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Thread: How I dried my lumber.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Wisconsin Dells, WI

    How I dried my lumber.

    About 13 years ago I had several trees cut down from my property. I was just getting really interested in WW'ing and decided I'd have these trees sawed into lumber that I could use for projects. I had a cherry, red oak, maple, box elder and hickory.

    I was fortunate in that I found a sawyer that lived about 3 miles from me. He gave me a good deal on sawing all these trees. Where he normally charged for travel, he didn't because he was so close.

    I had done a couple of other trees 2 or 3 years previous and had dried them using methods I'd researched on the internet and helpful tips from various sources. My first foray was not good. Most all of the boards were warped, twisted and whatever after drying for over a year. I think it was a combination of not enough weight to keep the boards flat and also I don't think I picked a good spot to dry said lumber.

    I figured there must be a way to do this to get straight boards so I put my 3 brain cells to work. They worked together and I came up with a system that I thought would solve my previous problem of warped, twisted lumber.

    I proceeded to lay out 4X4 treated lumber in a grid to set my fresh sawn boards on. IIRC it was 8' long by 6' wide with 4X4's spaced within the outer frame for support. Next was finding a bunch of 1X2's that were straight enough to use as stickers.

    I then bought some treated 2X8's and constructed what is depicted in the photos below.

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    After setting these up on the driveway for these pictures I realized that the ones with the holes through them were the center supports which would allow air to circulate through the whole pile.

    After stacking all my wood I put these on top with stickers under each one that would support the thing off my fresh cut lumber. Once each was set I used 4 2" straps on the top of each thingy [not really sure what to call them]. Next was to cover the freshly cut lumber with a tarp. The tarp left about 3-4 inches at the bottom for air circulation. The straps were hooked on the bottom part of the frame and on top of the tarp. Then I started cinching them up. Once I had them all cinched up tight [ I couldn't get another turn on them] I checked everything and was satisfied and hopeful that my innovation would work.

    I picked a place in my back yard that would get some sun, but more importantly would have air movement from the wind a majority of the time. Once a month or so I'd go out and cinch up the straps. Every time I did I was able to tighten the straps another notch or two.

    I set these up IIRC in early August. By the following June I had the moisture content checked and I was at an average of 12%.

    I then moved all my boards indoors and stacked them. I didn't have one board warped or twisted and none have warped or twisted since stacking them some 13 years later.

    Just thought I'd share this in case any of you are thinking of having some of your trees sawed into lumber. This wasn't the most economical way to dry lumber but it worked great and if I had more trees to cut I'd save them for further use. As I don't have a use for them they are going in the dumpster with the remnants of our deck which is being redone.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and if the moderators deem this is not in the right place, please feel free to move it to the appropriate forum.
    Last edited by Karl Laustrup; 04-03-2015 at 09:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    An interesting approach
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Interesting.. Seems like it ought to work, I know some folks pile stuff on top to hold it while it dries, this seems more straight forward.

    Out of curiosity.. did you have any staining on the top boards from the pressure treated?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Wisconsin Dells, WI
    Sorry it's been a while since I've been on here. Between having a new deck built and normal getting everything ready for spring/summer, I've been very busy and by the end of the day I'm tired.

    Ryan, I didn't have any staining on my wood. The 2X8's sat on 1X2" stringers, not on the lumber, so there was no staining.

    I also have about 30 +/- 1X2"X8' stringers if someone is interested.

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