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Wood Drying Time

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by CH Design, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    I'm thinking about picking up a piece of Tubi to try out as fingerboards. The supplier has a few nice pieces, but they are currently at about 20% MC. According to the supplier, the log the pieces came from was cut 4 years ago and resawn into planks this past May. The pieces are 4/4 right now.

    If I get a piece, what would be the best way to let it finish drying (without having access to a kiln)? Resaw it into fingerboard sized pieces and sticker it? Leave it at 4/4? Also any guesses on how long it would have to sit before it can be used?
  2. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    You would need to re-saw it into blanks, anyway, so why not saw it to rough thickness and sticker it so it dries flat? I would check the wood's characteristics and find out if it has a lot of resin and what you need to do to prep for gluing, too. If it has the kind of resins that Teak and Koa have, you'll need to use special glues or wipe it well with solvent to remove the resins prior to glue-up.
  3. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Thanks. I just wan't sure if surface checks would be more likely to happen when you're air drying thinner pieces as opposed to one thick one.
  4. 1st off..are you sure you want to fool with endangered and or protected species? There are so many alternatives out there...Id be very leary.

    To answer your question.

    No, thinner wood wont check more than thicker..actually the opposite ime.

    End checks result from inconsistent and or uneven drying.,,as the center stays wetter than the out edges and dries slower... Resawing may help but may cause some movement (warping, twisting) as the wood dries. Study up on its characteristics and find out how much it moves. I would suggest sealing the ends in a wax emulsion (anchorseal) to slow the drying from the ends and force the drying out of the middle...thus reducing checking. Sticker and weigh the wood down.

    Per common thought. You need 1 year per inch of thickness to air dry..so a 3/8 thick board should dry in 4 mths or so. Again slow and steady as the faster you dry the more you promote issues.

    Lastly you can make a closet kiln of sorts...simply add a heater and dehumidifier..Ive found this cuts down on the air drying time quite a bit
  5. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Good point. I hadn’t thought about that. I read the suppliers website and was concentrating more on their, what seems to read, responsible harvesting as opposed to the fact that it's already a rare wood to begin with.

    Thanks for the info. I may just have to make a makeshift kiln once I reconfigure my shop. Even if I don’t use it to dry wood, at least it's good place to store it neatly and it won’t get covered in saw dust.

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