Lumber Air Dry

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Forum topic by Ryan posted 08-24-2010 02:11 AM 1790 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ryan's profile


238 posts in 4262 days

08-24-2010 02:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lumb air dry

Last week, I bought about 200 bf of fresh-cut walnut lumber.
When the lumber is air dried, I’ve seen most cases rough suface
is directly dried.
Is there any problem if I air-dry the lumber after planing the surface?

I just want to dry the good ones. However, my problem is I can tell
which board has good grain only after planing.
Thank for giving tips.

9 replies so far

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 5256 days

#1 posted 08-24-2010 02:36 AM

It will still air dry the same if planed first and maybe a bit faster because it is thinner.

My question though is this, Since air drying is a lengthy process will it be any more of a problem to dry it all? Some of the problems with the pieces may not show up till after being air dried depending on your process of air drying. If you only dry ‘the good ones’, what if they go bad because of warp, cup, curl, and splits and you end up with not enough air dried wood.

View Ryan's profile


238 posts in 4262 days

#2 posted 08-24-2010 03:50 AM

I haven’t thought about the board getting bad while drying. It may reduce the harvest volume
at the end, but if I have less volume to dry, I may be able to take care better.
And I think the chace is very slim for bad ones becoming good after drying.
Thank you Bill.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 4316 days

#3 posted 08-24-2010 05:37 AM

My concern with planing before it is air dried, is that you may end up with much thinner stock when it comes time to start milling for use. Assuming that it was rough cut for 4/4 (being 5/4 rough cut) that after milling it would be less than 4/4 when finished. I would think even the bad ones would yield some usable lumber for small projects.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 5103 days

#4 posted 08-24-2010 02:16 PM

I don’t think I would run the green (wet) walnut through my planner. I sometime will use a hand plane to get a better look at the actual grain characteristics. I don’t plane the whole board, but just enough to get a good idea of the grain and color. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View tnwood's profile


274 posts in 4419 days

#5 posted 08-24-2010 05:15 PM

Although most walnut doesn’t tend to warp if it is dried properly, I would not plane it until you are ready to use it. It is going to move a bit during drying and you don’t want to lose anything before you are ready to surface it for use.

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 4184 days

#6 posted 08-25-2010 11:55 PM

-yeah, Chiefk, i never can resist
-what can you put on to help prevent cracking …that does not cost $20 a gallon? I can’t stand watching my walnut crack, but i can’t fit a whole freakin walnut tree inside of my garage and house!

-ps -what is a bf?

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View HerbC's profile


1821 posts in 4192 days

#7 posted 08-26-2010 12:05 AM


bf = board foot, unit of measure of amount of wood. A bf is the equivalent of a board twelve inches long and twelve inches wide and one inch thick. When purchasing thinner boards, anything under 1” thick is treated as being 1” thick for calculating the bf for the purchase…

For small quantities of wood you can use parafin (sp?). Old candle stub would work or buy parafin such as Gulf Wax from store…

Hope your hand is healing well.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 4387 days

#8 posted 08-26-2010 01:47 AM

actually planing the surface reduces drying time. It is not cost effective in my sawmill operation, but does facilitate drying.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 4387 days

#9 posted 08-26-2010 01:51 AM

To prevent end checking, use anchor seal or an equivalent that usually runs 9-12/gallon in bulk. Use them within 3 days of felling a tree unless winter and the sap is down or you are applying it needlessly.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

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