Can Green Wood be used for Live Edge Slab? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-11-2019, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Can Green Wood be used for Live Edge Slab?

I have several bolts of varying sizes that I collected from downed trees this past winter. I'm going to start processing them, and was wondering if I can use them now for slab tables, serving boards, etc? I know people use green wood in furniture making, such as for chairs, but I don't know if this can be done with slabs. Could a certain finish be helpful? thanks
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-12-2019, 12:04 PM
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They need to air dry for several years depending on your climate and type of wood.


BTW slabs don't do well in kilns unless done properly and long enough or they end up case hardened.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-12-2019, 12:37 PM
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You are asking for untold amounts of grief and dissatisfaction if you attempt to make anything you care about from green slabs. Rule of thumb for air-drying is 1 year per inch of thickness, but that only gets them so dry (around 12% is the best I've ever done with just air drying). To do it properly, they should be air-dried then finished off in a kiln to around 6%. The final kiln drying locks the wood fibers, along with killing any bugs and such.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-12-2019, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. That's what I figured, but thought maybe there was a chance.

After it air dries, since I would guess most people dont have a kiln, can you use a regular oven? If so, do you know if I can I just use the one in my kitchen? or will it mess up the oven? or is that part of the drying process more complicated then just putting it in the oven?

ChiknNutz...do you know the humidity where you are? Just wondering how it compares to mine. Maybe I could get mine lower if the humidity here is lower...or maybe I wont be able to get it to 12% if mines higher.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-13-2019, 08:20 AM
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there are several videos on YouTube on how to build a small
homemade drying kiln. it is not as easy as just quickly drying
the wood out and making something and expect satisfactory results.
since you have a lot of green wood on your hands, you can experiment
with some of it and see what will work for you in your environment.
best of luck in all your projects !!

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post #6 of 7 Old 09-13-2019, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labow View Post
Thanks for the replies. That's what I figured, but thought maybe there was a chance.

After it air dries, since I would guess most people dont have a kiln, can you use a regular oven? If so, do you know if I can I just use the one in my kitchen? or will it mess up the oven? or is that part of the drying process more complicated then just putting it in the oven?

ChiknNutz...do you know the humidity where you are? Just wondering how it compares to mine. Maybe I could get mine lower if the humidity here is lower...or maybe I wont be able to get it to 12% if mines higher.
Not sure how well a regular oven will work as you need to be able to extract the moisture too. A convection oven would work better. It will be better than not drying them at all. You need to make sure it's not too hot, there are lots of publications on time and temp for various wood species.

That was in Western Washington where it is medium to high humidity, but not high heat. I am now in NC where it has both high humidity and heat, so I presume will not be able to see an air-dried RH in the wood that low.

As an aside, my father and I built a large solar kiln on his property in Eastern WA where it is very low humidity in the summer for the large slabs we had. The motivation was because we first harvested two very large walnut trees and needed to be able to properly dry them. There was a commercial kiln a couple hours away, but they closed up shop so there was really no one in the vicinity. We were selling the slabs so could justify the expense of building the kiln, which was still vastly cheaper than something of a commercial nature, albeit slower for results. Since I moved, my dad still runs all that and still acquires new trees to slab as we had also built a horizontal bandsaw.

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-13-2019, 12:10 PM
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My local sawmill has a solar kiln and it works great. I regularly buy Walnut from him and it's usually in the 8% to 10% range, 12% at the highest. His solar kiln is a good size for a small operation and will hold about 4,000 bd. ft. of lumber in pieces up to 20' long.

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