Author Topic: drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.  (Read 553 times)

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Offline mattdh

  • Posts: 166
drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.
« on: June 09, 2020, 02:19 PM »
i have not had to dry anything my self so any input is appreciated. scored some 3.5 x 20 -8ft walnut slabs they were cut about a month ago then set out behind a shed. i sealed the ends (is it to late for that?- a couple of splits about 5-6inches long in a couple)and cleared the bark for the top piece.i also read- that you want to put weight on them evenly. how would i go about that? any idea what these are worth- being so fresh cut?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 03:10 PM by mattdh »

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Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1224
Re: drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 03:14 PM »
The general rule of thumb for air drying is about a year for every inch of thickness. So at least 3.5 years for those .

You'll want to sticker them so air can circulate. Preferably with the same species or at least something that won't stain them. They need to be kept off the ground and preferably out of the elements.

Around me, wet those would probably go for $50 to maybe $100-125. Only on the higher end if they had interesting grain etc. the two on top in your picture aren't as desirable because of all the sap wood. I use stuff like that but usually don't pay more than 50-80 dried. Dried to 9-10% moisture content (or around there) the two bottom slabs might go for 150 to 200 is the grain was nice. Probably less because of the width. Your mileage may vary.

Ron

« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 03:19 PM by rvieceli »

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 123
Re: drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 07:08 PM »
The price varies so much depending on location as well as character of the wood. In Indiana where I’m located you can get it Kiln Dried for about .35bf. 3+yrs is a long time to wait.

I buy, use and resell slabs and they generally sell for $7-$9bf, much more at retail shops. I sell several hundred a year. I’m retired, stumbled into it and only do it part time.
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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4828
Re: drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 09:39 PM »
Air drying preserves more of the many subtle colors in walnut. Kiln drying removes some of the color. Don’t ask me how, I just know that walnut is a species that is most affected.

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 130
Re: drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 09:43 AM »
Just got through a 2 year drying process myself. I used concrete blocks to build a foundation and laid 4x4s across to hold the wood off the ground on a level slab, stickered with the same species of wood, covered the top with a piece of plywood with plastic stapled to it, and used ratchet straps to create the even downward pressure on the stack to keep it from warping. They will need to be occasionally tightened.

Lessons learned: I also sealed the ends too late. Waited a couple of days after it was cut down to seal the ends, but did it immediately after bandsawing and then trimming the ends a bit. I still got some end checking and some cracks all the way through the middle, which resulted in many of the slabs needing to turn into boards by cutting out the very center of the tree. Surface checking was also apparent, which I've been told you can limit by keeping it wet with a sprinkler if it was cut in the summer. Better time to mill and start drying is in the dryer winter/early spring months so that the surface moisture doesn't leave too rapidly.

You're in for a long road ahead, but the results, even if not what were expected, are still fantastic, and you'll learn a lot if you decide to do it again.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7521
Re: drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2020, 10:42 AM »
1. Just got through a 2 year drying process myself.

2. I also sealed the ends too late. Waited a couple of days after it was cut down to seal the ends, but did it immediately after bandsawing and then trimming the ends a bit.

Is that a pile of sugar maple?

Are you saying that the ends need to be sealed immediately after cutting but before bandsawing?

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4828
Re: drying slabs tips and advice wanted and need.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 02:09 PM »
Seal the ends ASAP. Before slabbing if possible. The sealer won’t harm cutting blades at subsequent operations. I keep forgetting the name of the sealer.