Drying Submerged Logs Recovered from a Lake

      A discussion of the technical and legal issues relating to recovered "sinker" logs. September 6, 2010

Question
I live on a lake that has hundreds of hardwood logs that have been underwater for approximately 90-100years. These logs were cut in the early part of the century, floated to the lake where many of them sank before making it to the sawmill. I have recovered 5-6 in the last two years (oak and maple). I understand that drying this wood requires a different process than green timber. I had the logs I recovered promptly sawed, stickered and air dried, but have had a problem with warping, I do not want to recover any more until I can be sure I can handle this wood properly. These logs are extremely dense with 30+ rings per inch, have no sap, and are 12-16 foot long. I use what I can for home projects, but I do not want to salvage any more unless I know how to properly handle this beautiful wood.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor G:
Sounds like you need to dry it even slower than you are. I assume you have weighted the top boards? Answer from similar question: it is not uncommon for submerged logs to crack excessively because there are anaerobic bacteria that develop in the log, creating an enzyme that destroys the wood structure. For best results, have the log sawn as soon as possible, into as thin of pieces as possible, and then dry the lumber as slowly as possible. Some fungal mold can be expected.



From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
When recovering logs from a lake, there is a big problem with increasing the silt, which has stopped most lake recovery. Ask yourself why the logs sank. They obviously had too much water and not enough air bubbles, as 100% wood is 1.5 times heavier than water. Normal logs have quite a bit of air bubbles. The logs without the ability to float are called sinkers. They lose air bubbles because they are infected with bacteria, which leads to considerable weakening of the wood and therefore requiring very slow drying. Warping is not expected to be affected by underwater storage. Normal warp control is appropriate.



Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Air Drying Lumber

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Kiln Operation

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article