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Author Topic: air drying post oak/white oak  (Read 1750 times)

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Offline paul case

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air drying post oak/white oak
« on: March 29, 2018, 08:49:42 AM »
I have just finished my first semi truck load sale of block graded oak and it seems like this arrangement is going to work well for me. However we are incredibly slow at getting it done as it took us 6 weeks to saw that much tie siding and flitches along with ties and custom orders. We just dead stacked our flitches and ran them thru the edger when we almost had a load(7500 ft). I got by with that on winter cut logs but now our logs are fresher and temps are getting warmer. We want to sticker stack our flitches (which we are good at) and edge them when we get close to a  load.

The thing I am concerned about is checking. The boards on top and bottom of our dead stacked flitches had some of this and I dont want to get a whole semi load of it like that. Is there something I need to do to keep them from checking when I sticker stack them? Can I sticker stack them for a week or 2 and then dead stack the boards without them molding? 

Does anyone on here have experience with this?Thanks for your replies.

PC

life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
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pc

Offline WDH

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 08:53:39 PM »
Use 3/4" stickers.  Keep the stack out of the direct prevailing wind, under a shed.  Put a nurse layer of low grade boards as the topmost layer.  The checking is a result of fast drying.  White oak has to dry SLOW. 
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Offline paul case

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 10:09:00 PM »
I wonder if I can get along with sticker stacking them for like 3 weeks and then edging and dead stacking them without them molding? 

Spraying each layer with bleach/water before dead stacking?

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 11:43:42 PM »
Are you interested in growing mold?  If not, then do not partially air dry.  Look for a product called Shade-Dri that is plastic mess that will cut the air flow and thereby increase the humidity inside the stickered pile and thereby slow down drying.  Fast drying is what causes checking.  Depending on the weather, you might need to just cover one side of the pile.  Use a roof on the top.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 11:47:19 PM »
I wonder if I can get along with sticker stacking them for like 3 weeks and then edging and dead stacking them without them molding?

Spraying each layer with bleach/water before dead stacking?

PC
If you need to dead stack they will need to be sprayed with a fungicide, such as Premier.
After only 3 weeks of AD they will still mold significantly if dead stacked.
As Danny stated, the face checking can be minimized by stacking them either under a shed or putting some roofing tin over the stack.
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 11:58:16 PM »
I sticker stack my white oak as the other folks have said. Then I complexity surround the white oak stacks by other stacks, spaced very closely, less than a foot a part, to keep the local moisture levels up, and to cut the wind down.  I will also put a stack of green wood in top of my white oak.  Make sure the stacks are in the shade. 
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Offline paul case

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2018, 09:02:35 AM »
Yes my stacks will be inside. I have enough room to store 7kft of flitches on sticks without it getting in the way. My barns are covered on the sides with only a 8'' air gap so they dont get too much air flow. 

No I am not interested in growing mold, much the contrary. The lumber buyer I use is real concerned about not getting packs where the boards have molded together. They will not buy packs of boards on sticks, bundles must be dead stacked to ship.

We are just now finishing the first load of boards for this buyer. 7500 ft of 6/4 not less than 6'' and 8' and not lower than 3a.  However we have sawn almost 2 loads of railroad ties to get that much lumber and that with custom orders takes some time. I am thinking that maybe we will stack our sticked flitches at least 2 bundles high if not 3 to help keep them more in one spot. I had almost every place we made to put bundles on cants in the whole building piled up with them before we started edging, and some of those piles were dead stacked.

My initial though on the checking was that it could have been caused by the boards only getting air on one side. I was hoping someone had some experience trying to do the same thing I am doing.

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2018, 12:45:40 PM »
I don't think checking on one side is from boards getting air on only one side. I believe if you had both sides exposed t\o open air, both sides would have checked.  White oak has such a low allowable moisture removal rate, at least here in Alabama, it is virtually impossible to have Mother Nature dry 4/4 slow enough, when in open air.  Once a piece gets thicker than that, the allowable moisture removal rate drops even further, and with say, 8/4 its impossible to air dry without checking, unless controlled measures are taken.  So the solution is to put the stacks in a place where the very local moisture removal rate its lower than ambient conditions, and the wood will dry below its max allowable rate.  Typical things got do are to close stack to keep the relative humidity up, thinner stickers, cover with a semipermeable cloth like Shadedry (I've used burlap) or something similar.  Unfortunately, I think the only real solution is to temporarily sticker with a minimum number of stickers and just build up on the stacks as you mill them.  They will have to be dead stacked later, which would be a total pain.  
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2018, 09:03:52 PM »
This whole story sounds impossible to me with warm weather coming. I never attempted to wholesale bulk because I can't make the lumber fast enough.  A pine operation does this by shipping the lumber on lattice. Even that is risky for stain. How is it you don't edge behind the head saw?

Offline paul case

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 10:05:39 PM »
We are set up for 1 man to operate at each saw and the 2 of us get together to edge when we need to. We stack the flitches up and have sticked them spring thru fall to keep the mold at bay. The thing is we dont make enough of it fast enough to just go dead stacked fresh. It will take some learning. 

The advise here has given me some ideas. I am going to try putting the stacks of flitches against the wall where we can to slow the air flow around them. I may also try to edge some at 3 weeks in and see how long it goes without molding. That might make it easier to do altogether. Edging for 3 days to run a semi load has me worn out.

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 11:13:24 PM »
It might be easier to edge after drying.  In any case, do not stack without stickers until 20%MC or below.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2018, 06:33:55 AM »
This dance sounds about as troublesome as drying thick quartersawn beech. (I inventory it for planemakers). It's a maddening proposition, as if you dry it to fast, checks the WHOLE WAY THROUGH, too slow and it black stains, rendering it undesirable for planes.

Sometimes bourbon is the only remedy.  :D

Yellow is speaking words of wisdom and truth: check the MC often, keep the sun off of it, keep the wind off of it, position it accordingly.

Good luck!
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2018, 08:14:35 AM »
I recently wrote a brief article about drying thick lumber, 8/4 and thicker, of the hard-to-dry hardwoods.  It will be in S&WL.  It would seem to be useful to the discussion here.

The problem with thick wood is that air drying is too variable, due to the variability of the weather.  Some days here in GA the last two years we have had relative humidities under 35% RH in the afternoon.  The forecast has included warnings about the low humidity.  We seem to think that air drying, even with a shed, is a set it and forget it operation.  With 8/4 and thicker hardwoods of many species in a small air yard, we need to use special techniques (like plastic burlap, roofs with large overhang, end coating) to control air drying and protect the wood from drying too fast, and perhaps too slowly as well.  In an air drying shed, I suggest hanging curtains in the open wall that can be pulled shut on dry days and opened on more humid days.  Remember that all defects except cup are high MC defects, so the initial drying of wood is the most critical for high quality.

Obviously, a good kiln drying green from the saw can perfectly control the environment we need.  But drying times are so long that this option is very expensive.  The key is achieving the desired and correct humidity, temperature and air flow; these setting vary with MC.  With some 8/4 and thicker, it may be necessary to shut the kiln off for a few hours every day initially to let the lumber rest.  Daily MC measurement and daily calculation of the drying rate is needed, using properly prepared kiln samples and weighing equipment.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline paul case

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 04:34:09 PM »
I appreciate all the replies.

My lumber in question is 5/4.

I am not shooting for drying it as the buyer buys it green and he has no problem with green, or stained but he doesnt want moldy lumber. Maybe a little mold is ok but stuck together kind of mold is what he doesnt want. I am just trying to figure out how to stack flitches on sticks and wait to edge them til we have enough to make a load or close so that we get the buyer what he wants.

We suffer through some of those low low humidity times here too, as well as some very humid and hot temps so it will be a challenge to do this but I plan to give it a go. We have half a sticked stack of flitches left ftrom the last load and we will start on the next load on Monday.

I wonder if house wrap would do the same as your shade dry or similiar?

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline Ianab

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2018, 04:43:12 PM »
Quote
I wonder if house wrap would do the same as your shade dry or similiar?
You still want "some" air flow through your stack, otherwise you are back to having mold growing. Something like garden "windbreak" cloth might be more suitable? It's not airtight, so you would get some air movement through it. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2018, 06:39:45 PM »
It seams to me you need a good edger [at least a miner or better] that tails on a green chain that has forward and reverse and sticks racked right there. Also  a chain accumulator deck to hold wane boards and cross feed to said edger. Every day you edge and sticker what you sawed at waist level. [This is kinda how I do it]  You would have to pull the stuff off sticks to ship, I think this is called 'shipping dry'.  This is just what I think but it is what I do. Work work and more work.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2018, 06:58:08 PM »
We used to air dry to around 40% MC and then stack every layer on thin lath.  It was called shipping dry.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Don P

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2018, 08:20:41 PM »
I think what Ianab is talking about is what we use for veggie row cover, agrobond is the brand we use;
http://www.agrofabric.com/
and yup, I checked some white oak the other day when we got sun, wind and low humidity. The checks closed overnight as moisture rose to the surface, but make no bones about it they are still there.

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2018, 07:19:47 AM »
The problem with thick wood is that air drying is too variable, due to the variability of the weather.  Some days here in GA the last two years we have had relative humidities under 35% RH in the afternoon.  The forecast has included warnings about the low humidity.  We seem to think that air drying, even with a shed, is a set it and forget it operation.  With 8/4 and thicker hardwoods of many species in a small air yard, we need to use special techniques (like plastic burlap, roofs with large overhang, end coating) to control air drying and protect the wood from drying too fast, and perhaps too slowly as well.  In an air drying shed, I suggest hanging curtains in the open wall that can be pulled shut on dry days and opened on more humid days.  Remember that all defects except cup are high MC defects, so the initial drying of wood is the most critical for high quality.


Dr. Gene,
This is a matter that we often forget (or lack attention). The general misnomer is that air-drying is almost necessary,due to time and budget, and that it's a "safe" option.

I noticed it yesterday: we've had rain, snow, humid weather for a while, then suddenly yesterday it was warm, low RH, and windy. Great day to be outside, but the wood was drying more than it has all year. 

So, in a general sense, would you say that when the RH is under 40? 50? it's a good time to shade and block?

Thx
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: air drying post oak/white oak
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2018, 10:22:59 PM »
March, in s. N.Y. is the month that lumber dries the fastest. Something about the wind and no leaves on the trees. I can feel it in my skin and see the gaps between the boards on the sheds. These boards will not be this narrow any other month. This is why it is so important to saw and stick in late fall and early winter if you only air dry. One inch wood should go thru march once and two inch twice.  I always thought summer was the best season for drying and it almost is but march is the month.


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