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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Default Is it dry now?

How do I check if the walnut I have is dry enough to work with without problems?

Have a stack of walnut slabs under the house I have had for a year or so. I figured a couple years but is there a way to ck and see.

It is very arid hear so not shure on the dry time. The slabs are stacked with stickers and the ends are painted. The slabs are from 1 to 4 inches thik and 3 to 9 feet long.

Thanks
Mike
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:24 PM
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Hi Mike. You need to purchase a moisture meter. Rockler, Woodcraft, Harbour Freight, etc, all sell one. Not sure offhand what the recommended reading should be, but I'm sure someone will offer up an answer.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:26 PM
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Hi

Here's a quick way, the lumber mill way, Nail it will a hammer you should not see a wet spot or damp spot in the hammer mark pattern..

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Originally Posted by awoodnut View Post
How do I check if the walnut I have is dry enough to work with without problems?

Have a stack of walnut slabs under the house I have had for a year or so. I figured a couple years but is there a way to ck and see.

It is very arid hear so not shure on the dry time. The slabs are stacked with stickers and the ends are painted. The slabs are from 1 to 4 inches thik and 3 to 9 feet long.

Thanks
Mike



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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 03:52 PM
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Using aforementioned moisture meter, it should be within a few points of the average ambient humidity it will reside in once built.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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the lumber mill method is what I was looking for. Will get me close for now and I can buy a moister meter if it appears to be dry.

When air drying is the wood more stable the longer you let it sit? I make things and give them away or hopefully in the future sell them. Some of the stuff is going to an area with a lot higher humidity then where I live. Will this cause more problems with air dry then kiln dry lumber?

Next step is to convince the wife I am saving so much on lumber I need a bigger band saw to mill it :-)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 04:55 PM
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Hey Mike....

The general rules of thumb are as follows.... for air dried lumber, its about 1 year drying time per inch of thickness of the lumber in question. A 3" thick board can take as much as 3 years to air dry. Since it is a bit arid where you are from, you can speed the timeline up a bit...maybe as much as 25 percent or so. Slabs should be stickered to allow for air movement, and when practical, rotate the lumber once a year. The paint on the end is to help prevent checking (splitting). Different species of wood will dry out at different rates. There is a good argument to be made for air dried lumber being more stable. Another advantage to air dried is that the wood will retain more of a richer deeper color. Walnut is a great example

Moisture content should range anywhere between 6%-10% to be considered safe enough to work with, without worrying about shrinkage. An exact percentage is hard to come by, since it'll depend on who ya ask and what part of the country they are from. 6-10 is a good safe range! A moisture meter is the only real means by which accurately judge moisture content. If your projects require stable wood. A reasonably inexpensive meter is a good investment.

High humidity shouldn't be a problem if you take proper precautions during construction and allow for wood movement. Alot depends on just what it is your making...

now about that bandsaw

HTH..

bill

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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So the moister meter from HF is really cheap. Woodcraft has some really expensive ones. Is the HF one at least resonably accurate?

How does it work, do you just lay it on the wood? If the outside is reading dry is it dry all the way thru? Does wood dry from the outside in or the inside out.

I am going in the basement now to hit it with a hammer for a first test.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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hit a few pieces with a hammer. No visable moister but seems a little soft. Dented fairly easily. I guess I will have to get a meter.

I had forgotten some of the slabs where tapered and ended in a thick spot where a branch came off. A couple are 6 to 8 inches thick at one end.
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