DIY Kiln drying 12/4 oak slabs - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-22-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Kiln drying 12/4 oak slabs

Hello, I am in the situation that an old water oak had to be felled and I now wish to mill and dry it. The 18 foot tall trunk is 33 inches across, pretty straight. No sawyers would show up to mill and dry it for me despite many conversations (too busy to deal with me). Thus, we bought a Timber Tuff chainsaw mill and will mill it ourselves. I am pretty confident about the milling process. However, despite researching DIY kilns, I am unsure re: pitfalls particular to drying 12/4 oak slabs. I plan to plainsaw this log to maximize yield/minimize waste.

The desired project for this wood is a farm table. All my thinking about processing this wood is related to this specific project. To prepare for it I have done much research on the Web, watched YouTube milling videos, found this site, and read the book "Harvest Your Own Lumber" by John English ISBN#978-1-61035-243-7. Nevertheless, I still cannot find much info about drying thick slabs of the nature I wish to harvest. Any input would be appreciated.

Best regards,
Max
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-22-2017, 03:42 PM
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Most heavy farm tables are less than 2" thick. A 1 3/4" final thickness makes a very heavy table.
I say this because if your thickness is reduced to 2 1/4" your drying times will also be greatly reduced.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-23-2017, 12:17 AM
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Well god dang mate! That's one heck of a piece you got there. I know nothing about drying wood but can I see a picture of this thing? Because I'm very interested.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-23-2017, 12:44 AM
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The pitfalls come quicker the thicker the /4 you get re correctly drying/stabilizing. MY advice is to AD a yr per inch thick then kiln for best stability.....I normally saw at 8/4 and that's a heavy table!!!!

Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-23-2017, 01:32 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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plains sawn issues

If you just saw it into slabs working from the top down with your chain saw mill, plain sawn, you will have very few boards where the grain runs vertical, as if it were quarter sawn. The vertical grain minimizes cupping and other warping issues. But there is some waste and it's way more troublesome to do.




What might make some sense in your case is to quarter it, then transport it to the mill your self, using a car trailer or flat bed haul away etc. Have the mill quarter saw it and then kiln dry it and pick it up afterward.... I donno?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-23-2017, 11:24 PM
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Woodnthings ...that sketch is incorrect the center one would be the truest quarter sawn and the last would be a croos of rift and qtrsawn. This site needs a drawing board/sketchpad on it....
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Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
........www.TSMFarms.com.......... John 3:16-21 ..........
Reveling God's awesome beauty while creating one of-a-kind flitches and heirlooms.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-03-2017, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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I am stuck with the goal of 12/4 table as my wife is stuck with the desire to have a 12/4 kitchen table. I understand it will be less than 12/4 once drying and working it but unless she changes her mind, that is where I must start.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-03-2017, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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First, thanks to all for your contributions to my post. I really appreciate it.

Second, I would love to quarter saw this trunk. However, I cannot transport it to a sawmill, the only sawmill guys around here failed to follow through with meeting me (thus I am doing it myself), this is my first such milling job and I doubt my chainsaw mill would be good for the quarter saw technique. Perhaps a more experienced person could do it. As for me, I am only ambitious enough for a simple plain saw effort.

As was requested, attached are pics of the tree in question. It is 18 feet overall but split in two across the approximate middle. The width is 33, but when I square out the core it 22 inches. I plan to harvest as many 12/4 boards as possible from the truck to hedge on the probability of getting two good ones for my project. I have a few smaller logs to practice on first. The job would have been done this weekend but I have been super sick :(.

Thanks again for your input guys.
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