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General Forestry => Drying and Processing => Topic started by: Schramm on December 26, 2012, 12:08:47 AM

Title: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 26, 2012, 12:08:47 AM
I will let you know that I am very new to this but a very fast learner.  I am in the process of buying a Woodland Mills HM126 which I am hoping is the right choice for cutting down barn timbers into flooring.  Before I make this purchase I am trying to get info on drying and raising temps on this type of cut wood in order to kill any bugs that may be living in the wood.  I have done about 10 days of reading on this with many conflicting informational posts.  I am not suprised of that as every area and climate would have a different way to handle it.  Could someone give me some sort of idea of the best way to dry and kill off possible bugs in the wood.  I am trying to get the info prior to making this purchase.

Any help with be very much appreciated!
 :christmas:
Rob
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: scsmith42 on December 26, 2012, 05:55:14 AM
It is much more feasible to sterilize the thin flooring boards as opposed to the thick timbers.

If the wood is already dry, you can build a sterilization chamber to heat the boards to 140F or thereabouts for sterilization purposes.

If you want to be able to dry as well as sterilize, I have had very good success with my Nyle kiln.  It is their L200 type series (mine is actually the variant that they manufacture for Woodmizer).  Nyle has a great reputation and many satisfied customers.
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: jueston on December 26, 2012, 10:33:51 AM
the beams will likely not be at the right MC for flooring, so you will need to dry them down to 7% and heat them to 140 or so to kill off the bugs, there are lots of manufacturers of small kilns that you can look at or you could build a solar kiln, it really depends on your needs, if you going to be making a lot of material fast, then solar is not the way, if you have a lot of time, then solar is a very cost effective means of drying.
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 26, 2012, 11:35:54 AM
Hi Schramm,

Working in the industry of "barn to home conversion," and "historical restoration,"with several different brokers, I see many small start up salvage companies that try to do what you are about to.  It is doable, but the learning curve can be time consuming and very expensive, as you learn what works and what doesn't.

As a start up, (if that is your plan?), you need to concern yourself more with volume than with kiln drying anything.  As a timber wright I never work in dry wood, only "green," often only hours off the mill.  To give an example, we planned a timber last month that we had to set off to the side because it was so "wet" it was spitting out water whenever we put a tool to it.

As for barn restoration and repurposing of some materials off a job, again, the timbers are more than dry enough to be serviceable for most tasks.  There really aren't many pest species inside old barn material that are going to contribute to any type of degradation further of the wood.  Almost all species of Coleoptera that have, at some point considered the wood for a food source or nesting site, have long since died, or now would consider the material undesirable habitat, because it has been "air drying," for at least 5 decades.  Even in new wood, such as maple, with a high moisture and starch/sugar content, that can very well attract these types of pest, kiln drying them before use would not be practical in any way, and would also render the wood difficult to impossible to "tool," effectively, other than board stock. Seldom, if ever, do these types of organisms render wood structurally unsound; aesthetics are another matter.  Water damage after an infestation is why most infested wood becomes unserviceable.

I will add the caveat, that if you are going to work with "historical," material form "over seas," pest control is of great concern. One of my "skill sets," and focal points for any overseas work, is supervising pest and wildlife control.  Too many foreign species have ended up on our shores because too many companies try to cut corners or do not consider these species of any great threat.  Kiln drying is only one, (and often not effective,) way to deal with potential invasive species, unless it is a very good, (read expensive!!!) commercial kiln/drying chamber.

If you shared some of your goals in "material reclamation/repurposing," folks on the forum may be of more help.  The saw mill you are considering looks like a really nice DYI machine, (at a good price for it's features,) but I would question it's functionality in any commercial venture.  We only use our "full manual," machines for "specialty milling."  Not until you get into the "swing blades," or more "tricked out," manual machines can you really make them cost effective in a commercial application.  Not to say you can't do it, because I have seen some young "20 something-hard chargers," make some descent money with the correct material, but they too, in the long run, realized the toll manual milling puts on the body.

Regards,

jay

Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 26, 2012, 04:19:14 PM
Everyone thank you for the replys.  I guess to explain it better here is what I want to do.  I am a antique mirror glass designer and manufacturer.  It too was a start up with some knowledge 8 years ago which has become a huge success, yes there was many issues along the way as I had to teach and reteach myself new things to keep myself ahead of the pack (not a very big pack).  Yes this too is a learning curve (getting into using reclaimed barn siding and beams) but for me most things are.  My intention for flooring is only to use at this point anyway in a house that I am restoring (common house) back to OLD/NEW meaning looks of a era with and underneath that is state of the art.  To assure that the material I use is done correctly I need to use the proper equipment, I do not think a solar kiln in Illinois is going to work as over the last 6 days I have had NO SUNLIGHT.  I think  a already made smaller kiln that can hold maybe 500 board feet at a time is enough.  I have started buying just vertical barn siding and wanted to find out if it holds a MC of 12-14% what I would need to dry it out and kill any living things inside.  My plans for this siding is to plain all 4 sides and tounge and groove the siding for use as rustic wainscot.  Right now I have 1900 board feet of it ready for plaining (ie... de-nailed using a metal detector, sanded on both faces and staight lined on 1 side.  The boards are slightly wider then 12" and 1" thick and most are 10-20' long.  Is there a kiln that will handle this for me?  I have been told to just seperate them and then tarp them with a running fan and dehumidifier under there to remove the small amount of additional moisture but then I started reading about BUG so I do not know.

Any help would be a blessing at this point!
Thanks again
Rob
 :new_year:
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: jueston on December 26, 2012, 06:14:50 PM
if you only plan on doing this once, then contact comercial kilns in the area and they can probobly do this for you, for a lot less then building or buying a kiln....

the best way to find one might be to talk to sawyers in the area as they might know who to talk to.

but a man can never have to many tools, so buying a kiln is the right thing to do.  ;)
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: wesdor on December 26, 2012, 06:38:01 PM
You might want to check with Erickson Lumber in New Windsor, IL 309-667-2147.  Just south of the Quad Cities on Hwy 67

They do custom kiln work and are good people.
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 26, 2012, 07:19:12 PM
Thank you very much if Ericson can take my stuff in that will work great for me.  I called about a kiln to do 1000' at a time and by the time I got off the phone I was pretty much done with the idea.  I did gain a wealth of knowledge.  If I can get them of Kirkland lumber to dry my stuff then I have a solution and I will get going right away.

Sometimes its not the money, its the space.  In spring I am building a new building with an exterior lean-to for the mill but until then I am limited on space.

Thanks again for the help and I will post tomorrow with how it went.

Rob
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 26, 2012, 07:23:22 PM
 :new_year:

Hi Rob,

Love your web site, I think some of our clients/Subs have used your products.  Love to help you out.

First, I'm about 99.9% sure we don't have to worry about "buggies," of any kind at this time.  If the wood, (and this would be rare,) has any active larva, they will soon perish after processing and instillation of the rustic wainscot or flooring. If your not going for the "dry" look with the wood and will apply a finish, I recommend "LandArk,"  it is what we use almost exclusively, a natural and green product.  It will darken the wood, but the "bug," thing will then be 99.99999% "squashed," it you don't mind the pun.

I would keep your long stock for flooring, and depending on the design of the interior space use them full length to span a space.  This is considered a higher grade of instillation.  You pay a premium for long stock, especially of that width.  Cutting them down to wainscot length would waste your money, IMO.  Shorter lengths can be bought for less money normally and these I would use for my wainscot.  If you have a good source for bulk/whole sale stock purchase and are buying in large lots, then perhaps it becomes cost effective to cut some longer stock down to size.  With the latter method, if you can afford it, you have the "luxury," of being able to cut to a different grade, by removing knots and imperfections.

Once again, if we are talking about a domestic living environment in Illinois, and you are using "old barn board," as your stock of choice, you do not need to kiln dry anything, this is just not warranted and would be a waste of your time and money.  There are countless traditional wood workers today, myself included, that work almost exclusively in green and/or simple air dried wood.  To use an extreme example; if I can see the tree ahead of time, like a White Pine, and do the milling myself, I can lay the wood green straight off the mill.  I have done this using a method from Korea, (전통 마루 or 청마루) that uses only wood joinery. (Note, if you copy and paste the "Korean" words into a Google search, you will see other examples.  Below you can see what can be done with "green," wood.

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/30330/DSC02147_lowres.jpg)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/30330/DSC02138_lowres.jpg)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/30330/DSC02143_lowres.jpg)

I would like to know more details of your design plans for the wood.  In closing, it sounds like you will be fine without a kiln.  The only thing I would add, is maybe "splining" or "ship lapping" the wood instead of "tongue and groove."

Regards,


Jay

Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 26, 2012, 10:18:10 PM
Thanks about the website, I have been very fortunate to do a lot of very nice jobs for some top notch companies.  I sell a lot of mirror about 25,000 sf a year to the east coast (ny, me, vt, ri and so on) so it is very possible that I sold mirror to your subs. 
Below you will see what I really want to do with barn siding more then anything, my concern if it is not kiln dried I am thinking that it will warp or twist causing the mirror to break.  The wood I have now is 1.125" thick x 12" wide x 10-18' long siding.  What I want to do with it is plain it to 7/8" thick and build frames and seal them.  I am going to buy a gallon of the sealer that you suggested.  A question I really need help with is there a resin that I can fill in around the knots and then sand down so the knots do not come loose?  I would like something that I could pour in and then sand down that will not effect the sealer or stain (stain if I ever use it).  I love the natural look of sealed antique rustic lumber.  Any help you can give me with this would be helpful.  The wood that I have right now is at a 12% MC and I have it in my building with the heat set at about 65 degrees all the time.
Below is what I want to do but with my antique mirror (note these are not mine) these are pics that designers have sent me asking me to do.  I will tell you that I sell a lot to the NY designers.  I do like the idea of ship lap siding, one simple bit on a router table and done!  By the way Jay, I love your work!  I was on your site today in fact tried to call you today to pick your brain as you seem to have a lot of great knowledge and your work is a testament to that!

Everyone from here has a lot of good knowledge and your sharing so much appreciated!  Thank you very much!
 :new_year:

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/plank-mirror_60506_2.jpg)
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/reclaimed-wood-mirror_60506_1.jpg)


Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 26, 2012, 11:25:04 PM
Hi Rob,

That looks assume, can't let my wife see that, I know she has been to your web sight now.  I'm getting ultimatums, "make it or I'm buying one."  They do really look sharp, back in the late 80's, early 90's, I had a couple designer contacts begging me to make things like this for them.  I shared that with a few others, then I notice several "shop crafters," trying to jump on the "band wagon."  I told a few of them I know, that they would loose their reputation and maybe "the shirts on their backs," if they aren't careful for exactly what you are worried about.  Glass and wood don't mix well unless you know what you are doing.  None of them became very successful at it.  Looks like you have got "your ducks in a row," great job.

Sealing grain and fixing imperfections:

Seeing that this is a production product, you don't want to spend a fortune.  You could use epoxies or the like, but this is bad for the "bottom line," and probably overkill.  As you grade the stock you are going to make frames with, try to cut out as many of the "loose," knots as you can.  You are going to grade and stack according to level of "rustic," each frame will have.  You will have some "supremo," material that will be almost knot free, these should be held in reserve for the "top shelf," clients/projects.  Then comes middle of the line. It will have knots but they will be solid and not need any special attention.  Then come the last of the stack, "heavy rustic,"  with mares, imperfections and "dead knots," that need to be addressed.  Depending on your manufacturing process, I would: grade, stack to grade, then rough process the "styles," and "rails," accordingly, until you have enough material for a good production run of the three grades of "rustic," you want.

http://waterputty.com/ is a great product that has been around since the 40's.  Well proven and easy to use.  It also is a lot less expensive then "polymers."  With that said, you can make a very serviceable putty with "Titebond III," mixed with the "frass," from sanding the barn wood.  This will work really well also, and if the mirror is going to an area like Florida or into a bathroom, I would probably use it.

With the LandArk, you can mix your own pigments for stains and/or use it straight.  Stay away from polyurethanes and related products, simply put they ruin wood, and make future refinishing a pain in the a_ _ s!

Drying, Stock Assessment and Joinery:

If your rough stock is at 12 %, I would be happy and leave it at that.  One of the problems with all this modern day "kiln dried" wood is it can become too easily "case hardened," and self destruct as it takes on ambient moisture in the new environment it is moved to.  I'm careful when shipping anything to clients in the South West or if they keep a home overly dry.  Remember, kiln dried wood is a relatively "knew kid," on the block and green or air dry is all we traditional craftsman have had, since forever. You should have no problem with the wood causing any kind of issues with the glass, as long as you keep track of some key elements:

Expansion/contraction coefficients between the wood and the glass.  Leave room for the glass to move and understand the joinery you employ.  I stay away from "miter," joints in most jobs unless it is in a high end "box miter'" In that case, I use tenons and/or key splines.  I'm not sure of your joinery methods, but I tend to use all wood joinery and no hard ware as my primary joint "fixing/securing," method.

Take the time to grade your wood and match piece in a frame, separate "rift," wood from "plain" sawn. Once the material is roughed in to common sizes and put aside as 4 piece sets of styles and rails for each project, I would let it further acclimate to the shop space.  This also gives you a chance to see if any particular piece of wood is going to "misbehave."

"Bark side" out (to the viewer,) "pith side," in (to the wall.)  One of my "pet peeves," is running into "new blood," with one of the many shops I work with, and them disrespecting one of the pivotal traditions of wood working, "know thy grain."  When I'm teaching, I insist that students become familiar enough with wood that by just a cursory examination of the rough stock; they can tell crown and root of tree and whether they are looking at the bark or pith. This can be done 90% of the time and 100% for pith and bark orientation.  I can't begin to tell you how many "professional," wood workers I run into that either can't tell me this information about a piece of wood or dismiss it's importance.  I'm not sure how that makes them professional?  Maybe in General Contracting, but not as a wood craftsman.

Good luck and keep us informed.

Regards,

jay

Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 27, 2012, 12:13:48 AM
Jay,

I just bought a bunch of very nice woodworking tools.  I bought a cabinet saw, Festool Kapex miter saw (which is the best saw I have ever used), Kreg Pocket Hole electric Forman, Woodmaster and a ton more stuff which will allow me to do many types of joinery.  I make frames now for all my custom mirrors that are in my shop but normally I just make them out of good old poplar that I get from a local mill.  I do some stuff in quarter sawn oak and sycamore which I really love.
I just today ordered a set of carbide planer blades for my Woodmaster as I do not think that the stock blades would last too long planing rustic wood.  I will more then likley clean off the crap with a angle grinder and a wire brush, do you think that will work well?

What do you think of pocket hole joinery?  So you teach classes?  What are you classes on, I have been looking for a great woodworking class let me know about that.

Thanks
Rob
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 27, 2012, 12:28:09 AM
Hi Rob,

Quote
What do you think of pocket hole joinery?
Sounds like you already know about Festool, so I'll let you in on a professional secret, they are, with out a doubt, some of the best tools on the market today.  They have taken the traditional concept of always puting the "tool through the material over the material through the tool," to a entirely new level.  If I could recommend any thing to you, take the money out of savings and order the larger "Domino," joinery system.  It will pay for it's self in one job.  I Do timber framing it the Middle Eastern and Asian traditions most of the time and we reach for the Rotex sander, the 75 mm saw, and the Domino all the time.  It is one of those, "how did I live without this," kind of tool.

Quote
I will more then likely clean off the crap with a angle grinder and a wire brush, do you think that will work well?
Sounds perfect.  We use wire brush head on grinders of all types, and Makita brush sanders with compressed air all the time.  On big jobs we will get a "corn cob," blaster, and they work great.

Quote
What are you classes on, I have been looking for a great woodworking class let me know about that.

I specialize in traditional folk architecture in timber, stone and earth of the Americas, Middle East and Asia.  I also will teach classes in the traditional guild crafts, green woodworking, and indigenous life skills.  If I get anything going next year, I will post it here on the forum.

Regards,

jay
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 27, 2012, 01:33:05 AM
I just talked to a guy on craigslist today who bought a Domino and doesnt use it and offered it to me today for $650.  I am supposed to go pick it up on Friday.  You are right on the money about the Festool line of tools.  From the box to using it in less then 10 minutes.  I bought the UG and the wings as well.  Each and every tool that I bought for the shop I checked out, went and tested it and then bought them.  For a cabinet saw (something that I will not use as much) I bought the Steel City saw and built a on feed and off feed table.  I get guys laughing about the saw as they think it is cheap, that is until I set 5 nickels on there edge and turn it on - 0 vibration and cuts smoothly.
I understand mostly how to put together things as I did finish carpentry for years before I took the dive into mirrors.  I own a bunch of sandblasting equipment and I actually thought about blasting some of the wood with walnut shells.
One thing I do not want to do is use the material to do what everyone else is doing with it, I like to keep it unique.

Thanks a lot for your help!

Rob

Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 27, 2012, 02:55:35 AM
Hi Rob,

You won't be disappointed with the domino,I promise.  The only thing you might notice in a short time is wanting the larger one.  At the price you are getting the smaller, that's a deal, and when the time comes for a large mirror project that requires the longer tenons, well maybe we could collaborate, it is one of the ways I make a living.  I don't have a "shingle," of my own you could say, don't even keep a sell phone.  I work strictly through brokers, private introduction and consulting/teaching, could make more money another way, but I like this more traditional approach.

If you have sandblasting equipment, use it for some of the high end stuff, I think you will like the refined yet rustic finish. As far as other tooling, people really laugh at my table saw, I use a Rigid contractors saw.  My influence from the Amish and more traditional wood workers has effected my outlook on tools as well.  I like really good tools and what they can do, like Festool, and hand made tools from Japan and else where, but I always remember what I was taught, "it's not the tool that counts, but the craftsman that works in concert with it."  Do stay in touch and share some of your creations.

Regards,

Jay
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 27, 2012, 11:12:08 AM
I too own a number of specialty hand tools, in fact I just started collecting antique planes.

I like better constructed tools both hand and power and I know what you mean by Craftsmanship.  I have seen many people with the top equipment that just do average work and others with nothing but hand tools make the most beautiful items.

QUESTION:  What LandArk product do I need?
Original Finish, Exterior Finish, Concentrated Finishing Oil, Natural Earth Finish, Liquid Wax End Sealer
I am guessing some of all!   ;D
I would like to keep everything green with the wood work and have been checking out info on Leeds points which is pretty interesting.

Rob
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: scsmith42 on December 27, 2012, 11:25:25 AM
I've used Land Ark Original, and like it a lot.  You might want to give Heritage Finishes a call to see what they recommend.

http://www.heritagenaturalfinishes.com/

You've started down a great, slippery slope with the Festools!  I highly recommend that you acquire one of their vacuums to go with the rest of the tools (in particular their sanders); the combination is unbeatable.  If you really want a sweet tool, check out their cordless drills too.

If you want to acquire a high quality, pinless meter, check out the Merlin's.  They have several different models available that are optimized from everything from veneer to timbers.  Get one that has the depth of measurement that will read to the center of the standard boards that you'll be measuring.  Mine reads to about 1-1/2" depth, so I have to be sure that if I'm using it on 4/4 stock that nothing is underneath the board that could affect the reading.

If you're not already familiar with them, our Canadian neighbors provide some really outstanding hand planes via their Lee Valley / Veritas lines.

Jay - I'm really enjoying your posts and pix.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Scott
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 27, 2012, 01:40:10 PM
Hi Scott,

I'm glad you enjoyed what I have shared.  smiley happysmiley  Your advice to Rob is spot on.  In several of the shops we have 50 gal barrels of LandArk, and I have personally only dealt with the new owner Aaron, once or twice.  When I started using it, it was still made in a garage shop down South, and wasn't available to the general public.  I didn't even know they had a new company name. ??? I guess I'm getting old and have to many other folks doing stuff, I use'ta do.

Hi Rob,

Scott's advice is good, they can speak to the better products they may have for your application.  I would leave everything dry, not even end sealer for your "old barn stock," do the projects including glue up of joinery, then finish it accordingly.  I don't glue my joints quiet often, but in you case that may be best. 

Regards,

jay
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 27, 2012, 02:10:38 PM
Yes Festool has quickly become my go to choice for tools!  I already own 2 Midi's that I got off Craigslist for $225 each that a guy was selling.  I couldnt beat the deal as when I got there one was still in the box!  I am looking at there sanding system right now as well.  I will call them to get a quart of each after I get some info from them on what they think is best.
I posted a email on Craigslist looking for barn wood about 1 week ago and so far have been offered so much wood I could literally fill 100 Home Depots with wood!  Today I had a guy call me and offer me BEAUTIFUL WHITE ASH and RUSTIC OAK already ready and at 9% 1" thick at get this $.45 per board foot!  He bought out a MILL and has well over 10K BF of oak and 20K BF of Ash.  I asked him for a price for everything as I do not think that I can pass it up!  What do you think?

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/ASH.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/Oak.jpg)
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Stephen1 on December 27, 2012, 02:18:50 PM
Just dropping in to gather some info!
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 27, 2012, 02:27:57 PM
Stephen,

How is the weather in Canada?

Rob
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Stephen1 on December 27, 2012, 03:58:47 PM
Hey Rob, I am on a train from Toronto to Quebec City to see my new Granddaughter. It is dumping snow. I left Toronto at 0640 and it had quite snowing. We caught this storm around Kingston and the drifts are so big, we are plowing big time, keeps knocking out the engine, with so much snow in the rads, and the compressor room on the engine. So far we are only about 2 hours later but I'm glad I'm not driving my car. It is nice to have a beer and a nap while some else drives.
cheers,
Stephen
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 27, 2012, 04:25:50 PM
Quote
Today I had a guy call me and offer me BEAUTIFUL WHITE ASH and RUSTIC OAK already ready and at 9% 1" thick at get this $.45 per board foot!  He bought out a MILL and has well over 10K BF of oak and 20K BF of Ash.  I asked him for a price for everything as I do not think that I can pass it up!  What do you think?

Hey Rob,

That is a great price even if you had a 50% cull out!!! You will be able to do some beautiful work with it I'm sure.  Scott's advice on a good moisture meter for your kind of work is probably a good idea.  9% moisture could do some "funky," things if it goes into a restaurant or home with a healthy humidity level.  This could be too dry and need to acclimate to your shop after rough sizing.  Folks often worry more about getting their wood really dry and what they should go for is "homeostasis," in their wood to the project living environment the wood will be in.

We as a culture have become too, indoctrinated into "homogeneity;" loosing touch with the way things had been done for millenia.  For the first five years of my wood crafting life, I never used a tape measure, joinery was Incorporated to accommodate wood movement, and the stock I worked in was almost all less than 6 mouths out of a tree.  This included cabinet doors, chairs, table, and the like.  All made with "green" wood.  My Sister In Law brought a small corner table from New Mexico a few years ago done locally in the "Mission Style," with reclaimed wood. It was a beautiful little piece of work, till it started to split and blow apart from expansion.  It just couldn't take the East cost humidity in May, June.  It was salvageable but it show that things can definitely be too dry.

The Rotex Sanders by the way, I forgot to tell you about, have two major flaws, one they must have a vacuum attached to them and they cause a lot of fights over who get to use it. ;D I would also highly recommend an eraser stick for your sanding pads. They will last 10 to 20 time longer.  I keep a can of silicone spray on hand and lightly spray the pad between erasing off the dust. Don't use too much it can effect your glue up or finishing, but for sanding it makes a huge difference.

Regards,

Jay
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 27, 2012, 07:47:10 PM
I always acclimate wood prior to working with it unless I just pick it up from a home center.  The problem with my shop is to keep cost down I turn the heat down when I leave and up when I come and I am not at the wood shop everyday.

I think most of the reclaimed lumber is 12-15% moisture content is that really going to matter if I mill/plane/rip it down to size and stack it in my building and let it accimate to the building until I use it?  Are you trying to say that I need to do something special to the wood if I am going to sell a sealed mirror frame to a restaurant in NYC or are you talking about wainscot and flooring?  I am really confused! ???

Here is my issue:  I have used reclaimed lumber before for many different projects and I have never worried about anything I guess because I did not know better.  Maybe it is just dumb luck or  maybe leaving it at the MC that it had and acclimating the pieces after doing the cut list for the frames.  Originally from the time I was 20 years old to present I have been a decorative painter and that is actually how I got started in mirrors.  Then if I wanted old wood, I painted whatever it was and just did multiple glaze layers until I got what I wanted.  Most of my work was patina work in metals that is how I did mirrors.  But with paint and I can make anything look like it is something that it is not, you can hold it in your hand and look at it close and you could never tell.  Been doing it for 27 years.

Here are some pics of some wood work that I did to look like antique mahogany.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/DR.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/DR1.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/DR2.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/DR3.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31361/DR4.jpg)
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Jay C. White Cloud on December 27, 2012, 10:03:24 PM
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I think most of the reclaimed lumber is 12-15% moisture content is that really going to matter if I mill/plane/rip it down to size and stack it in my building and let it acclimate to the building until I use it?  Are you trying to say that I need to do something special to the wood if I am going to sell a sealed mirror frame to a restaurant in NYC or are you talking about wainscot and flooring?  I am really confused!

Hey Rob,

My Mother did faux wood and marble work, yours is the first that I have seen that is as good or better than her's.  :o  Now that is craftsman ship!  I don't like faux work at all, matter of fact, I really don't like it, and steer clients away from ever doing it.  I will not any longer, I'll send them to you.  My dislike for current faux work, is I knew of no one in the trade that would give a client what my mother could do. I can see you can, this is beyond artisan work, you really should teach or take on an apprentice if you haven't.

Put your mind at ease about the wood. One of the challenges of writing on a public forum is what you are writing you must be aware of more than one reader, so I write as if I'm speaking to a class or audience with different levels and skill sets.  Actually, your last entry has really done a good service to this conversation.  You have more than demonstrated that your skill is way beyond that of a hobbyist or general craftsman.
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I will let you know that I am very new to this but a very fast learner.  I am in the process of buying a Woodland Mills HM126 which I am hoping is the right choice for cutting down barn timbers into flooring.
This statement was one of humility, and speaks to your nature, but did not truly reflect what level you are at.
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Here is my issue:  I have used reclaimed lumber before for many different projects and I have never worried about anything I guess because I did not know better.  Maybe it is just dumb luck or  maybe leaving it at the MC that it had and acclimating the pieces after doing the cut list for the frames.
It isn't "dumb luck," at all, it's what many artisans of your level know by just touching the material they are working in, be it stone, wood, plaster, or whatever.  Through the process of crafting it, watching it, listening to it; the material will teach you 90% of what you need to know, if you really listen to it well. 

Wood dryness has become such a "talking point," and "focus," in wood working, that it borderlines on obsessive/compulsive.  I don't own a moisture meter, the one recommend sounds like one I would buy if I was doing your kind of work, but more out of curiosity than guidance for use of material.  My apprentice did a big slab table this year out of a giant 4.8 m (16') Elm bolt.  The wood had only been out of the log for maybe two months.  It is spalted in spots, and while he was crafting the piece, a tiny mushroom grew out of one of the checks that had not received a "butterfly" patch yet.  That means the moisture content was probably, (I'm judging by experience,) about 20% to 25%, well above the norm for what most woodworkers would ever consider using.  That means the wood's inner portions had a moisture content high enough to allow the "incipient decay" of the spalt fungus to continue to grow.  The table is coming along nicely, and when I get some photos, I will start a post thread on working in "green," wood, watch for it.  Trust your instincts, keep doing what you are doing, and if you have any questions or just want a second opinion, check back in.  You can use my personal email as well the info is on my profile here at FF.

Regards,

Jay
Title: Re: What kind of kiln is needed for drying cut barn timbers?
Post by: Schramm on December 28, 2012, 01:19:08 AM
When I was young (12 years old) I started working for my grandfather who was a plasterer and mason.  As a younger guy I just really wanted to have fun but always listened to what he said.  Most of his conversation with me was no matter what you do, take your time and do it well.  No one will care how long it takes if the end product was excellent.  I have always taken what he told me to heart though I think he never thought I listened.  Though at that time all I did was move plaster to stations I was only taught the entry level of plaster.  Funny thing is my first business was a plasterer but not a traditional plasterer, I did Venetian plaster.  This was before all that rag rolling crap of the '90's and I met with and learned faux from masters of there trade (old timers) and they all had the same thing to say that my grandfather did!  Over the years of both faux and mirror manufacturing I have had a lot of companies come in and try to take over everything doing the art in a way I do not agree with but now most of them are gone.  Most of my Facebook friends are designers, architects, builders and glass guys who really love what they do and treat it as art and not a dollar.  I wont lie I love making money but the truth be known I love my job, I like waking up and doing it and I am lucky to be able to make a living at it.  Nothing in life is easy but if you do not love what you do, your bound to fail.
I like to test ideas, in fact everytime I come up with a new idea my wife sinks in her seat and cringes at the thought of how much this is going to cost.  I am the one that loves everything old, she likes it new or newish so when I make things for the house I make them old with a new twist and we are both happy.  This idea of buying all these tools may be the craziest thing that I have ever done as to be honest I love to work with wood but I have to GOOGLE a lot of things.  I have gotten a lot better over the last 10 years and with the help of festool and Kreg have become pretty good at it and now I get to take this whole thing to the next level.  Trust me when I say, that everyones words of wisdom will not go on deaf ears, I take all things to heart and try them out.  In fact today I did shiplap for the first time and love it, makes for a beautiful and simple installation much better then tounge & groove for wall installs!
Thanks again!
Rob

By the way, I am not a huge faux fan either.  I do furniture and have been training my daughter to do it, I will post some pics of a Titanic Desk that she did out of a $6 garage sale find.  Its quite cool!!!