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Thread: Post Oak? Should I mill?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Quote Originally Posted by Audie Milner View Post
    Another noob question.

    Iím planing on stacking and drying these in my shop. I know they need air flow to help them dry so Iíll just keep a fan set on low blowing on them. I also plan on using ratchet straps. Is this a bad idea?

    The shop is not air conditioned
    I've heard that is not always a good idea to have a fan blowing directly on the stack or it can dry the surface too quickly and cause problems. Maybe one somewhere across the room for gently air movement. Seems to me you need air to move but no more than it takes to move the moisture that comes from the boards, and that's pretty slow.

    I've tried straps and clamps for small amounts of wood. One possible problem is as the wood shrinks you have to remember to tighten periodically or you lose the pressure. A bunch of weight on top from concrete blocks or something will provide a constant weight. If your layers are more than one board wide then ratchet straps also squeeze the boards together from the sides which you don't necessarily want - I like a little space between each board for vertical air flow. Could use cauls and put squeeze each end for the pressure. But weights would be simpler.

    If drying on concrete floor that might have moisture coming through it maybe allow a bit extra space at the bottom, or even spread plastic sheeting directly on the floor under the risers.

    If you haven't air dried lumber be sure the stickers are aligned vertically when looking at the side of the stack.


    BTW, I don't stack quite like this - outside I put down two rows of cinder blocks, lay two rows of 3x3 or 4x4 lengthwise, then put my first row of stickers on top of those.


  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Eudora, Kansas
    Audie, I would recommend not putting any fans on oak lumber. Oak is subject to surface checking if the surface dries too quickly. If stacking in your shop, I would leave the stack at least a foot away from any walls so that air can circulate freely. Scott Smith dries a lot of oak successfully and can verify, or improve on those recommendations. I mostly dry walnut.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    New Hill, NC
    Audie, it's best to stack your lumber out of doors with something covering the top (but not sides) of the stacks. White oak needs to dry very slowly for the first several months. No fans!

    The problem with drying inside is the amount of moisture that you will put into your shop. Each pound of green white oak contains about 1/7th gallon of water. Based on your photo, that log will probably produce around 300 board feet of lumber, give or take. That's around 2,100 lbs of green lumber, or 300 gallons of water that you will be introducing into your shop as the lumber dries.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Townsville, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott T Smith View Post

    The problem with drying inside is the amount of moisture that you will put into your shop. Each pound of green white oak contains about 1/7th gallon of water.
    A gallon of water weighs a bit over 8 pounds. Seven pounds of white oak does not contain 8 pounds of water. Maybe litres not gallons?
    Cheers, Robbie.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Yes the other Tom is right about fast drying Oak. Lay a fresh plank in the sun and it will be firewood in a day. A stack with too much airflow could go bad pretty fast.

    So what does bad look like in this case? The surface will show small splits less than an inch long all over. These go deep. They are shrinkage cracks caused by the surface drying faster than the inner wood.

    It sounds like you are planning to save this lumber for something, someday. Lots of people have stacks like this for years and end up never using it. Given your business you may have rough uses for this wood. Being strong, hard and rot resistant it would make good planking for a heavy equipment trailer, crane pads, corduroy road etc. For these uses, poor drying would not be a big problem but good drying would be better.

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