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The Lumber
What will you make?


The big question burning on your mind:  How much lumber will I get?  That’s a great question, but I can’t give a solid answer til I’ve sawed it.  There are always variables.  Guessing can get us close.  


Lumber quantity is measured in "board feet." One board foot is defined as 144 cubic inches. 1"x 12"x 1' equals one board foot. So does 2"x 6"x 1'. Or 1"x 4"x 3'. There are several log to lumber calculators that do a fair job.  I can also give a rough estimate with a few measurements.



Your freshly cut lumber will be rough sawn (straight blade marks across the surface) and green (full of the moisture from when it was  alive.)  For most projects you will want dry lumber.  As of now, we do not offer kiln services, but hopefully in the future!  For now, depending on your plans, you will want to air dry, at very least, for out-buildings, etc, or at best, possibly have it kiln dried.  


Lumber milled from a fresh cut log has a lot of water in it. Depending on the species, some wood has more weight in water than it does in dry material weight! The water is removed by evaporation. Just like with drying clothes there are two options for this; one is in a kiln (think "clothes dryer" for clothes), and the other is air drying (like a clothesline).  One works faster, but requires more equipment and utility costs. The other is lo-tech and slower, but much more economical. 


Air drying requires good air circulation around the boards. To achieve this, lumber is built into stacks in a way that allows good air flow over and under both faces of each board. This carries the moisture off. Each board in a layer must be the same thickness. Each layer of boards is supported from the one below by spacers called stickers. The stack needs to be raised above the ground, even, and well supported for its entire length. Drying stacks of lumber are quite heavy! 



Stickers need to be placed at regular intervals and also at the ends of the boards; spacing should be from 16" to a maximum of 24" apart. Stickers need to be placed directly one above the other in order to transfer weight directly to the supports under the stack. If this is not done, the boards will not dry flat.


The height of the stack is not critical, other than for comfort and safety purposes. The width of the stack is much more important. A stack too wide will not allow enough air flow through it and will not dry properly. Similarly if the stack is placed against a wall, air will not be allowed to flow unimpeded, and the lumber will not dry properly.


The top of the stack should have a row of stickers on it, followed by a rigid covering somewhat larger than the stack. That keeps direct sunshine and rain off the stack. It should also be well weighted to help prevent the upper boards from moving as they dry.

Drying times vary by thickness of the boards, wood species, air flow, climate, time of year... lots of variables.

Perhaps you have a special tree on your property, full of memories, but it needs to come down, or it has fallen.  It would bring me great joy to help you transform it into a beautiful hierloom, be it a small piece of furniture, a jewelry box, or turned vessel.


Our Equipment


Prepping Logs


How do I start?


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