A good source for local and unusual woods.
Kiln services for drying wood and bug abatement,
A resource for historic preservation of trees or historic wood.
“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
Red Oak flooring
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Right now our kiln is full and we are not taking orders for kiln services.