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Forum topic by Eugene posted 04-27-2008 07:14 AM 1337 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eugene's profile


31 posts in 4187 days

04-27-2008 07:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak maple

I’ve cut some left over firewood into 1” rough cuts with my chainsaw. What is the drying time needed before I can resaw and plane them for woodworking projects? Help!!!

-- Eugene, North Carolina, [email protected]

7 replies so far

View barlow's profile


129 posts in 4245 days

#1 posted 04-27-2008 07:36 AM

Depends on the species, how its stickered, location, air flow, heat exposure

-- barlow

View Davesfunwoodworking's profile


278 posts in 4380 days

#2 posted 04-27-2008 09:40 AM

I think I have read that its about 1 year per 1inch of thickness. I also think that it depends on what species of wood it is. Just make sure you seal the ends really good. If not they will crack.

-- Davesfunwoodworking

View snowdog's profile


1166 posts in 4488 days

#3 posted 04-27-2008 12:55 PM

Last year I put a few logs, and odd scrapes, away for drying to see how it would turn (no pun intened but I’ll take it when it comes) out this year. Most of the bigger chunks I stored checked and split and yes, I did paint the ends pretty well.

I did have many 4×4 6” to 10” long chucks make it through last years drying very well. I’ll try turning then them this year. I have also heard that turning them wet might be easier. Sometime it is fun to be new to a thing just to learn what you should not do.. at least that is how I am looking at it :)

Good luck

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View acanthuscarver's profile


268 posts in 4217 days

#4 posted 05-23-2008 04:12 AM


The one year per inch of thickness is a pretty good rule. You do need to sticker the material properly and weight the pile to help keep it from warping. Keep it out of the rain and make sure it has good airflow. Snowdog mentioned “painting” the ends. I suggest you use wax. They make specific wax for this purpose but some of the old time sawyers I know just use parafin. You may still get some checking but it will lessen the severity of the checks.

Happy drying… sitting and watching wood dry is even better than watching paint…

-- Chuck Bender, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4319 days

#5 posted 05-23-2008 06:17 AM

Do you have a moisture meter yet? You should also paint the ends with anchorseal.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4242 days

#6 posted 05-23-2008 09:05 AM

It is also a god idea to use the same wood for the stickers. some wood will leave bad stain marks on the planks.

you can seal the ends with Anchorseal and stand the boards vertically to dry. They will have far less checking if stacked correctly. I have seen lots of boards dried this way and they dry out evenly and will little warping. There are some tricks to this type of drying.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View David Freed's profile

David Freed

113 posts in 4173 days

#7 posted 05-23-2008 12:57 PM

I have been kiln drying lumber for a few years. The 1” per year idea “can” work, but it’s not very practical. It does greatly depend on what species you are talking about as to how slowly or fast you should dry it. The oaks, hickory, and other “hard” woods need to be dried slowly. Depending on the time of year I would air dry 4/4 red oak 2 to 2 1/2 months to get it to 30% before putting it in the kiln. On the other end of the hardwood spectrum, I have had 4/4 poplar air dry from green to below 20% in 2 weeks.

The material that your sticks are made from has nothing to do with sticker stain (I have sticks from 5 or 6 different species all mixed together). Sticker stain usually occurs in white woods (maple, poplar, etc) that are not dried fast enough. The wood directly under the sticks oxidizes at a different rate than the wood exposed to the air, which makes it turn a different color. If the lumber is dried fast enough, this greatly reduces the chance that this will happen. Another way to reduce the chance of sticker stain even more is to use fluted sticks (all of mine are), which greatly reduces the contact area between the sticks and lumber.

I won’t go into detail in this post, but there are many ways to “kiln dry” lumber on a small, low budget scale. If you do not kiln dry the lumber, especially former firewood, you stand a good chance of having bugs of some kind start appearing in your finished project down the road. The industry standard for killing all bugs in lumber is to heat the core of the lumber to 130 degrees for at least 3 hours. For 4/4 lumber, I would run my kiln temp up to 140 degrees for 6 to 8 hours to be sure the core reached the proper temp.

Endcoating is generally a good idea. I usually don’t do it, and I don’t have too much trouble with end cracks, but most of the lumber I buy is cut 6” to 8” over length also.

I hope I didn’t bore you to death with this post.

-- David, Southern Indiana

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