Ask WWGOA: Drying Cut Wood

Question:

Simple question maybe. How is the best way to dry wood cut from trees? I have several around the farm here, ranging from pecan to Oak. During fall we trim them up and think they would be a cheap supply. I have heard several ways using a coat of latex over the cut ends to using denatured alcohol. How you would use that I have not a clue. Any thoughts?

Submitted by Dave L.

Answer:

Wood can be air dried. To do that you should cut the log into planks as soon as you can after the tree is down. Seal the ends with latex paint to prevent moisture from escaping the end grain too quickly. Then stack the wood up using stickers as shown in this video.

If you want to keep the trimmed parts as branches, perhaps for bowl blanks, you should still seal the ends. It’s nearly impossible to get a log to dry without cracking, so they’re typically turned green (wet). You can use products like Pentacryl to stabilize the material. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I’m not familiar with using denatured alcohol on green wood.

George


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Discussion
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2 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Drying Cut Wood”
    • Customer Service

      Dear Frederick,

      Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-

      This is a judgment call, unfortunately. Found in the manufacturer’s FAQ:
      “Although Pentacryl is considered non-toxic, it is not registered as food grade. Therefore, we cannot endorse that it can be used on items intended for use with food”

      Paul
      Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply