Sawing and Drying Persimmon

      Persimmon is a tricky wood to dry. April 15, 2012

After all the storms we've had in east Tennessee, I have plenty of wood to be dried. I do have 2 small logs of persimmon - 12" DBH x 7' long - that I want to dry. Once I traded wood for a persimmon log that had been drying for about 18 months and had it sawn, but the majority of the wood cupped and warped as this wood will. The ends are treated. What is suggested for air drying the logs, then maybe a kiln?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor E:
I worked with a persimmon tree last year - turned a lot of it, sawed the rest into boards. They did cup badly, but after air drying I dried them in the attic of my shop - I had sawn them thick so I was able to get nice boards out of it. But it wasn't easy or efficient.

From the original questioner:
I did get a couple of boards that were useful - one became a bench and I still have the other. The wood is very dense, so they were tough on my planer. At some point I want to use the wood as some trim in my sunroom.

From contributor E:
Back when golf clubs were made of wood, the wood used for woods was persimmon. It is tough.

From contributor A:
I saw persimmon as green as I can get it and most of the time I saw it 5/4 thick. I steam it, then dry. Bugs like it so well I try not to let it sit around long with the bark on. If you will store it underwater for a few months, it seems to relax some, but gray stains badly.

From the original questioner:
Any suggestions on getting the bark off?

From contributor W:
Cut the logs in early spring and the bark will come off much easier, as the cambium becomes active and new growth begins. That is when the bark slips. I have debarked walnut like that using a long crowbar to peel off the bark in strips and half-rounds.

I cut about 300 BF of persimmon and it turned out pretty nice. It did gray stain some in the stack, but that gave it a nice blue color that was unique. The powder post beetles did get in it too! When I cut some more, I will spray the boards with a borate salt like Sol-U-Bor.

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