Wood Services

Wood Sales / Brokerage

A good source for local and unusual woods.

Currently available »

We have no volume wood available but expect some quality White Oak soon.

Kiln Services

Kiln services for drying wood and bug abatement.

  • Wood Drying Resource
  • Kiln Services Request Form (due to volume, we are not currently accepting kiln orders)

Wood Preservation

A resource for the historic preservation of trees or historic wood.

  • Consultation on best practices
  • Cross-cut curing

“Don’t be in a rush to use your wood. It takes time to dry wood correctly in order to preserve it and accentuate its beauty. Rushing can cause wood to crack and check.”

— Landus Bennett

Wood Sales / Brokerage

Title:

Red Oak Slabs

Description:

This is some beautiful red oak flooring we milled from the trees that came down in what appeared to be a micro-burst.  You can read more about that in one of Landus’ blog posts “Must save the wood”.

This wood has a story. Imagine being able to say all the wood floors in your home came from the same tree?

It should be dried and milled soon and ready for your home. Call us for more information.

Wood Drying Resource

Drying Wood:

So, you just had some lumber milled.  Maybe it is a tree that has sentimental value to you or you just want to utilize your own tress.  Either way, the lumber you just milled needs to be treated accordingly. The best resource for information on wood and wood products is the USDA Forest Service. More relative information about drying wood can be found in the Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Agricultural Handbook AH-188: Dry Kiln Operator’s Manual Chapter 1 covers in depth the reason for drying wood, why it is so time consuming and the steps involved in drying wood. Of course we like the scientific nature of these articles that explain the cellular structure and why wood splits, cracks and warps if not managed and dried correctly.

We are pretty picky about what wood we are willing and able to dry.  We want to do right by the wood.

These nuances explain why we have so many questions for our customers and why we are pretty picky about what wood we are willing and able to dry.  We want to do right by the wood. You would not believe the number of calls we get from people who have a tree and want slabs or even milled wood that they can use next week. To be honest with you, we won’t take on a project if you won’t allow us to dry the wood correctly.  We take our time and our kiln is often full.

To find out more about Watson Springs kiln processes, see our Kiln Form (link)under kiln services

There are many ways to dry wood. You can read about them all in Chapter 2 of the USDA Agricultural Handbook AH-188: Dry Kiln Operator’s Manual. Watson Springs kiln is a dehumidification kiln (described on page 66).

Wood Characteristics:

Not all trees are worth investing the money required to convert to a usable product. It is a common misconception that one can save money by milling their own wood from trees out of their yard as opposed to purchasing from a lumber supplier.  This is rarely the case.  Removing trees on a small scale is an expensive operation as well as the milling and drying process.  We cannot compete with the big guys, nor do we want to.  That said, there is nothing like having your own wood milled from your trees and converted into something that you are proud of and pass down for future generations to enjoy and tell your story.  In a way, if done correctly, it provides a legacy, ensuring you will always be remembered….almost immortal.

Urban lumber can have sentimental or even historic value that surpasses the expense of
converting wood into a usable form.

Urban lumber can have sentimental or even historic value that surpasses the expense of converting wood into a usable form. There are many ways that this wood can be preserved. Think about what you would like out of the wood. Do you want to build a barn with it or a piece of furniture? That makes a big difference in how the wood is milled. Also, different species tend to work better for some projects than others. For example, if a barn is your desire, you will want to use long straight lumber like pine or even poplar. Today’s hardwoods don’t do well for this application. If hardwoods are what you have, then maybe you should think about some type of furniture.

If you are not familiar with what woods are good for what uses and how much wood it takes to produce what you want, having asked yourself these questions will help.

  • What is the species of the tree?
  • What is the size of the tree? This makes a big difference in what you may be able to yield, if anything, from the tree.
  • Is the form of the tree conducive to milling? If the tree is warped, it will make warp logs, which make warped lumber. Is there a clear stem or does the tree have several limbs from the ground up? Trees with limbs and large knot areas have a lot of growth tension in them. These features can be beautiful for the right application but are difficult to dry.
  • Now that you know the species of the tree and its potential for producing lumber, what do you want to use the lumber for? This thought process may take getting some advice from professionals.  Milling the wood for not only for its best characteristics, but also for the best stability is important. Warped wood 3/4″ thick is not worth the time.  Kiln drying will not flatten or straighten. You should find another use for this wood.
  • What is the time line of your project? Milling and properly drying wood can be a slow process. It takes time to do it right.  If you are in a hurry, this is probably not the route you want to take.  Large thick slabs are popular today, and can require years of air drying prior to placing in the kiln to dry correctly. You cannot dry thick wood the way you dry thinner lumber.

Wood moves.  Because it is hygroscopic wood will expand and shrink with moisture (a lot like a sponge). Even if you mill it and dry it and finish the wood it will continue to move and change, so embrace this tendency in wood and expect it to move.

Air drying:

Our recommendations are always prefaced with “it depends”, but in general, we recommend our customers air dry their recently milled “green” wood for a year per 1” thickness. This article in Wood Magazine explains the air-drying process and has a good illustration on how to sticker wood.

In Georgia, we go ahead and paint the ends of the wood to help prevent cracking.

In Georgia, we go ahead and paint the ends of the wood to help prevent cracking. We also recommend some form of bug treatment like borax/borate to keep bugs from infesting and ruining the wood.

Finally, you should cover the wood with tin or store it under roof (but still open to air movement).  When it comes time, a moisture meter can help determine the moisture content. The kiln is used to bring the wood down to around 7% moisture content and it should be ready to be milled or shaped to your finished product.

Bug Abatement:

In Chapter 20 of the Wood Handbook you will find a thorough discussion about killing bugs in wood with a kiln. Sometimes referred to as heat sterilization, success requires you get the core temperature of the wood to 133°. This takes approximately 3 days and can be done on furniture, reclaimed wood, or any other infested wood.

 

Kiln Request Form

Right now our kiln is full and we are not taking orders for kiln services.

  • Many times all that is needed from our kiln is to kill any bugs that may have infested your wood. If this is all you need, simply select this box and we will try to fit your wood into the kiln for the 1 week needed for bug abatement.
  • We want to know where your wood comes from. If we are milling your wood, It helps us to know what to expect. For example, urban wood (from yards) usually have nails and other metals that will break saw blades. *NOTE: Be thinking about how many nails/blades you are willing to pay for before we stop milling.
  • How thick is your wood? The thickest wood we will dry is 2 1/2" and the thinnest is 1" *NOTE: Wood thicker than 2 1/2" must be completely air dried.
  • Please note Watson Springs prefers Hardwood 8' to 10' Softwoods preferred length is 8' to 12'
  • If you want your wood milled, what is the diameter of the log? Logs should be at least 15" in diameter and no larger than 30" in diameter. *NOTE: The amount of wood in a log is dictated by the smallest end.
  • Our goal is to get your wood to approximately 7% moisture content. How long has your wood been air drying will determine your woods moisture content. Describe your wood here including where it has been stored and for how long and in what conditions. *NOTE: Watson Springs will take samples for moisture monitoring. You may bring us a sample prior to kiln drying if you need help determining your wood's moisture content.
  • If you are not sure how many board feet you have, you can find a board foot calculator on WoodWeb
  • *Watson Springs does not mill telephone poles. *Logs that have limbs and large knots have a lot of growth tension and will not dry without warping. *We reserve the right to refuse wood if the above cautions have been disregarded. For help in determining if your wood meets our criteria, fill out this form and read our reference information about drying wood. *All wood should be delivered to the kiln / mill with two (2) strong backs to load and unload. If we are asked to handle your wood, you will either be charged or refused. *Large orders require a 50% deposit. *Our kiln is busy, so please pick up your wood within two (2) days of being notified it is ready. Additional days will incur steep late fees. *Watson Springs has a minimum charge of $250. Please acknowledge you have read these policies and agree to them.