This summer a client brought some mulberry wood to me to build counter out of. I measured the wood moisture content at 22% and told them it wasn't dried right. They took the wood to another kiln and brought it back to me after a month or so and I measured it at 14 - 16%, and I told them it was still too wet for furniture. Now they are wondering if it would ever be dry enough for furniture if they let it sit in a dry space over the winter. I don't think so, but - any ideas?
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor M:
I have dried red mulberry and got it down to 6-8%. I also green turn bowls out of it, and they eventually get down under 10%. Sounds like the kiln operator needs to try at least one more time.
From my experience mulberry is similar to black locust and osage orange, so it is very slow drying and not comparable to much else, especially as far as kiln drying goes. How did this material get kiln dried? I imagine assuming this is a small quantity, you need a mini kiln, or a kiln operator willing to run a small full kiln cheaply just for your stash.
Mulberry will also produce the problem of drastic color changes. It will be orange to yellow when fresh cut, and if exposed to a lot of sun can turn a very dark burnt orange.
If you ever deal with mulberry again, I recommend air drying it to 12-15%, then bringing it into your shop or other indoor air controlled climate to further acclimate to around 8% or so. After the wood has reached the desired MC it should be skip surfaced, then left for a day or two, skip surfaced again, left for a day or two, then finally surfaced to the desired thickness, removing equal amounts off each side. This is called double or triple milling. This method is old fashioned and works very well when done properly, resulting in the flattest boards possible. I process all my finer grade woods this way.