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Author Topic: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs  (Read 3963 times)

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Offline YellowHammer

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You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« on: December 28, 2013, 11:11:23 PM »
Historically, my slab drying successes has been lets just say, not the best.  Impatience, teamed up with cutting slabs too thick, tossed in with a fair portion of wrong species has made my success rate unacceptably low and slow from a business standpoint. 

However, reading the recent posts and following the successes of many Forumites has been giving me the itch and motivation to try it again.  So I had a bunch of 4 foot long Soft Ambrosia Maple log cut offs from a recent job and decided to saw them up into slabs today.  They are right at 40% MC.

We milled about 20 slabs this morning, some about 26 inches wide, sawn to 2 1/4 inches thick plus one about 3 1/2.  I put some grooved stickers under them, and the weather is cool, so hopefully I have a few things working in my favor.  I just took a load of 4/4 boards from these logs out of the kiln, and they turned out real nice, and are selling very well.  No gray or sticker stain.  Everyone wants the slabs, too, so I want to dry them as fast as possible without damaging them.  Any suggestions?  Fan air first? Get the moisture down as far as possible while keeping them cool, then put them into the kiln? Or straight to the kiln?
 
Here's a picture of the 4/4 boards that I hope I can get the slabs to look like


Here's a picture of the stack of slabs right off the mill.


Thanks
YH
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Offline WDH

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Re: You Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 02:10:34 AM »
Whew, I don't know.  Maple dries pretty fast, so if you set the drying schedule for about half the moisture loss per day for 4/4, you might be OK.  In any event, I am keenly interested in how this turns out because I have contemplated the same thing. 

A fan blowing on the sticker stack for a month before kiln drying might be the way to go to get some of the moisture out of the wood.  Hopefully, the air flow would retard the gray stain.  Not sure if there is a gray stain risk if you go straight to the kiln.  That is gorgeous wood.  One of my favorites. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Sawdust Lover

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 07:13:39 PM »
I don't think I would put those in a kiln. Are the ends sealed? I have a 24' x 24' room where I dry and sell all my slabs. I probably have 200 of them drying. I use air (fans) 2 dehumidifiers and keep the temperature at 80 deg year round. Maple is one of my worst drying slabs. I feel like yours will end crack if you put it in a kiln and you won't have much left. Just my thoughts!

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 09:04:38 PM »
Guys,
Thanks for the advice.  I've got them in the barn, with a fan blowing on them.  The air temp is about 45-55 and I'll be tracking the moisture loss.  I double Anchorsealed the ends, once when I bucked the log, and again after we cut the slabs.  I'll be inspecting pretty closely to looks for issues. 
Maple is one of my worst drying slabs.
What issues have you had?  I'd be interested to know.
YH


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Offline Sawdust Lover

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 09:31:37 PM »
Most of the maple I slab is silver maple. Without putting another log on top of them while drying they will twist pretty bad. I should have been more specific about the type of maple. I think your slabs will dry fine the way they are I personally just would not put them in a kiln. I think air flow is the most important thing.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 06:02:25 AM »
Yeah, don't dry it fast. Even firewood, split or round don't matter, will bust apart in the basement once my furnace runs for the winter. There isn't a piece of maple or beech that I could turn a bowl from in the firewood pile. All checked and deep.
Move'n on.

Offline Cichlidgoob

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 09:39:06 PM »
I have read several threads in the forum and I am surprised and confused to see so many different opinions on what exactly kiln-dried means. I am trying to figure out if a shed with a regular household dehumidifier and a couple of fans is enough to kiln dry my wood.  Some folks won't take, or don't want, air dried wood so is the DH + fans enough to get kiln-dried credit with buyers?  I know heat is required to kill bugs but the heat part will cost significant money while the DH + fans in my shed is free.  Does the shed need to be almost air tight or is that unnecessary?  I presume the tighter it is the quicker the wood will dry but some other threads left me with the impression that tightly sealed is not required.

What exactly is the benefit of kiln-dried vs air dried anyway?  Dry wood is dry wood, right?
TK 1400

Offline ellmoe

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 10:14:22 PM »

What exactly is the benefit of kiln-dried vs air dried anyway?  Dry wood is dry wood, right?

   Well, for one ( or two) you do need heat to kiln insects, and, if drying pine, to "set" the pitch. I have no experience with DH kilns, but I thought the temp. could be raised high enough to accomplish the first, if not the second, of these goals. Perhaps a supplemental heat source is needed.
Mark
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Offline WDH

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 11:48:38 PM »
In most places, air dried wood will not get any lower than 12 - 15% moisture content.  Kiln dried wood is more like 8% moisture content.  That is a significant difference. 
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 01:07:18 AM »
The term "kiln dried" has no precise meaning.  For softwoods for construction, the definition of kiln dried is that pieces can be under 19% or under 15% MC.  For softwoods used for shelving and other manufacturing, under 12% MC is defined as kiln dried.  In fact, most softwoods will machine poorly under 10 or 11% MC, so over-drying is avoided as much as possible.

For hardwoods that will be eventually used in indoor products, kiln dried often means "6 to 8% MC" but even that is confusing because does that mean the average MC (the core might be wetter).  A fair number of people require that no piece be over 7.0% MC (or maybe 2% of the pieces can be slightly wetter).  Experience shows that this low MC means very little shrinkage and gluing and machining are better when the product is put into use...call backs are indeed expensive.

Bottom line is that the customer and the kiln drying people must communicate exactly what MC is expected.  Further, they should discuss how the MC will be measured...pin or pinless meter, etc.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 06:35:50 AM »
That is the best approach if your selling on volume. Just like you would when buying and selling logs, you have to know the specs. The problem arises however, when your not putting up orders, but you are storage lumber for retail. I have seen warehouses of kilned hardwood a lot wetter than 12%. You could drill a hole in the wood and the water (and sometimes steam from friction) will follow the dill bit and bubble out. I doubt that's 7% or even 12 %. When that lumber is sitting in unheated spaces ( not climate controlled for that matter) throughout the seasons it's back up to 16 % around here. Then even if it is, what if it sits in the regular unheated barn until next winter before used after purchased?
Move'n on.

Offline WDH

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 08:03:39 AM »
I have a question regarding quartersawn 8/4 white oak that has been air dried down to 15-18%.  Can I put it in the DH kiln and run the compressor at 100% to get the moisture content below 10% without damaging the wood?
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline C_Miller

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 10:20:06 AM »
I gotta go with what sawdust lover said about air flow.you gotta keep it movin' movin'.
 with slabs being uneven there is a lot of turbulance and probably dead spots in the airstream. i found i have had less degrade if i have a layer of something between layers of slabs to keep the air flow across the pile from whoop-de-doing.  if you can keep from layering slabs side by each is good too.
CJM

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2014, 10:41:54 PM »
WDH
Yes, you can run full open with such dry wood.  You may get some warp if over-dried.  Any defects you see would be the same if you dried more slowly.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline WDH

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014, 07:15:09 AM »
Gene,

Thank you.  It will go in the kiln soon. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Sawdust Lover

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Re: You Good Folks Talked Me In To It....Drying Maple Slabs
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2014, 07:30:44 PM »
WDH, Let us know how it works out for you.


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