Air Drying Freshly Cut Lumber

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Master woodworker George Vondriska provides tips on how to air dry fresh cut lumber for your woodworking projects. A WoodWorkers Guild of America (WWGOA) original video.

Discussion
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17 Responses to “Air Drying Freshly Cut Lumber”
  1. Robert

    There was no mention of how long we should allow for drying. There are many variables of course, but a range of time, would have been helpful. Also, the techniques for, and the advantages and disadvantages of speeding up drying, would have been more helpful for me.

    Reply
    • Bruce

      One must be careful about drying wood to quickly, it can cause all kinds of splitting and warping. The rule of thumb is to let it air dry for around a year before kiln drying.

      Reply
  2. Michael Kratky

    Rachet straps are much more effective and simplistic than weighing down the stack, out of the elements is ideal allowing a year per inch drying time, even then they should acclimate in the shop a few weeks afterwords. If outside drying is the only option, have the stock rough cut thicker an figure a much higher % of loss (firewood).

    Reply
  3. Bill Pieters

    You refereed to a moisture meter. What should the meter read before you start using it. Different reading for different projects or what is the determinating factors

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Bill. The wood should stop dropping in moisture content while sitting indoors before you use it, and it should arrive at what is considered to be a safe stable point in your area. In my MN shop I dry wood to 7-9% and I wouldn’t use it above 10% for most projects. If the project is quite small I would consider using it, but for any medium/large project I wouldn’t risk it.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  4. Daniel

    I worked at a hardwood sawmill for many years and if anyone’s interested here is a little tip for drying. The stickers between rows can cause staining that can run quite deep and ruin your wood for some “high end” projects so make sure they are kiln dry and use your router to cut grooves every half inch at 45 degree angles on both sides of the sticker. This will minimize surface contact while still providing the support you need to keep your wood flat and provides a little more airflow. Cheers

    Reply
  5. Thomas Peterson

    Ticket 18752 Can you share with me the style, make, and manufacturer of the moisture meter in this video?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Dear Thomas,

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

      Here is a source for the current version of this moisture meter: http://amzn.to/2nKTIJm

      Sincerely,

      Paul
      Woodworkers Guild of America Video Membership

      Reply
  6. riccoswoodbydesign

    I have some racks in my workshop on the walls…..can I put fresh-cut lumber in the shop, stickered, in order to speed up drying (yet not go too fast in drying)?
    I understand that you never want direct sunlight on drying wood either….something that should have been mentioned in the video. Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello. Yes, you can dry lumber in the shop. I do it all the time. Interesting suggestion on the sunlight piece. I had not heard of that in the past but I’ll look into it. I’m sure that the concept is to not dry the wood too quickly.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
    • Kenneth Nordin

      Wood left in the sun to dry without a cover can not only dry it too fast but causes fading. For me, the fading works to my advantage.

      Reply
  7. riccoswoodbydesign

    What methods can you recommend to remove the bark from sawn lumber, that will not gouge the live edge…there are drawknives that are sold for this purpose, yet you lose the “real” edge of the wood by doing that. And once the bark is off, what recommendations do you have for cleaning up the wood edge after it is dried….wire wheels, or are there better choices instead of this?

    Reply
  8. Kenneth Nordin

    I have some Maple slabs that were fresh cut when I moved from Minnesota to New Mexico. I couldn’t stack them right away and they warped. I thought if I could soak them in water, then stack them with weight on top, they might straighten out. Has this ever been tried? Is there another way it can be done?

    Thanks,

    Ken

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Dear Ken,

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

      Once they are warped and dried it is unlikely that you can flatten them out by attempting to re-hydrate them. Your best bet will be to cut into smaller pieces and flatten those pieces using a jointer and planer.

      Paul
      Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply

Tags: air drying lumber, drying lumbe, Free Videos, George Vondriska, lumber

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