Messages Archive

cutting and drying
Response To:
Re: Drying a log ()

John K Jordan
>>>Ripping the logs through the pith helps speed up drying but doesn't really stop them from checking but may reduce it.

What cutting it can do for some unstable species such as Dogwood is reduce the tendency for wide splits all the way to the pith. I've seen splits on rounds open up 5-10 degrees. If you cut in half the tangential stresses from shrinkage may still warp badly but minimize big splits. Will still probably end check.

>>>Lately I've taken to sawing them into wider blanks such as 2x6's and 3x12 just to see how that works and so far it works great. Sawing the wood into these thicknesses greatly reduces the drying time but still may take a year per inch.

That's the industry method, SDR (Saw-Dry-Rip), I read about a few years ago recommended for some species such as Yellow Poplar. This is claimed to greatly reduce loss from warping. I also cut green wood into wider pieces but mostly for a different reason - to give more flexibility when turning. After it's dry, I can cut a 2x8 into 2" squares for spindle turning or 8" blanks for face turning. I also found that 2" planks seem to dry almost as quickly as 2x2 squares but 3" and larger take longer for wide planks.

I read that the "1 year per inch plus 1 year" rule of thumb for air drying, already shaky since it is largely species dependent, works for 4/4 and 8/4 but falls apart completely for planks over 2" thick. I have some 5" thick chunks that were still too damp inside after about 6 years of air drying indoors. They are at 11 years now - maybe time to try again!


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