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  • wood drying

    I have found a couple of nice looking pieces of spalted maple in my firewood pile. these are 16 in long split logs, ready for the woodstove, and have been out and stacked in my woodpile for a few years, uncovered, in upstate ny. I have squared up the pieces in my bandsaw so far, and the pieces are approx 4"x4"x12" now.

    I would like to use these for dividers and trays for jewelry boxes. Am in no real rush, but how long should I let them dry inside before milling them to final size ?

  • #2
    Re: wood drying

    If you notice no splitting or warping in them after about a week, go ahead and cut to rough thickness (if they have been drying that long they are probably fairly stable). Let set another week or two to finish drying and then plane to final). Do one first, and if it is okay (no serious warping) do the rest. If it seriously warps, then the wood is much wetter inside than I suspect it to be, and may need a few months to continue drying. The thinner the pieces, the faster it will dry, but you may need to put spacers between the slats and weight the top or strap them together to minimize warping.

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    Practicing at practical wood working

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    • #3
      Re: wood drying

      Thank you ! will post a pic if this wood is salvagable.

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      • #4
        Re: wood drying

        It is my understanding that whenever you are attempting to dry logs, rough sawn lumber for drying it is wise to seal the ends with paint. This is necessary to keep the logs/lumber from splitting during the drying process.

        Can anyone else confirm this?

        CWS

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        • #5
          Re: wood drying

          Yes, sealing the ends will aid in keeping splitting to a minimum (otherwise moisture escapes from the ends faster than the rest of the lumber)

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          • #6
            Re: wood drying

            Wood splits and cracks because the moisture is lost more quickly through the exposed part, causing that wood to contract, while the underlying wood still is moisture full and cannot contract. The outer/end wood makes up for it by splitting to relieve the stress.

            End sealing is done when the tree is first cut, to prevent the exposed cut end grains from drying too fast and splitting. If the bark is removed from the tree, than the outside must be sealed or the same thing will happen to the outside wood. End sealing is useless on already split wood and that that has been down long enough for the bark to fall off. This wood was split already, so end sealing is of little use.

            When the tree is slabbed into boards, and stickered to allow air flow between them, it allows moisture to evenly leave the wood (if the slabs are not too thick, or the wood subjected to too hot or dry air.) Thats why thicker and denser wood needs to be slowly dried as the interior moisture has a tougher time getting to the outside and evaporating before the stress builds up. Once cut into boards, end sealing has little purpose except in thick dense wood.

            If cutting bowl blanks for a lathe, the wood is best kept wet, as these pieces are usually very thick, so sealing all over is necessary if the bark is removed or its cut into cubes, etc..

            I have had much better luck with Anchorseal end-grain sealer, than with paint of any kind. Oil based paint won't stick to wet wood, and latex allows too much moisture to escape. Latex is better than nothing, tho, as it does slow the evaporation down. Melted paraffin works great to seal bowl turning blanks, etc for long periods of time because it keeps it as moist as when first cut and most turners prefer "green" wood.

            JMTCW

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