Skip planing large slab to help air dry

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 09-22-2013 12:53 PM 1599 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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469 posts in 3429 days

09-22-2013 12:53 PM

I have roughly 150 – 200 board feet of black walnut that I have been air drying for 18 months. The slabs still have the bark on and are 8/4. Would it help the drying process if I skip planned them before I restacked them? Last I check the moisture several months ago they were between 8% – 10%

15 replies so far

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2969 days

#1 posted 09-22-2013 12:59 PM

I do not know where you live but this sounds like equilibrium moisture content for where I live. That means they are as dry as they can possibly get air drying. You would have to use some type of kiln set up to get the moisture lower, put them in a hot attic or in a tent with a dehumidifier

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Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3432 days

#2 posted 09-22-2013 01:39 PM

Agree that is dry, from where I am as well

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View yellowtruck75's profile


469 posts in 3429 days

#3 posted 09-22-2013 01:50 PM

Currently I have the slabs in a basement and I will be moving them into the attic of my new shop in the next few weeks. Unfortunately the weather is getting colder so the attic won’t be as hot as I would like for awhile. Without utilizing a kiln will I be able to use it eventually?

I like in central Pennsylvania

View JamesT's profile


104 posts in 2274 days

#4 posted 09-22-2013 02:06 PM

For where I live in S.E. Missouri 8-10% would be considered ready to use. If in fact its 8-10% all the way through the slab, not just the outside surface.

-- Jim from Horseshoe Bend

View woodtools's profile


21 posts in 2651 days

#5 posted 09-22-2013 02:07 PM

Here in the Pacific Northwest 12-15% moisture content is perfect for building furniture.

View mahdee's profile


4286 posts in 2130 days

#6 posted 09-22-2013 02:09 PM

If the walnuts are native, you are good to go. They are ready for your projects.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3052 days

#7 posted 09-23-2013 01:22 AM

Those would be ready to use in Oklahoma as well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View yellowtruck75's profile


469 posts in 3429 days

#8 posted 10-29-2013 06:38 PM

What differences should I expect when working with air dried opposed to kiln dried?

I was going through my stash of cherry this weekend and I found a large set of bookmatched slabs that I am going to use for our new dining room table. The outside moisture label varied between 8.5% – 9.5%. I am gonna let it dry over the winter in the attic of my shop before working with it.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30324 posts in 2700 days

#9 posted 10-29-2013 06:57 PM

Air drying, that’s about as good as it gets.

I have heard that wood dries faster if you do not plane it. I don’t know if that is true however.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View rustfever's profile


769 posts in 3672 days

#10 posted 10-29-2013 07:41 PM

They are as dry as they will get at this time of year. They may dry very slightly more if brought inside.
I vote for ‘Time to use em!’

-- Rustfever, Central California

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469 posts in 3429 days

#11 posted 10-29-2013 07:57 PM

I would use them right now but I have several orders for chairs that will take me into next year so for now they will sit and maybe dry a bit more.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2939 posts in 2337 days

#12 posted 10-29-2013 10:44 PM

If you live here in Las Vegas they might need more time, but for most parts of the country 8 to 10% should be fine to use.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View Oldtool's profile


2766 posts in 2553 days

#13 posted 10-29-2013 10:55 PM

According to Purdue University, you’re ready to go.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View jcsterling's profile


474 posts in 3947 days

#14 posted 10-29-2013 11:02 PM

Zach, that is good to go for air dried in our area.

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View yellowtruck75's profile


469 posts in 3429 days

#15 posted 10-30-2013 04:32 PM

Thanks everyone. Hopefully I will have time this winter to start our table.

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