Over in the main group Fernando mentioned problems with unstable wood, which got me to thinking...
Iv got a lot of sycamore and some cherry that has only recently been felled, which Id love to use (its free!), but its wet.
So whats the best way to dry it?
Is there a right and a wrong way to cut it eg quarter sawn or slabs etc so that it moves less?
And if I dry it quickly (in a boiler room or in a greenhouse), will it cause more damage than if I leave it to dry naturally?
Last question... I realise all woods are different, but is there a general timescale for the process?

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Hey Guys i'll tell you what i know about seasoning wood
as a genral rule to air dry timber one inch in thickness takes a year - this is just stacked as ottie has mentioned in the previous post
Also to stop the ends of a board splitting dip them in paraffin wax , this stops the moister leaving the timber too fast on the end Grain which causes splitting more so if your gonna try a quick method of drying like a boiler room or somewhere warm

hope this helps


I tried with some cherry wood recently, every piece split. Fast or slow drying made no difference. I worked on a neck for a week then it cracked while i was at work. Never mind got plenty of smaller bits to use as bridges.


A lot of that can depend on how the wood was cut.  If there is a lot of grain runout -the growth rings go off the sides of the board instead of running straight along it- you may just have firewood.  What happens is the wood dries with tension along those growth lines, cutting into it releases the tension and snap!  I had this happen to me with a rocking horse I made out of white pine, which is never supposed to do this.   Then again, I had a big cherry burl given to me. Burl wood is notorious for splitting into pieces.  I set the wood aside to slow dry, I had two inch slabs that I let season for three years.  I slow dried them, I wrapped the stack in newspaper to slow the process.  I ended up with four slabs, so far one table top and one clock, not sure about the others yet.  I guess what I am trying to say is every different tree is an individual.  Like dogs, they will have "breed characteristics" but each is different.

my cousin does lathe turned bowls. He has an interesting drying method. He rough cuts fresh green wood, then he soaks the wood, fully immersed, in a vat of denatured alcohol for 4-5 days. The wood is then stacked and air dried. He says the moisture content will drop to a usable level ( >10%) in just a few months instead of a year. The denatured alcohol evaporates faster than water, and soaking displaces the water in the wood. 


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