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Air Drying Holly3/5
Recently my neighbor cut down an incredibly large holly tree and said I could have the lumber if I wanted ( can you believe that, he was going to throw it away). As luck would have it he decided to cut it down during the winter time and I considered myself very lucky to stumble across 4 logs about 4 feet long and 10-11.5 inches in diameter. So I fired up my bandsaw and got to work re-sawing everything.
So far, I've cut most of the logs and stickered and stacked them. Before i stacked them I also made sure to give them a very heavy coat of denatured alcohol to keep fungus from forming and put a fan in front of the stack to keep air moving.
Now I've never dried holly before and I'm really really hoping I can end up with great bone white holly for some future projects. However, it's been about 4 days since I cut and stacked this stuff and I've noticed that the wood has these darker grey veins running through it and I'm hoping you all will be able to help me find out if this is normal or if I screwed this up somehow. Now the wood is still very wet and I'll get a moisture meter to it and post the results as soon as I can.
Here are some pictures to provide context:
Cut and Stacked:
4 days of drying:
Alcohol is not known as an effective way of stopping fungal growth in holly or any other wood. It may temporarily affect growth, but not long term.
Holly is very prone to a grey chemical discoloration if it is not dried quickly. For that reason (that is, to get the white color desired), holly is dried immediately after sawing in a kiln with lots of air flow, low humidities and, if possible, cool temperatures. Air drying is not acceptable as humidities are too high and air flow is oftentimes too slow for many hours of the day.
The color you are seeing is likely the discoloration mentioned above, or could be fungal.