Drying rack for wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Drying rack for wood

Hi all, I'm new to the forum and new to turning. I was given an old craftsman lathe in perfect condition and now I'm officially addicted to turning. I have been turning anything that I can get my hands on lately and family and friends are donating more wood than I can handle. I have a bunch of spalted big-leaf maple, silver maple, mulberry, oak, and ligustrum. Is there a particular way to store this stuff for future use? Right now it's sitting all over the driveway and garage. Thanks in advance!

Andy
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 02:45 PM
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If the wood is still green or not fully dried you seal the ends. Drying wood cracks alot. There are many threads on this, try searching it. There are sealing products out there like anchor seal. Ive never used it but herd it works pretty good. Look at the cut ends of driedfirewood. There will be cracks.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 03:24 PM
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Just another thought, latex paint will work too just make sure you put enough on. Multiple coats.

If its already dried, store it in a dry place and make sure ifs supported good. If not it will warp and you will have a hard time using it.
A guy who lives down my street stored extra 4x4 fench posts in his driveway last summer. He just put a chunk of 4x4 at each end, they warped so bad the middle of the boards were touching the ground in no time.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. Ive been reading posts on drying wood for weeks now and I've come to the conclusion that there are as many 'recipes' for drying wood as there are ways to make a sandwich.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 03:46 PM
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Yeah I think it changes with the wood and how its cut. I can never get it right, it always seems to crack. Just plan a head and leave a few extra inches on each side. Better to waste that little extra amount wood than have to throw out a whole piece because it cracked too much.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 08:40 PM
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Ive been using latex with good results so far. 3 coats on all end grain. I havnt had anything sealed this way crack yet.

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post #7 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 08:56 PM
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I made racks of 2X4 treated lumber. My lathe has a max of 16” so the depth is 12”. Each rack is 12’ wide with three runners in case I have some less than 12”
Distance between cross runners is about 16” and rack is 8’ high.
I split through the pith, seal the ends and store. I do store some smaller <10” in log form.
Here is a link to wood equilibrium by city. Locally it is 12=14% so anything less than 15% I consider good to go. http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn268.pdf
For some cities/areas you may need to take more extreme measures.
I can store 1-2 years with no noticeable degrading.
Get it out of the sun and into shade of some type. I use anchorseal on the ends but if not available use something. Allow air flow. Cut blanks two inches longer on each end than your lathe capacity and seal. This will allow for cracking which you can trim off when you get ready to turn it.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Bassblaster, thanks for that info!

Paladin, thanks! Do you just set the blanks right on the shelf after you seal them? I've heard paper bag, sawdust, etc...
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 10:31 AM
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I may have misunderstood. That is the way I store my wood (log form), before the rough turning. They are cut down the pith to remove it, ends are sealed, and it goes on the rack. No need to put into bags.
Easy to get to any piece since they are only 3-4 pieces deep.

After rough turning to 10%; I use DNA or store in brown paper bags with end grain sealed. These are stored in the back of my shop on the floor. These take 2-8 months to dry for the final turning.

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post #10 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Gotcha. You didn't misunderstand, I just don't know what I'm talking about. Your explanation makes sense though
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 11:01 AM
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I have a question that relates to this topic. I have been trying to figure out how to dry logs cut into bowl blacks. I cut them to the size I need and put latex paint on the end grain. The problem is I keep getting cracks on the bark side of the piece. They have been sitting in my basement since christmas time. Any ideas how to stop this or why it's happening.
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 11:06 AM
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In my opinion latex paint doesn't work very well. may be where I live and how I have to store my wood. End grain sealer works much better if you put on 2 coats. Parrafin wax works better than that.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 02:16 PM
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BigJoe, from a previous post you stated you cut the logs in half to remove the pith.
I occasionally get small cracks on the bark side if the log is really large (20+) but they are fairly minor. Cutting through the pith, as you do, should allow the wood to shrink back on itself with. Maybe the heat in your basement is too high or the humidity is too low for a sudden change. Maybe you are not getting the pith fully cut out? I would rather lose a 1/2" from each side and know it is gone than take a chance.

If you can post a pic of the problem it may help.
Some wood is just notorious, in my case Holly. If I don’t take the pith out it will split no matter what I do, even if it is only 6” diameter.
This shows about a 6-7” section of Holly. If you put a straight edge to it (a piece of paper) you will see it shrank back about 1” in the half section of log. That would be a 2” crack, or a zillion little ones in a 6” whole log. No cracks from the bark side.
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 03:29 PM
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I can only store my larger wood outdoors. This is the worst possible Scenario and that's why I've gone through a lot of testing to find out what works for me.
Splitting the wood at the heart only seems to help a little bit for me. I still do it out of habit but the wood still checks just maybe not as fast.
I have found the 2 best things you can do is to cover the wood so the sun and wind are kept to a minumum, and get it off the ground. I usually can't get it off the ground so I just cover it with a tarp. That and sealing the ends with Endgrain sealer has done more to prolong the life until I can either harvest it further or cut it up into blanks.
Generally bugs get to it and eat up the cambium layer and then it starts to check. If I leave it longer the bugs start to eat into the good wood and it checks the point that you can only make smaller projects out of it. What I do at that point is to examine the wood and decide what can be saved and I'll cut it up into smaller pieces and seal them with paraffin wax and put them in my shop.
I use an old electric skillet to melt the wax. I adjust the temperature gauge to just enough to melt it and then hot glue it in that position. Wax can ignite at 480 degrees and melts at 140 so if your careful you should never have a fire. However I always keep the lid handy and fire extinquisher nearby. for larger pieces I stick a coffee can with wax in it into the melted wax in the skillet. Once the wax in the can is liquid I can take it to the log and brush it on.
end grain sealer is pretty good but in my experience doesn't last as long as the wax when trying to preserve wood. It's just way easier to apply but does need at least 2 coats. I use it after roughing out bowls. I cover the end grain areas of the bowl with endgrain sealer and it's reduced the loss quite a bit. I used to use paper sacks. Just put the bowl in the sack and close it. That's works pretty well but you can get mold due to lack of air movement and it slows down the overall drying time.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCPaladin
I made racks of 2X4 treated lumber. My lathe has a max of 16” so the depth is 12”. Each rack is 12’ wide with three runners in case I have some less than 12”
Distance between cross runners is about 16” and rack is 8’ high.
I split through the pith, seal the ends and store. I do store some smaller <10” in log form.
Here is a link to wood equilibrium by city. Locally it is 12=14% so anything less than 15% I consider good to go. http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn268.pdf
For some cities/areas you may need to take more extreme measures.
I can store 1-2 years with no noticeable degrading.
Get it out of the sun and into shade of some type. I use anchorseal on the ends but if not available use something. Allow air flow. Cut blanks two inches longer on each end than your lathe capacity and seal. This will allow for cracking which you can trim off when you get ready to turn it.
NCPaladin is there anyway I could trouble you to get pictures of your storage system it seem like the answer I've been looking for for storage in my shop greatly appreciated
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-02-2012, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanMaple View Post
NCPaladin is there anyway I could trouble you to get pictures of your storage system it seem like the answer I've been looking for for storage in my shop greatly appreciated
For some reason I can not find the pics on my computer or on other forums I have posted them at. My Olympus fell from the side of my pickup to asphalt and is not happy with me and I can't even get the computer to recognize my phone anymore. If I can get some new ones downloaded I will post them.
I took three 2X4 on edge and secured them to the end stiles (stiles about 12" long). I made five of them; then attached my uprights. They are about a foot and half apart but you can make four and have them two feet apart.
I just used one bracket to attach it to the wall. If you are not attaching it to a wall you will probably need crossbucks in the rear.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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