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Thread: Drying wood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2

    Drying wood

    Help!

    I'm new to the world of cedar strip boat making, and I'm looking to make a solo cedar strip canoe. My question is regarding dealing with the wood. I have a good source of northern white cedar, it's free, and will just need to get it milled and then cut it to size. I will therefore need to allow it to dry. I don't know anything about drying wood and to what moisture content it will need to be. Any advice or resources in this area would be greatly appreciated.

    I look forward to hearing all your help, Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    399
    Have the mill cut it to 1?, flat sawn. If you are air drying ?sticker? the stack. About 12% is dry enough, usually 2 or 3 months depending on conditions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2
    What conditions are you refering to for 2 to 3 months?

    Can you cut the strips before you dry the wood, or can that cause problems with warping and twisting?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    399
    The wood will dry faster with low humidity and good air circulation, and should be reasonably dry before you cut it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    lexington
    Posts
    11
    I operate a portable sawmill and do alot of air drying. For white cedar 8 weeks in under cover would be plenty. I only know a little about boat building ,but what does not make sence is why you want to dry it? Wood absorbs moisture/water from the environment. When you steam it you are putting moisture back in in order to make the wood fiber plyable. Cedar is very stable anyway and does not twist or warp much when air drying so in theory you hould beable to steam and strip when fresh sawn.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    399
    I assume you are building a cedar/epoxy stripper, not a cedar canvas with ribs that require steam bending. For cedar/epoxy the dryer the better as the there is no steam bending involved and when encapsulated in epoxy dry wood will be lighter and present no problems with bonding and blush.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    Drying Wood

    Necessary moisture levels depend on a variety of factors, the most important of which is the common humidity in your region. There is no one, right answer. What is right for my region might not be right for construction in yours.

    What you don't want is for there to be substantial changes in the moisture content of the wood AFTER you assemble it, or to use boards that have drastically-different moisture contents. As these equalize with each other and your local climate, the wood will change size and can rip joints apart, or cause splits and cracks.

    Personally, if you are dealing with fresh lumber, I'd get all the strips ripped slightly oversize and laid out with some separating boards between them, and leave them like that with a fan blowing on them for a few weeks. Check the moisture every couple days. When it stops changing (levels out), then you are in the right zone for your region.

    Seth Murray
    My recent canoe project: http://www.rosaryshop.com/resources.php/request/canoe


 

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