Drying 2" Ash Slabs for Countertops

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Forum topic by johnycash99 posted 10-23-2020 06:47 PM 319 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 37 days

10-23-2020 06:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: slabs drying ash 2 inches dehumidifier humidity climate dry flattening router sled

Hey everyone – new to the forum here!

I had some questions regarding a project I’m going to take on. I recently Just purchased six 9 foot long 2 inch thick ash slabs – 24-30 inches wide. I bought them 4 months ago and have had them stacked in my shed about 2 inches separated between each slab.

I live in Nova Scotia, Canada – The humidity is usually 75% and above here – throughout the year. I brought the slabs into my basement and have them leaning up against my wall. I just bought this house back in June (It’s a 100 y/o old schoolhouse that has been renovated) The basement has been prone to leaks in the past and water pooling – but I recently installed some eavestrough to from what I can see completely alleviate this problem. I always have two dehumdifiers running in the basement due to moisture getting into the basement and the humidity in the basement is more or less controlled and from what I can “fee” is not too humid. I have already built a planing sled – bought a router with flattening slabs and have flattened a small 4 foot slab on ONE side (I made a signign table for my wedding – was also just married last week) this board since being flattened on the one side has already had some cupping that I noticed since being stored upstairs. This brings me to some concerns and questions

So (Phew, thanks for staying with me here!), my questions are – is the basement an appropriate place for this to be stored to “dry” the wood out so it will eventually be suitable for making countertops AS opposed to the shed I own. The shed I own is also not airtight, and given the humidity of the climate where I live at I feel as if it will be problematic.

How long do you guys reckon before I start working on my wood. If I do it to early is it an almost guarantee the wood be prone to cupping upon finishing flattening them? (I absolutely do not want this to happen of course)

Thanks for some insight guys, I hope I can get some good answers from some experienced wood-workers here.

If it’s of any help, accessing a kiln in my area is not possible, so my only conventional methods of possibly drying the wood out it seems are spacing it out, standing it up or using the dehumidifiers.

4 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


3498 posts in 2713 days

#1 posted 10-23-2020 06:55 PM

I would let them dry and accumulate in your basement for a minimum of 7 years.
If you have no patience I would rip one in 3 sections then join it back together. See if that takes some of the fight out.
Many under estimate how long it takes for big stables to settle down.
If you want to play with big boards you need big machines. Or some incredible hand tools skills. I’m assuming you don’t have since you asked this question.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View bondogaposis's profile


5891 posts in 3267 days

#2 posted 10-23-2020 09:11 PM

At 75% humidity it is going to take 5 years at least.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ibewjon's profile


2139 posts in 3709 days

#3 posted 10-23-2020 09:30 PM

Don’t lean them, store them flat and spaced. Lay heavy plastic on the he floor, then spacers maybe 12” apart. Then stack the slabs with vertically stacked spacers. Tent the stack, place a box fan at one end on low speed. Put a dehumidifier at the other end, draining through a hose out of the tent.. The warm dry air stays under the plastic. You need to dry carefully, not too fast. It will be hard to weigh your slabs to check humidity, so you could buy a moisture tester with remote capability. Lignomat sells one. There are many articles about drying wood this way, look for them online. The above is an outline, not exact procedure. It will be faster than han straight air drying, but you must be careful. Also place weight above each stack of spacers to help keep wood straight. I use this method for final drying, but have not used it with green wood in the northern tropics. It will still be a slow process.

View PCDub's profile


226 posts in 1160 days

#4 posted 10-23-2020 10:34 PM

[quote] ...this board since being flattened on the one side has already had some cupping… [quote]

Removing wood from only one side would contribute to the movement. It’s best to remove from both sides…

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