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8/4 red oak12/23
Hi all. We are thinking of cutting 8/4 red oak. Its december and our plan is put it on sticks and in the yard until march. Then drying in the kiln. Would it be a good idea to put in the predryer for a month in march?
You will find that 8/4 oak can check and honeycomb on the air yard even in the winter, if drying is too fast.
Using a predryer after air drying is not too good, as a predryer is more humid than air drying so the wood will regain moisture making checking worse.
For green 8/4, predryers are usually too rapid drying and cause too much checking.
As an estimate, 8/4 dries 2.5 times more slowly than 4/4. So, by April, you might find that 8/4 is only down to 50% MC and require 60 days in the kiln. So, you might find air drying until the end of June is best.
So basically if Im correct the best way to dry red oak 8/4 is dead green right in the kiln and dry as slow as possible to the schedule even if takes 100 days? You will be able to limit the honeycomb and checking as you can keep an eye on the conditions.
Yes, this is best for quality, but not for your pocket book. One hundred days in the kiln is very expensive indeed. So, controlled air drying in a shed that is partially open is often the best, followed by maybe 21 days in the kiln.