Sawing and Drying

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drying spalted pine mantle

Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

I had not milled in awhile, and had a friend who wanted some junk wood for his fireplace. Meaning not nice mulberry or oak for a wood stove that could actually put out some heat. I still had the upper half of a pine tree, the lower half of which is now 2x4 lumber. I was cutting and saw spaltting, and the wood was solid despite sitting for a year. I put a chunck on the mill and made a massive mantle, left live edge on a surface. 10 x 14 inches by 7 feet long. I have a container with a dehumidifier, and a shop that is heated all winter. I know soft wood is supposed to dry fast but this is a thick beam. I could heat it in a small container in my shop and let the extra heat migrate into the shop. Any hobby home made ideas to help dry this mantle. It is big enough I can re-saw surfaces if needed for warp or twist. also big enough I do not want to move it more than needed. Just wanted to get a new sawing and drying thread going for the holidays. What do you think! Pic to follow. Thanks

12/7/18       #2: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

the wood

View higher quality, full size image (4032 X 3024)

12/7/18       #3: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

the log that was destined for firewood.

View higher quality, full size image (1280 X 960)

12/15/18       #4: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Gene Wengert-WoodDoc

That is going to,look awesome when done. The only concern is insects, so heating it up to 133 F for a day would be prudent.

Drying needs to be done somewhat slowly...if 8/4 can safely dry in 10 days, then 16/4 requires 25 days and 8 around 70 days.

Figure than if this chunk of wood weighs 150 pounds, it could contain 75 pounds of water when fresh, but probably has lost a few pounds while waiting to be sawn. So, a pint of water is around one pound, so you have about 48 pounds of water to come out or 6 gallons. Will this moisture affect your shop by increasing the humidity?

12/21/18       #5: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

Gene, thanks for the response. My shop has radiant floor heat and it is topped off with a wood stove. the shop is currently 74 degrees F and 30% humidity. The boiler is set at 58 degrees as backup for when I am not home to stoke the stove with wood. The shop is 4500 sq. feet so I do not think that this chunk will overall effect the rel. humidity and therefore other wood in the shop much. It is now outside under a tarp at night. For fun, I will try to get a weight. I am sure it is more than 150#. I have a finished bit of this wood from the lower trunk of the tree finished and it is neat. I'll try to add a picture.

12/21/18       #6: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

Here are pictures of the wood with several coats of a spar varnish, but otherwise the natural color of the wood. Same tree, but the trunk that I processed more expediently.

View higher quality, full size image (2048 X 1536)

View higher quality, full size image (1536 X 2048)

12/22/18       #7: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Gene Wengert-WoodDoc

From a technical point of view, the fungi you have in the picture is the common blue stain (or sap stain) fungus. These fungi are not the fungi associated with spalting ...white rot and brown rot.

Blue stain fungi, as well as mold and mildew fungi, are not spalting fungi, as their hyphae do not colonize the wood internally and they do not produce the enzymes necessary to digest the wood cell wall components.

12/22/18       #8: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

Very Interesting. I assumed any color change after a period on the ground and from fungi would be generically called spalting. I like the look, and these will be outdoor BSA camp out benches. Thanks for the info. Merry Christmas! I will look forward to any further info or reference you wish to provide. Please let me know if you speaking anywhere in the area.

12/25/18       #9: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Gene Wengert-WoodDoc

I am giving a Talk here in Athens, GA in March...about understanding your DNA results from Nothing on drying scheduled, but in May in central GA WE MAY HAVE AN ADVANCED 1-DAY CLASS ON DH, hopefully with YellowHammer...still planning.

12/27/18       #10: drying spalted pine mantle ...
Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

Thanks. Maybe post the essentials here for ancestry. Keep me in the loop, I will check in after this spring. may just have to come to your town and get tutored. Hope to hear back after the holidays from our forester. Thanks again. For this mantle and given the weather, I may try to make the one from clear plastic at some point. Like info put out by Timbergreen farms. Any thoughts?

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