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Thread: Binding while air drying

  1. #1

    Binding while air drying

    Curious if anyone has ever tried to use ratchet straps or poly/plastic strapping while air drying? It seems like it would provide some stability? I know lumber at HD is strapped for shipping and is anything but straight but it could crooked as a Birmingham lawyer before it was strapped. Anyone have any experience? Did it help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I recently dried some 2" maple indoors, had it strapped with ratchet straps which I kept tight as I could, the boards still twisted, but I think less than they otherwise would have. Took about four months to go from 22-24% down to 10%.
    Blood will flow when flesh and steel are one - Sting

  3. #3
    A shop near here runs a Nyle kiln with spring-loaded straps around the load that self-adjust as the lumber shrinks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Mid West and North East USA
    Blog Entries
    Ratchet straps sound like a good idea and it would be satisfying to tighten them as the weeks go by. There is a video demo of a big radio frequency vacuum kiln that has a hydraulic press built in to the ceiling. The presenter says the constant pressure helps keep the giant slabs they are drying flat. I have been told that there is no way to keep internal stress from being present in certain boards. I always put as much weight as is handy on top of a stickered stack with the hope that it will keep the boards straighter. It certainly helps keep the stack tidy, especially if a wild board ends up near the top of the stack.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Eastern TN
    I did so when I air dried cherry and maple but to sure if it helped reduce movement. I do know that the straps needed to be tightened fairly often during drying.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I've never used straps, but I've dried a lot of lumber. My belief is that unconstrained lumber will warp (or split, or do other unwanted things) if the drying is too fast or the boards have stress in them. If sufficiently constrained, lumber will remain flat during drying but those boards that would have warped had they been left unconstrained will do so when they are later cut. Wood does what it wants to.

    With slabs that aren't later ripped, constraining them during drying may be beneficial.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    SW Michigan
    After a straight line wind storm ravaged our property 13 years ago, I had about 2500 bf of red and white oak milled. I used ratchet straps every 2 feet while air drying this lumber. along with proper stickering, drying in a shaded area with gentle air flow, the results were very good. The lumber behaved well, stayed straight and flat but had the inevitable bit of cupping on flat sawn boards that jointed out easily.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Millstone, NJ
    Its all about the speed of drying. strapping will help but do it in conjunction with anchorseal. Big box lumber is crooked because they want it on the shelves 2 days after its cut down. Alot of it is still wet the rest is crooked.

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