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Ageing lumber

1205 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  CypressAndPine
I had the chance to get some Florida live oak that had been cut.
I cut some 3/4×2 1/4 boards. How long should I let them 'dry' before I use them?
I have them in my travel trailer that has a dehumidifier running so it is a relatively hot and dry environment.
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It will be interesting to see if 30 days in your trailer with a humidifier will do the job. That is about the time it takes for a small kiln to work. I have used a dehumidifier in my shop to help finish dry in 24 hours. Without the dehumidifier it usually takes 3 or 4 days, so they definitely can make difference.
I'd really like to see some pictures of this live oak. I've never seen it milled before.
Live oak has to dry slow or it will crack, check, and honeycomb on you. A hot dry environment with a dehumidifier seems like it will dry the wood too fast and ruin it it the boards are above 30% moisture content. I would sticker stack it outside under cover.
I had a limb cut off my live oak about a year ago. The logs were about 3' long and 1' diameter. I painted the ends and they all still cracked a little. I cut one open a few weeks ago. It's really cool looking, heavy, and hard as a rock. The small board I cut was still very damp and twisted like crazy in a day, but I didn't stack it properly. It was really just a test. Check out the second part of my bench building blog and there is a pic of a mallet I turned from one of the logs while it was still green. The mallet cracked that night, but it still works good.
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