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To kiln dry cedar or air dry

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  • To kiln dry cedar or air dry

    I have been contracted to build 3 cedar chest from a cedar log. My question is do I kiln dry the lumber or air dry? I have contacted a lumber mill I work with and they have told me they do not kiln dry cedar, just stick it and give it 30 days before working with it.
    I would like some more opinions on this before I proceed with this operation. Any thoughts would be greatly appreaciated.

  • #2
    Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

    There's several types of cedar, so your drying method should be tailored to that particular species. I see that with the Eastern and Western Red Cedars, it's said that they'll dry in about a week when milled to 3/4". One person has recommended that it be stood on end to dry, although if you're in a relatively dry climate, stickering for a week should be fine.

    However, with Yellow Cedar, it's recommended to kiln dry. This method apparently leaves the wood harder and inhibits staining of the wood. According to the article http://www.bcforestinformation.com/w...low-Cedar.aspx kiln drying also "increases its resistance to decay and attack by insects."
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

      Thank You VASandy, that is the same info I am recieving from other informants. By the way it is eastern cedar I am referring to.

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      • #4
        Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

        Well, you won't lose but a week trying to dry it stickered anyway. How thick are the boards?
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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        • #5
          Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

          Well, as a matter of fact I Just got the job so I havent yet cut the log. I am just doing my home work to avoid any mistakes. Now I need to find a saw mill with a band saw to cut the log. I was going to cut it 1 inch boards to give me room to mill it to 3/4 inch.

          Again Thanks For your reply.

          Charlie

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          • #6
            Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

            it it is in logs and it is not cut into boards you may be to late to make lumber,

            cut it into lumber as soon as possible,

            I have not dried cedar, but I would want it drying for longer than 30 days, any thing I have dried from green logs, I let dry for a year, (now that was a hard wood), if you have a moisture meter, USE IT, IF your in hurry to make some thing.
            Of course the time of year would make a lot of potential difference. cedar seems to be one of the easier wood to give up it moisture,( the last URL gives some guide for drying incense cedar.

            the general rule of thumb (for most lumber) is to let it air dry for a year per inch of thickness,
            air drying lumber,
            http://www.vtfpr.org/pdf/drylumber.pdf
            out of USFS wood handbook
            http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fp...tr113/ch12.pdf
            Drying times for some lumber,
            http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr121.pdf
            a documnet on air Drying incense cedar
            http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/ds...ty_Air_ocr.pdf

            http://westcoastlands.net/SawBucks2/....php?f=52&t=28
            Properly stacked lumber dries quickly in warm, dry weather.
            Softwoods like pine and cedar will air dry to suitable moisture
            content in as little as 6 weeks during the spring and summer
            months. Hardwoods like Maple, Oak and Walnut will dry in 6 -12
            months. Little or no air drying takes place in wet damp weather.
            Last edited by BHD; 08-17-2008, 09:09 PM.
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            • #7
              Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

              Eastern Red Cedar is almost ready to work when it's cut, I reckon it has more oil than water. I agree with the lumber mill, saw it up and sticker it for a few weeks.
              Poplar Branch Wood Crafts

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              • #8
                Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

                Thank You for all your help.

                Charlie

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                • #9
                  Re: To kiln dry cedar or air dry

                  Hi Charlie

                  All the Cedar I am working has been in the top of a barn for 15 years at least, but I would have to agree with BHD, I dont think that it will be dry enough to build with in a few weeks. You have to take into account that you will be taking in indoors to a much drier enviroment. This will put stress on the glue joints. I would go on WoodWeb and see what the sawyers say. Good Luck.

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