View Poll Results: Which do you prefer

Voters
46. You may not vote on this poll
  • Air Dried

    11 23.91%
  • Kiln Dried

    12 26.09%
  • Either of the 2 is fine by me

    23 50.00%
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Thread: Kiln vs. Air Dry

  1. #1
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    Kiln vs. Air Dry

    Which is better? Some like kiln dried and some like air dried. Do you prefer one over the other?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,247
    Hey Steve i am sorry but i dont know enough to be able to vote either way. So i will be watching to see what folks say.
    cheers

  3. #3
    Kiln dried is the more stable, Once it has been dried the wood may take in and expell some surface moisture as the weather or conditions change. Air dried is not totally dry and will constantly expell moisture content as it ages. (reason very old pieces fall apart ) the joints will loosen and open if the MC of the environment is not the same as the MC of the wood.

    So, Good furniture is built from Kiln Dried wood. Air dried is OK for upholstered furniture but tight joints need a more stable wood. Kiln Dried is the more stable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
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    I voted kiln but it really depends on if they steam it or not. Steam dried Walnut it just plane ugly and boring. Walnut should never be steamed in my opinion the beauty of air dried Walnut cant be beat.
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    Kiln dried is the more stable, Once it has been dried the wood may take in and expell some surface moisture as the weather or conditions change. Air dried is not totally dry and will constantly expell moisture content as it ages. (reason very old pieces fall apart ) the joints will loosen and open if the MC of the environment is not the same as the MC of the wood.

    So, Good furniture is built from Kiln Dried wood. Air dried is OK for upholstered furniture but tight joints need a more stable wood. Kiln Dried is the more stable.
    Bill,
    I hate to disagree with you but all wood will giveup and take on moisture as the humidiity changes. Wood wants to be in equalibrium with the environment. I have seen kiln drying change the color of some wood like walnut for instance. From my expierance restoring antiques 100% of the joint failure has been the fault of the glue that was used back then. I have worked on pieces well over 100 years old.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NH
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    4,005
    +1 for what Don said.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  7. #7
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    +2 for what Don said.

    Air dried - when dried to the same MC - will be just as stable as kiln dried.

    Air dried is better for steam bending, since it hasn't been 'tempered' by the kiln's heat.

    If KD walnut is steamed during drying - to blend the colors - it becomes bland and muddy looking when compared to sir dried.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    Winchester Ky.
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    98
    I will use both. But I prefer air dried.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2008
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    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    3,019
    I voted for #3 cause I really don't know much about the diffferences.

    I kinda knew about the stability of kiln dried - and about appearance of air dried.

    I have some air dried Cherry - and it looks pretty good to me. I also have some air dried Walnut and that also looks great.

    However - I do have two very untrained eyes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Kemah, Tx. - Houston Suburb
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    95
    Air dried always presents the possibility of infestations. Generally, the modern kilns reach high enough temps to kill bugs and larvae.
    Also note that unless you live somewhere very dry, air drying will not get you down below 10%. If you build furniture that is air dried to 10 or 11% and move it into a heated and air conditioned home you have a higher probabilty of the wood continuing to dry and shrink and crack.
    This is common when antiques are moved from the barn or garage into the home.
    These points could be argued forever so this was just my take on it.
    Would I personally buy air dried wood? No, for me the risk is too great.

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