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Too Early for the Kiln10/6
Good Evening WoodWeb Community,
I'm thankful for the ability to come here and seek advice. I have 80-100 slabs in my collection. The collection includes black walnut, poplar, post oak, american elm, sugar maple, eastern red cedar, pecan, red maple and silver maple.
I have a sawyer friend who only air dries his 10/4 slabs for 6 months before throwing them in his DH kiln (for an additional 6 months). What has your experience taught you regarding the shortest air drying period?
Could one safely kiln dry 10/4 hardwood slabs after 1 year of air drying. I am considering building a solar kiln in 4-6 months. Would the results be any different (from your experience) between a solar kiln and DH kiln with only 1 year of air drying?
I live in Eastern Tennessee. Thank you for any advice you have to offer.
Best of Regards,
Directly to kiln can be done BUT there's higher risks IF steps aren't followed correctly.
NOW for me personally I like letting it lay around and AD a minimum 1 year per 1" of thickness after sawing prior DHing and sterilizing. once dried below AD there's more to keeping it at correct MC.
Here's a GREAT link about solar drying www.timbergreenforestry.com I've used several tips from there and great info!!!
Check out my website, maybe some tips for you there.
There is no rule or guideline on how long to air dry, but 6months in a kiln uses a lot of energy for fans, inventory, depreciation, labor, etc., so is not the best idea financially. A solar kiln only works well for six months a year about, one load a year is low productivity. Air dry for a year and you get maybe three loads a year. Actually, a solar kiln is most financially attractive with air dried 4/4 and 5/4.
I'd suggest you do a cost study on having those slabs dried in a vacuum kiln. Having 100 pieces sitting for a year or two sure won't be bringing in the money any time soon. Have them all dried in a few weeks and turn them into cash. For what some are selling slabs for these days, it might just pay off. Hopefully you have them all coated with some kind of borax solution so you don't have powder post beetles to deal with. Damp wood sitting around that long is a magnet for them!
I have air dried my 8/4 slabs in my garage as long as no bugs are in the slabs. I have a add on wood furnace in the garage and can air dry to 17-18% in a short period of time. Depends on the lumber. Then I put it in a small temporary kiln in built in the garage. Seems to be working well so far without checking the lumber. My first run is almost done so I will give some feed back on the progress
Dan-what you are doing is called heated room drying. It works really well in many instances.
So my first run of lumber out of the kiln went well. was able to dry my ash lumber to 10-12% in a short time. There is some checking but not to bad. Wont effect my outcome since they are cut into boards then planed and reassembled into live edge farm style tables. Walnut doesnt give up the moisture as fast for sure though. I am assuming its because of the tighter grain of the wood?