I run into this problem every year. I purchase hardwood (particularly red oak) in the South ( Baton Rouge). It comes to me in the ten percent MC range. I glue up for newel posts 3 1/2" - 5 1/2" X 48". Turn on my lathe, ship to the northern states - (lower relative humidity) and often get call backs on cracking.
My thought is to re-dry to 8% range, glue up and turn. This would require a small dehumidifier type kiln with a capacity for less than 100 feet. Is this a good idea?
You should maintain the chamber at about 35% RH and around 90F. Lower temperatures will be harder to keep the humidity low. You MIGHT be able to use a dehumidifier from Sears or Home Depot but they usually don't work down to 35%. It is worth a try though. They don't cost much. When you build the room make sure it is vapor tight
Remember to check the core, as when you turn it, you remove the outside wood and expose the core. So, core must be dry too. Perhaps a pin type moisture meter with 1" insulated needles so only the tips measure the MC. They cost over $200 but will save you a bundle plus will last for decades if you get a "made in USA" type. Do not buy a cheap one.
I have a delmhorst J-2000 MC meter Doc so I'm set there. Also have a dehumidifier but I'm not sure if it will do. We bought it for a home that flooded.
The trick will be to get the water out of the kiln since this type has a built-in (though removable) water basin. I'll see if I can add a plastic tube from the Dehumidifier to remove water. I'm wondering (among other things) how quickly I can get MC down two to three percentage points safely without damaging my wood.
The dehumidifier doesn't have to sit on the floor. Put it high enough so the water will drain out. Gravity still works in a kiln. There is not much risk at temperatures below 100F when redrying wood that has been dried before. It will be slower at these temperatures but your dehumidifier won't last at higher temps. It will also corrode away in a few months, usually. I could try to sell you an L53 but I don't think you need to go that far yet.
They are very similar. The L53 is a new version but has about the same capacity. If the L50 is in good running shape, it could do you just fine. These units often last 20-25 years. the first two digits of the serial number indicate the year made
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