"Wet" wood

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Pony, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I tried doing a search on this topic, then became overwhelmed. So, if this is redundant, I apologize.

    We found a lumber mill half-way between here and the farm, and we can buy lumber from them WAY cheaper than we can get it retail.

    Only glitch is that the wood isn't dried yet.

    How long does wood have to dry before you can use it?

    How do you dry wood?

    What is the meaning of life?

    If you can answer the first two of my three questions, I am VERY grateful. (If you can answer ALL three, you're my hero!)

    Pony!
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Up to a year, stack it with sticks seperating it, to serve my interests. :rolleyes:
     

  3. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

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    Google "wood kiln"
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1 - Up to one year depending on your humidity.

    2 - Stack it in layers with narrow slats between the layers to allow air through the pile.

    3 - The meaning of life is what you make it.
    Look before you leap.
     
  5. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can air dry wood with good results. Depending upon humidity in your area, it is generally recommended that for each inch of thickness you let the wood dry for six to twelve months. However, you'd be surprised at how much moisture is lost (and you can feel it in the weight of the wood) in just a few weeks of drying. I'm drying some lumber now for a barn project I hope to start in October. It will have a drying time of about 7 months, but, in my opinion, I could start tomorrow and the wood would be stable enough for a barn. For a home, I'd stick with the longer drying times or find a kiln, which would increase your wood processing cost. Your sawmiller can illustrate how to "sticker" the wood for air drying. Good luck.

    Ramblin Wreck
     
  6. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Visit Woodweb.com

    They have alot of info on it. Depending on its use, you may not have to dry it
     
  7. mulliganbush

    mulliganbush Well-Known Member

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    Life is a cereal. All other comments on this page should be read with that in mind.

    It's been years since I've done this, but maybe this will help.

    Depending on the heat and humidity and the level of moisture in the tree when it was cut, a one-inch board will take a couple of months, thicker pieces maybe three to four. A lot of times, we got the boards from the sawmill and set them aside to dry, but it might be several months before we got around to the project, so when the boards were usable wasn't so much of an issue. For something heavier, such as logs for a building, we over-wintered ours. My grandfather seasoned hickory and walnut in the barn for years.

    Oddly enough, air, especially wind, is more effective in drying wood than sun, so you don't want to put the wood in a closed space. Sun seems to dry the boards unevenly and too fast, causing them to warp more than air-dried, so you need to protect the top boards. The empty hayloft of a large barn is a nice drying place. A shed closed on three sides won't let enough air flow through.

    If you don't have a large, empty hayloft, as most of us don't, you can try how we've done it.

    We stacked four by fours in an open box formation in an open area where the wind had a direct shot at them. We started out with a base of four timbers spaced apart, set on cinderblocks at the ends and with supporting cinderblocks along their length. You can use some of the timbers directly on the ground for your base, but they're going to be damaged by the ground moisture and you can reuse the cinderblocks. On top of them, we laid four more timbers facing the opposite direction. From the top it would look like the lines of a nine-patch quilt. The timbers need to be supported along their length because as the timber sags, so will it end up when it's dried. If your timbers are long, you may need to add more timbers per layer or insert spacers. Every ten days or so, we restacked the pile, changing the orientation to the sun and the prevailing wind, moving the inside ones to the outside. I don't think that's absolutely necessary, but it worked for us. By the way, if you have a lot of timbers, make several piles, separated so they don't block the air, and only high enough that you can comfortably lift the timbers on and off. We never did that alone.

    You need to keep the rain off, so the top layer can be cheap plywood or tine, or whatever you have, raised high enough to let the air move on the topmost layer of timbers. (If you want to see the effects of sun and rain, check out the plywood at the end of the process.) You can also use plastic held down by bricks or something, but in general you'll be sacrificing the top layer because of the condensation.

    For boards, we stacked them in layers, with space between the layers and between each board in the layer. You need to get air circulation, so you need to put spacers between the boards because a one-inch board doesn't let much air flow through. And with boards it's even more important to protect them from the rain or you're going to lose at least the top layer.

    I keep saying losing or sacrificing that top layer--you can still use them for things that don't require straightness or that aren't particularly permanent. We used them as kickboards around the chicken and pig lots, for instance. In fact, depending on what you're doing with the wood, you may not need to dry it at all. Some of the logs coming into the mill may have been drying for a time. For something temporary or where straightness is not a big deal, you might try using the green boards and see how it goes. I don't recommend this if you're a perfectionist, but...if, for instance, you're building targets for shotgun practice, drying is probably not necessary.

    Ray
     
  8. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Hi Pony,
    Air dry about 1 year.
    The third question was harder .... listen to Forrest Gump. He got it down pat.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1. It should dry for a year. In my cold climate & very humid summers, often longer is better, esp if it is thicker than an inch. If you want to make furniture out of it, dry longer. If simple construction lumber & not very big, shorter will work ok.

    2. You need it under roof, but you need air to curculate around it. Not wrapped in plastic, or in a tight small building. Kind of an odd deal, protected from the rain, but open to the breezes is _way_ best. If totally enclosed, it will take much longer to dry out. You lay a piece down , put a lathe across it every 2-4 feet, put another piece on the lathes, place lathes on top, etc. You _must_ have those air gaps.

    3. 42.

    --->Paul
     
  10. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    #3 :) 42. I guess your a Douglas Adam Fan. And yes it is 42. LOL
     
  11. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Life is a magazine.
     
  12. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    All three are easy, it is all in the wrist.

    It is best to use a solar kiln if you don't have access to a fancy commerical one. See here for the basics.

    http://wood.oregonstate.edu/solarkiln/plans.htm

    Air drying will work but you will get far more superior wood that can be used for more projects with the solar kiln, plus it will be quicker. If not drying lumber can use it to dry your firewood. I have used the principles behind the idea to store lumber and dry firewood. Can be built quite cheep and simple, actually building it into a south facing hillside using stone for the most part is the best.

    The meaning of life is three parts:

    1. Plastics

    2. Wet birds never fly at night

    3. Eat all you take and take all you want
     
  13. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well don't I feel like a dummy. I didn't know it had to dry. I've been building all kinds of things with fresh cut wood. Fella up the road has a sawmill. I call him and tell him what I need, he cuts it and delivers it and I use it for chicken coops, etc. I noticed the floorboards shrunk some, guess that's why, huh?
     
  14. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    we used "green" = wet douglas fir for our roof rafters. they were true 2x12 and were 18 feet long. got them from a local mill too. ours were put up right away, and boy were they heavy! i know that when we buy lumber and wont be using it right away we always stack for air movement and then nail the suckers together so they dont warp!
     
  15. SRSLADE

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

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    If you want to build with green wood..Do it.All the framing, sheething and sub floors will come out great.For finish work dry it out.This type of construction has been done for hundreds of years.However,if you have a building code make sure the little pontontate in your community allows this type of construction.The beams may have to be stamped by the mill.If it's native lumber i don't think you'll have a problem.After you build the house let it dry a bit before you finish.
     
  16. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    Wow!!

    THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

    I now have enough information to work with this wood, AND I have the answer to Life, The Universe, and EVERYTHING! ("42? Seven and a half million years and all you can come up with is 42???")

    Again, my thanks to all!

    Pony!
    <munching on a bowl of cereal>
     
  17. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I have done what SRSLADE stated many times. Not a problem of any consequence. If you have a stud that does warp simply make a number of saw cuts partially thru the stud and pull it straight and nail another stud scab fashion to the one that was warped. I posted the following link on another subject here. I know the history of this house and it was built from green farm cut southern yellow pine that was so fresh it probably still had squirrel tracks on it. Do you see any structural problems?
    http://www.solisearch.net/ims/album.php?u_id=23088lH8uN
     
  18. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    Thanks, Agman, those pics are great -- and inspiring. :)

    I'm forwarding the link to DH.

    Pony!