Bring wood into an area comfortable for
habitation and throw away the rules. Cherry dropped in late July and sawed
4/4 is 4% by the end of February in my basement. Pine's faster.
I had some fresh cut cherry that I dried in my garage. I weighed a 1"
piece every day. On the 9th day it stopped losing weight. The wood was
dry. My garage was about 120 degrees F with a relative humidity of 5%.
I lived in Las Vegas. So I agree the time to dry wood does vary with
ambient conditions. The 1 year per inch rule of thumb is for outdoor
drying in the northeast.
I had a chance to work at an oldtime sawmill over Labor Day. Some logs were
cut a few days ago, some had been sitting for years. I brought my moisture
meter along just for fun. The meter pegs out at 20 percent.
Every board I checked maxed out the meter. Old logs, new logs, inner wood,
outer wood, all of 'em. Nothing under 20 percent. I checked the meter on
what I knew was dry wood and it read about 6%, so I know it was working.
Near as I could tell, it doesn't matter how long the log lays around. It's
not going to dry, it's going to rot. If you bring it inside and keep it
warm it might dry, but I'd bet it would take more than a few years. It's
got to be cut up.
If they were boards, your average relative humidity must have been ~ 85%.
That applies indoors or out, by the way. Lower the RH, lower the EMC, lower
the actual MC.
With logs, of course, bark and sun are the major players.
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