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Thread: Lumber milling and drying.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Indianola, Ia about 12 miles south of Des Moines

    Lumber milling and drying.

    My BIL is cutting down a couple of walnut trees and I get them. Now the questions. Will they need to be cut into lumber right away or can I paint the ends and get they off the ground and mill them in a couple of months? Now the drying question. I have a loft in the shop that is heated and dyring the heating season it gets very dry in the shop. I was wondering about stacking and stickering the boards up there with a fan on them to speed the drying. Will this have much affect on the humidy in the shop and will they dry much? Thanks for any answers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    My drying methods are outside in a three sided lean to or in my mint tubs with circulation available. I would think the attic would be a great spot, might consider a gable vent like a dryer vent that opens and run a small fan on a timer to push the moisture laden air to the outside. Larry and Stu have more experience so will wait to see thier suggestions. Congrats on the wood Rex. You don't say how large the trees or the strength of your attic trusses, but that could be quite the pile of wood! Don't forget the stickers properly placed in the stack and then it adds up in size quickly. Before Don says anything, "don't forget the pictures!!!"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I'd get some anchorseal or green wood sealer, the paint don't work that great.

    I'd cut the edges of the boards square, this is a lot eaiser to do on the mill, less mess and it also gets the bark off, which is where you can get bugs, I don't know how Walnut is with bugs, Larry is our Chocolate go to guy, he will be able to give you more info

    While at the mill, you can possibly get a bunch of stickers cut at the same time, I know that cutting the stickers for my wood sure took a lot of time and a lot of 2x4s

    I'm going to caution you to NOT put the wood in to your loft area for maybe six months, stack it outside, cover the top and the long sides, leave the ends open for air flow. Use thick black plastic, this way the sun will warm it and move the water out of the wood faster, once it has been six months or so then I'd move it into the loft. Freshly cut green wood will lose a LOT of water in the first month or so, I'd not want that inside, it is messy, and I know, cause I did that, big mistake.

    Congrats on the wood, it will be some work doing this, but I think well worth it in the end.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Southern, Illinois
    Hey Rex,
    As others suggested, paint the ends, the sooner the better. I just use whatever paint is left over from some household project. The idea is to slow down moisture loss and reduce checking.

    The only wood I know that really needs to be cut sooner than later is pine or spruce.

    Depending on conditions, I would not have a problem waiting 6 months to a year before sawing the log. Just keep it off the ground and the ends sealed. I think I waited almost 6 months before I sawed my last walnut. Actually I just sawed up some slabs from one that had been in the weeds for 2-3 years. Pictures here...

    I hate moving lumber stacks. My barn has a loft that gets rather toasty in the summer. It's where all my lumber goes until it is ready for the table saw.

    I am not sure if I got the person right, but I am thinking Dr. Chen (solar kiln nut!) posted on another forum he too just stashes it in the attic because of temperature often experienced in these areas (just enough to support his WW hobby).

    Last edited by Doug DeVore; 10-12-2010 at 09:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Dont use green sticks to stack with they must be dry or you will get sticker stain
    A Turn N Time
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  6. #6
    Rots-a-Ruck trying to find a sawyer to slice your walnut logs.

    Around here sawyers sell their dust to horse farms for stable bedding, Walnut creates a problem with horses so they don't like to process walnut. I found a fellow who does exclusively walnut (lucky me)

    If you saw it w/i a few days it will be fine but after the sawing, that is a need to paint the ends and sticker stack. Of course if you paint the log ends it will make painting the plank ends a Moot point as they will already be painted. I used blue latex as that is what I had. 7 years ago and was looking in the barn a few weeks ago and found no checks... Must have worked

    This winter is my planned date to move them to the basement and then to the project as planned. If my condition improves, there will be new work a foot here .

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