Air drying sycamore

      What steps to take, from stickering to weighting. October 31, 2000

Any hints on the best way to air dry sycamore? I just sawed it yesterday for a customer, and he would like to air dry it at home. Should he keep it stickered outside until it gets down to 20%, and then bring it into his shop for final drying? The location is in western Washington, where the humidity is pretty high year-round. All the lumber is 4/4.

An open shed for drying stickered lumber would be the best place to start and then go into a heated area--the shop is likely to result in very slow drying. Is there a heated area (even an attic) that can be used? Or if the wood is valuable, then bite the bullet and build a solar kiln.

Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor

I use and dry a lot of sycamore for myself. It is a beautiful wood (especially quarter-sawn). It does, however, have a high tendency to warp during drying. It needs a lot of weight on it or it will twist badly.

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