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Air Drying Lumber
For exterior or construction uses, best results can be obtained by air drying lumber. The degree of wetness in
wood is called moisture content, and it's expressed as a percentage. Depending on your particular area air
drying can bring the moisture content down below 7% making your material suitable for interior cabinet work
and furniture. This process is easy and free.
Green lumber should be stacked on stickers as soon as possible after sawing. This improves air circulation
between the boards, speeds drying and prevents discoloration. Applying an end sealer to the boards will reduce
splitting and saves as much as 10% of the lumber value.
Properly stacked lumber dries quickly in warm, dry weather. Softwoods like pine and cedar will air dry to suitable
moisture content in as little as 6 weeks during the spring and summer months. Hardwoods like Maple, Oak and
Walnut will dry in 6 -12 months. Little or no air drying takes place in wet damp weather.
The illustration below shows a properly stacked pile of green lumber. The "stickers" (1" X 1") and top weights
should be aligned vertically and placed about 2 feet apart.
Cover the top of the pile with a tin sheet with overhang on all sides. Leave a space between the cover and the