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I'm watching a piece of sassafras on eBay and the seller says it's at 26% moisture content. That seems like a lot, but I'm very unfamiliar with this, so I thought I'd ask. How long would it take for a 4" X 4" X 12" piece to get to the same level as a piece if kiln dried lumber?
 

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I cannot tell you how long it would take to get to a moisture content close to your shop environment.

I recently got some pieces of mulberry. The tree had been taken down by the seller some time ago.

I debarked, then checked the moisture content, it was 25%. I sealed the ends for turning at a future time. Within a couple of days I had cracks in the sap wood. Not a surprise, due to how wet the wood was under the bark.

Kiln dried lumber can have a higher moisture content than your shop, it depends on how the kiln operator decides when to remove the wood.
 

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Part of it will depend on where you are and how it is stored as to drying time. Rule of thumb is 1 year per 1" so yours would take about two years to reach equilibrium.
Kiln dry can vary, most hardwoods you buy are probably in the 6-8% range and construction grade (like pine 2X4) more in the 12%.
Where I am equilibrium is 12-14% so I could never get below 12%. When drying blanks I consider 15% good to go.
Here is a chart for equilibrium with cities starting on page four.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn268.pdf
 
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