Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
More on benefits of steaming

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I blundered into this reference while looking for something else. The results suggest that steaming, and maybe boiling, beech plane planks would be desirable for aiding drying.

DRYING EASTERN
HARDWOOD LUMBER
By
JOHN M. McMILLEN
and
EUGENE M. WENGERT
Forest Products Laboratory
Forest Service
U. S. Department of Agriculture

More recent studies in a number of schools
and laboratories have shown a number of
benefits[to steaming]. Moisture migration rates are increased
significantly, and drying times are
reduced. Drying rates were increased for northern red oak,
cherrybark oak, and sweetgum heartwood.
The drying rate at 50 percent moisture content
for these small specimens increased 34 to
75 percent for the oaks and 11 to 36 percent
for sweetgum heartwood. Steaming times
were in the range of ½ to 5 hours.
In another study with 1-inch-thick oak,
Simpson (1976a) found that the moisture gradients,
during drying after steaming 4 hours
at 212° F, were smooth curves. The natural
moisture gradients of the unsteamed controls
had inflections that indicated free water
movement was restricted.[not good, a stress inducing situation leading to cracks] Simpson’s work
showed that free water migration from the
center toward the surface was enhanced by
steaming.

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