Eastern Red Cedar — How Dry?
Eastern Red Cedar is easy to air-dry. But if too dry, it's hard to work with. May 27, 2014
Question (WOODWEB Member) :
How dry does ERC need to be for closet lining, or even flooring? At what point does it lose its "smelliness"? Any pointers are appreciated.
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
As the MC drops, the odor is not as strong, so avoid over drying. However, in a home the MC will be 6% MC so you can dry it that far. However, when planing it that dry it will tend to act very brittle. So, 10% MC is the driest suggested. To retain the most aroma, do not dry over 75 F.
From the original questioner:
Thanks Doc. Would well air-dried be as good as KD? In our locale, the equilibrium moisture content is in the twelve percent range, dangerously close to ten. That, combined with the fact that ERC shrinks very little compared with hardwoods, seems to suggest that AD should be good?
AD is fine for ERC. We remodeled our home five years ago using a great deal of ERC and we can't even smell it now, but everyone else who walks into our home says it smells strong. In fact it's overpowering for some people.
From contributor C:
A way to dry small amounts is to stand boards on end in a heated room. They will dry to 8 to 10 % within a week. AD this past summer brought some wood down to 10%. Most of the time AD will stabilize it at 12%. The worst lumber I ever worked had been dried to 6%. Most of the lumber had side bend, was brittle as a piece of glass and planer shavings came out as dust - never again.
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