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Author Topic: Drying Cherry  (Read 753 times)

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Offline D6c

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Drying Cherry
« on: August 14, 2021, 05:28:01 PM »
Is cherry particularly difficult to dry and keep it straight?
I had a pallet full of 4-5' lumber that I sawed to 1ľ", air dried, and ran through the kiln. It wasn't what I would call high grade, and that may be the problem, but it twisted and cupped badly.  I got about ⅔ of it to clean up at ⅞.  The remainder may not clean on ĺ and might be firewood.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Drying Cherry
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2021, 10:28:33 PM »
sappy cherry doesn't behave well during drying. Especially if the sap is heavy on one face. But my experience has been good with all red cherry.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Drying Cherry
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2021, 10:41:53 PM »
Yes, cherry is one of the most difficult species to dry flat and true.  It is one of the more technical species to mill, and stress must be read constantly.  

Knots will pull.

Sapwood will pull, cup and bow.  Cut the sapwood off, basically trim off the fat. It has to be done before drying, not after.

Unbalanced grain will twist like snake.

Pith is bad.

Improper sticker placement will cause bow or kinks.

When drying, itís imperative to have weights.  

If it is over dried, say 6% EMC, a flat board will begin to bow, cup, and twist like a country road.

Thatís just cherry, it's pretty grumpy, but it can be tamed.



YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  Donít burn the cookies.

Offline D6c

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Re: Drying Cherry
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2021, 12:42:20 AM »
Yes, cherry is one of the most difficult species to dry flat and true.  It is one of the more technical species to mill, and stress must be read constantly.  

Knots will pull.

Sapwood will pull, cup and bow.  Cut the sapwood off, basically trim off the fat. It has to be done before drying, not after.

Unbalanced grain will twist like snake.

Pith is bad.

Improper sticker placement will cause bow or kinks.

When drying, itís imperative to have weights.  

If it is over dried, say 6% EMC, a flat board will begin to bow, cup, and twist like a country road.

Thatís just cherry.  
Lol.... I think I did most of those things wrong.  

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Drying Cherry
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2021, 08:09:18 AM »
It happens.  I have killed countless boards learning the tricks.  

Cherry and walnut, two high value woodworker and furniture species, are among the hardest to dry flat and true.

This applies to commercial producers as well.  I sometimes purchase both of these from some of the highest quality producers in the country and without fail, bow, twist, curve etc are the most common defects I see.

Of course, this is one of the thing that separates our business for others, and with a few tricks of the trade, we can dry both dead flat and true, and it gives us a significant market.  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  Donít burn the cookies.

Offline WDH

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Re: Drying Cherry
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2021, 03:53:38 PM »
The pith is really bad in cherry.  With the sapwood bad and the juvenile core/pith bad, you need larger logs.  In Georgia, small cherry logs are mostly sapwood or juvenile core/pith and really makes good smoking wood for meat and very poor lumber. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Drying Cherry
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2021, 09:01:09 AM »
Almost all species develop excessive cup if the wood is within about 20 growth rings of the center.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Drying Cherry
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2021, 01:51:54 PM »
Now I read this.  :D
I had a call for wide cherry slabs last spring. I found some good size logs from a firewood producer. I sawed them at 2" LE. 
Well after drying down to 20% I put them in the kiln. They did not come out so nice. I was able to get some 1.25" shelves for another customer out of them. IMight have broke even on those boards.  could see where the problems were based on the defects in the wood and what I just read here. I am slowly learning about defects in the wood, sawing, drying.  
On another note, I sawed 3 logs into 4/4 x 8" 13' long flooring blanks hoping to get 1x6. I did something right as I was able to straightline and get 1x7.5" T+G flooring for my new house. They were nice straight logs with no defects. 
I will post pics of the new flooring when i'm done
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