Drying Green Hemlock in a Basement

Nope. Bad idea. February 22, 2011

A customer is proposing to stack freshly cut hemlock in an air conditioned/heated basement. Can air drying be affected safely in this way if air circulation is maintained and the humidity is kept in a narrow range? If so, what would be the target humidity and temperature range? I have probably 1500 board feet of stickered 1" boards.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
I would think he would have difficulty in getting all of the water out. Ventilation is a must, not just moving the air around. At first it will be soaking wet, his house might suffer. I would recommend drying it outside and under cover for at least a couple of months, then bring it in if he wants to and dry it to the climate that he keeps his home.

From the original questioner:
Basically that's what I told him up front. After I told him he'd have to have a pretty humid environment to prevent too fast drying he called it off because this wouldn't have been compatible with what else was going on in the same room.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
My feelings about green hemlock in a basement are even more emphatically no than the previous posting. Would the person be willing (from a humidity standpoint) to have a shower in the basement running 24 hours for a few weeks? I am curious why even put it in a basement, as you can air dry it outside so that it will work for construction and cannot dry it to a low enough MC for furniture in a basement.

From the original questioner:
He has not dried wood before. He thought having heat and A/C could remove the water. After hearing that the humidity needed to be high he decided to stack it outside because of what else was kept in the room.