I recently started cutting up some wood I have had sitting for 2 to
2-1/2 years drying. I had sealed all the open ends with anchorseal.
What I am finding, aside from some very dark, modly looking spots, is
that some of it may still be wet. None of the logs are larger than
5-6" in diameter. Anything I had over that size I sliced in half.
So my question is why is some of this still wet? Some of it is a
little punky too. I cut as much as I could and have re-sealed the
ends, which are checking a bit. Are these really still wet? Is there a
more effective way of drying? Am I missing some secret??
I am rather constrained by my location as to what I can store. I was
hoping to cut up this wonderful 150 year old pear wood and turn/carve
it this winter but after two days at the band saw, I am exhausted and
quit because some is just too dense/heavy (wet?) to cut. (I borrowed
my father-in-law's band saw and already jumped the blade 3 times and
had to replace it once since it wore out.)
I've left about a dozen logs untouched until I can find an alternate
solution to drying and storage. Also, is there a product that will
seal the minor checking? I hate to loose what I've already cut.
Any suggestions? Any appreciated.
In round wood moisture doesn't migrate well from the center out,
it is the hardest direction for drying to occur.
By sealing the ends, it held the moisture long enough for decay to start.
In round wood that I'm drying, I cut the pieces extra long, leave the ends
and plan on discarding about 4 inches from each end, some pieces will be
the way through the lenght and there isn't much you can do about it.
With pieces 6 inches in diameter, debarked and not sealed it may take 2
or more to get to a usable moisture content. It is important for the
to get below about 25% fairly quickly, this is free moisture in the wood
and fungal decay won't occur below this point. I'll also note that shrinkage
doesn't begin until the free moisture is gone, unfortunately, this doesn't
at the same rate across the pieces.
I think alot about the end use of the material and break it down
while it is still green into halves, quarters and slabs, an axe and a
are your friends for this kind of work. For turning material, I like to cut
up in blocks, let it sit for a few days until small checks begin to appear
end, I split the blocks along these checks, kinda in cooperation with the
and not against its will.
It also works really well to make
very rough turnings, store them where they can't dry too fast possibly
the end grain portions of the piece and wait patiently for the day they are
dry enough to finish.
The pieces take up less space this way. If you do this, don't discard a
piece that cracks,
stick it back somewhere, in a year or so when it is fully cured the crack
almost completely disappear.
The basic problem is the thickness. The drying rate of wood is proportional
to the 1.5 power of the thickness--6^1.5 is about 14. 1 inch think lumber
takes up to 365 days to dry to 20 percent moisture content depending on
species, climate, and how it's stored, so worst case it could take up to 14
years to dry.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr117.pdf has lots of good
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