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post #1 of 9 Old 08-27-2008, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Moisture / Kiln / Monster wood questions

I am working with a 6" thick, end cut, piece of Maple or Ash. Basically the bottom of a tree that's been cut off into a disk. It was 2 trees growing together and yes, the thing weighs 60-70 lbs. I sent the piece to a local guy who runs a kiln and he cooked it for 3-4 weeks in his dryer. I believe the temp. was 185 degrees. I started working on the piece, leveling off both sides, then put it aside for 4-8 weeks in my dry basement. I went to start working on it again and I noticed that one side of a check in the wood (1/4" wide x 8" long check) had risen about 1/8" at the edge of the block. Now it's been humid this summer, not sure if that matters, but I'm worried that my wood wasn't suffiently dried.

It will be a disaster if the wood shrinks once I've finished my work on it.

I don't know of a moisture meter (that I could afford) that can read 3" into wood.
Does the kiln time sound right?
The guy running the kiln said he'd have to wing it, but he was pretty confident that it was dry.
Any thoughts suggestions?

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post #2 of 9 Old 08-27-2008, 07:24 PM
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It's not dry . I am surprised it did not just blow up in the kiln (or even air drying) Cross sections are hard to keep in one piece. If you knew what species, since you said either maple or ash I could tell you the dry weight per ft3 and the wet weight. (or you could Google search it) Figure out how many cubic feet of wood you have, since you did not mention the circumference, and compare that to what dry wood should weigh...bet it is alot heavier. Wet wood can be 1/2 it's weight in water just for you information if you did not know it, some species like cottonwood are actually more water weight on the stump that the wood weighs dry.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-28-2008, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the quick response.

Brother, you are above my pay-grade. But I'm happy to be schooled! Somehow I'm thinking this is where those math clases in high school I slept through are supposed to pay off.... I understand that the weight should tell me if the section is dry, but unfortunately after 35 years of no use, I'm not even sure what to Google to find the equations. How embarrasing

The circumference is 112 inches, the section is 5 3/4" tall and it seems I'm stronger than I thought I was, it weighs 114 lbs.

Not sure what you mean by "blow up" but most of the sections had one major check and dozens of minor ones. Which is perfectly fine for what I'm doing. At least, what I'm doing today. Should I anticipate quite a bit more checking?
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-28-2008, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neoflyte View Post
Somehow I'm thinking this is where those math clases in high school I slept through are supposed to pay off....


The circumference is 112 inches, the section is 5 3/4" tall and it seems I'm stronger than I thought I was, it weighs 114 lbs.

Not sure what you mean by "blow up" but most of the sections had one major check and dozens of minor ones. Which is perfectly fine for what I'm doing. At least, what I'm doing today. Should I anticipate quite a bit more checking?
Well I too caught a nap or three in math . If I did my cyphering right (just in for a quick sandwich) you have 3.32 cubic feet of wood. Ash and maple run 42-45 lbs ft3 dry so at 114 lbs you are not too wet, actually pretty close to dry (unless I goofed up the math ) I was expecting more weight to be definitive proof.

"Blow up" means bust into small pieces, many cross sections do that. If you are at least as close to dry as I think you can expect a little more checking probably, but nothing catastrophic like if it was still very wet.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-28-2008, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well I too caught a nap or three in math . If I did my cyphering right (just in for a quick sandwich) you have 3.32 cubic feet of wood. Ash and maple run 42-45 lbs ft3 dry so at 114 lbs you are not too wet, actually pretty close to dry (unless I goofed up the math ) I was expecting more weight to be definitive proof.

"Blow up" means bust into small pieces, many cross sections do that. If you are at least as close to dry as I think you can expect a little more checking probably, but nothing catastrophic like if it was still very wet.
Awesome! If you look at my posted photos, you can see I hammer copper panels onto the outside edges of my tables. A couple of (other) tables I made where obviously not dry enough and shrunk, causing the copper panels to buble up on the sides. That's even more important than the checking.

Any thoughts on why one side of the 1/4" x 8" check raised 1/8"?

Anyone have links to the math equations and charts for dry wood weight?
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-28-2008, 04:49 PM
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Anyone have links to the math equations and charts for dry wood weight?
Wet and AIR dry wood weights, did not have kiln dry weight handy I will have to look unless someone else posts it. http://www.websterchain.com/graphicsreduced/approx.htm

Volume calculators (this page is a cylinder, but other pages on the site will do rectangles like planks) http://www.online-calculators.co.uk/...ndervolume.php

Cubic measurement converter (inches to feet and all that jazz)
http://www.easysurf.cc/cnver7.htm#cfci1

As far as why the wood is moving/has moved as it checks...that is what wood does . More readin' for ya' http://www.woodbin.com/ref/wood/shrinkage.htm
I think this would important info for you to know .
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-29-2008, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Daren, I can't thank you enough. This is exactly what I hoped for when I joined the forum, an opportunity to pick the brains of those with more skills and similar passions as myself.

Here is a link to my heavyweight monster (after about 8 hours of work, it's ready for copper and legs): http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ble8-08jpg.jpg

I've already got my next question/problem to overcome to ask the skilled artisans, be posting it soon.

Thanks again!

Last edited by Neoflyte; 08-29-2008 at 11:12 AM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-29-2008, 03:05 PM
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Neat piece - Daren's right on the money (as usual). I've made some 4" thick "cookie" cut maple tops. I usually slow air dry them in a shaded area in the mill for at least 6-8 months and then put them in the kiln at around 90 -105 degrees. I usually run them through 2 kiln cycles of air dried board stock which comes out to be about 21/2 months. You will always have cracks with that type of cut but if you handle it carefully, you can get some bartop epoxy on it and it will fill the cracks nicely. Good luck -
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-30-2008, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Neat piece - Daren's right on the money (as usual). I've made some 4" thick "cookie" cut maple tops. I usually slow air dry them in a shaded area in the mill for at least 6-8 months and then put them in the kiln at around 90 -105 degrees. I usually run them through 2 kiln cycles of air dried board stock which comes out to be about 21/2 months. You will always have cracks with that type of cut but if you handle it carefully, you can get some bartop epoxy on it and it will fill the cracks nicely. Good luck -

Honestly, I don't really care about the cracks. My work leans toward an ancient/viking-esque (that's the best description I can come up with) feel, so many small cracks actually compliment the piece. I'm also opposed to using a heavy, bar/counter finish, it won't look right.

My concern is that the checks will allow the wood to breathe more than a normal sealed board, causing warping and or shrinkage and expansion. Which won't work with the nailed copper on the outside.

I've been using small brushes to get finish in where I can, laying it on thick across the rest of the surface and letting it soak in before wiping it off. Short of immersion does anyone have any thoughts on how I might get my finish seal these better?
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