How Long Does it Take to Dry Lumber? How Dry Does it Need to Be?

Hey it's Brock here from Rock Hill Farms And over the last two years I've Accumulated a lot of rough cut Sawmill Lumber and I've been letting that Lumber Air dry outside primarily And a lot of it's been dried long enough That it feels like it should be dry Enough to use But how do I know that because I've Already taken some of this Walnut and Cut it into dimensional Lumber ran it Through the planer and I was getting Ready to use it and Really decided it was important that I Actually check it with a moisture meter And find out that it's dry enough Because if you're building something Outside like my friend from Tony's Tractor Adventure they just built a Greenhouse And I believe they built it out of Lumber they had just cut and that can Work for something that you're building Outside that you're building with the Tolerance that allows for shrinkage and Expansion but if you're building a piece Of furniture that's going inside your House then it needs to be dry or you're Probably going to end up with a problem With your finished piece after it dries In your house so first question what Moisture percentage do you need In your Lumber Well I watched every video I could find

On the topic and I'm going to try to Summarize all that quickly that Kiln-dried Lumber like you would get at A lumber yard or if you go to someone Who has a big Sawmill operation they Have their own Kiln you're going to get Between six and eight percent moisture And that is a perfect Target it's Compatible with the humidity in the Average home so if you get that six to Eight percent you should have zero Problem with the with any expansion Contracting or warping on your wood once It's in the house But you don't necessarily from a lot of The videos I've seen you don't Necessarily have to get down to that six To eight percent if you're in the nine To ten percent range normally your Furniture piece is going to hold up Pretty well Now you say the next logical question is I have to dry my lumber outside how long Does it take for it to get down to six To ten percent anywhere in that range And the answer is it will never get into That range the reason for that is that In most climates your humidity outside Isn't low enough to ever dry the lumber That well so what happens if you have to Dry your Lumber outside is you leave it Till it gets down to around 12 to 15 Percent and depending on your area That's as low as it's going to get then

You bring it inside to let it acclimate So that's what I've been doing with this Here this Lumber's been inside for about A week And all the rest of this Lumber was Brought inside yesterday so This Walnut right here I'm going to look Up the exact date I cut it because I've Got all that information but it's over a Year old and we're going to start by Checking that and see how dry this is That's been cut inside and acclimating And the lumber that was cut the same day And was just brought in last night so Let me get this opened up and We'll get started I just looked up the video where we cut This tree down and milled the lumber This was a healthy tree nothing that was Dying or rotting and we cut it down and Milled it that day and that was on June 4th of last year so it's been about 18 Months And That means it should be as dry as it's Going to get with a one inch slab but We're gonna we're gonna check here I Mean two inch this is all two inch thick We're gonna check first on this piece That was brought inside the same day as These pieces Okay so wow I did not expect that Hit the whole I think there's a hold Button on here

I really pushed that in there deep To the middle that would be holding more Moisture 5.1 So the information I gave you earlier About drying outside this would only get Down to 12 to 15 percent that's from Another video they didn't actually test Any wood in that video And this has been inside for Let me see when we cut this Okay we brought this inside five days Ago after being outside to dry for 18 Months so these pieces were brought in At the same time from the same tree but These we've actually ripped so we're Getting right into the center and see if It's dry there Okay So The outside of this piece of wood is 5.1 But internally this piece of wood will Be about 7.4 So that means that these pieces here That I've cut up And are actually down to the thickness I Need Are dry enough to use now let's go over There we're going to check Boards off this same tree that were Brought in About 12 hours ago and see if they are As dry as this is so this stack has a Piece of cherry on it but the entire

Rest of this stack is that same tree So Okay so the information I got off that Video was good information So when I brought this in the shop After 12 hours it's at 12 so it may have Been at 15 yesterday when it was outside Now it's at 12 Lumber that was cut off The same tree at the same time is down To What are we getting there five percent On the outside and seven percent on the Inside after acclimating for four days So before you really start working your Lumber that's a valuable takeaway it's Worth it to acclimate it for a few days And we've also found out with this Lumber here it doesn't take a few weeks Which is what some of the videos said Depending on how dry it is that could Vary but it's just what I'm getting here So now We've got this hedge right here will be Interesting to check it should in theory Be really dry But if there's a limit to how dry it can Get outside that won't be the case but This hedge sat on the ground for 20 Years And then we milled it 6.1 So this is completely dry now I saw a Guy take a log that had been setting on The ground for over three years after

They cut the tree down they cut it open And it had the same internal moisture as When they cut that day both of them were About 45 percent so Usually drying in the log doesn't make Much difference but he said I got this From a friend who had bought the Property like 20 years previously and This log was laying on the ground when He bought it and hedge is a different Species a different it's completely Different than anything else I've messed With Okay so let's check some Oak I was able to get that to jab in a Little bit further 14. Now what I've seen here If this walnuts 12 bring it in the shop For four days and it's dry enough to use Brought this in yesterday it's 14 if I Leave this in here for a week I should Feel comfortable that this is going to Be dry enough to use and this is also Cut the same day 18 months ago Two inch thick slab pin oak So I feel like this has been a learning Experience already let's check some wood That's not so old okay this right here Was milled on September 19th so We were October November been almost Three months Two and a half to three months and it's

Cherry and it's only one inch instead of Two inch Fifteen percent oh I didn't stick it in Long enough 14.1 so this Cherry in two and a half Months has dried enough And that's where the value of this is if You just go by some rule of thumb or an Idea you have in your head about time You might wait a year on this I was Literally like I'm gonna have to wait Till next summer to do anything with This but it's dry enough to use right Now They will also tell you that bark holds In the moisture now The other side of this This was all milled the same day as well So let's see if having the bark on the Back side made a difference 15.1 With all the information I have Available to me 12 to 15 moisture means You could bring it inside for a week So with all the information I have all Of this is dry enough to use all it Needs is to acclimate in the shop for a Week An interesting test I want to do is to Dry Lumber completely inside of a Building like this Because Most of all the lumber I milled 18 Months ago has all warped or cupped or

Bowed in some way it was all stored Outside my research is telling me that That warping it can be just a factor of Of the natural Grain of the tree but primarily it means One side dried faster than the other and That's why it bowed and that's why you Can steam Bend so with that being the Case and that's why you sticker your Wood I wonder if drying in a climate Control building like this would remove A lot of the warping and bowing that I'm Seeing we've got one more stack of wood To check and that is the newest thing Most recently milled and it's a thick Walnut slabs so this entire stack is the Walnut tree that I Barber shared And That was a If you haven't seen it I thought that Was one of the most interesting videos I've done and I learned a lot from that Barber chair And After Barber chairing it let it sit out Here for a few weeks and then we milled It up on let me see when that was November 9th so it's been about five Weeks since this was milled I would expect to get a high moisture Reading on this Okay this is 30 percent So this is nowhere near ready to be used Although I am getting higher readings

When I go in from the end let's check One on the top All right so probing this in a bunch of Different places I get numbers from 26 To as low as 18. So this needs some more time we'll Continue to follow up as this gets a Little bit drier and see how it goes but I feel like this is a tool that anyone Doing firewood or Milling needs to have And some of my firewood videos coming up I'm going to be checking and seeing what Kind of numbers we get on different Stacks of firewood but for now I feel like this was a good learning Experience and I'm excited to find out That all this Lumber 90 of this Lumber Here is dry enough to use so I'm going To be doing some woodworking coming up I Appreciate you taking time to watch the Video I'll put links on the screen to a Couple more of our videos and I'll see You next time