Heat Treating Logs On Site

Doubts on the feasibility of drying Southern Yellow Pine logs using temporary means at a building site. January 25, 2010

I'm looking to build some log cabins using SYP. The log dimensions will be 6"X8". Is it possible to heat treat these logs onsite without taking them to a dry kiln? My understanding of heat treating is to raise the core temperature of the log to 130 degrees and maintain it for the duration of 1/2 hour. Would this process sterilize the logs? Could this be done by covering the logs with a temporary insulated shelter and using a salamander or kerosene heater?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor D:
Yes, but it won't be easy. If you use a salamander, it will be trying to heat ambient air to 140F or higher. The air has to be hotter than the final core temp. You might be able to do it when the ambient is warm but you will be drying the logs because the air will have a very low RH when it is heated. All this will take a while. And then how do you prove that you did it? You need some decent recording instruments. So taking it to a kiln that has the ability to give you an acceptable report is the best way to go.

From contributor A:
If the logs are very green, you will blow them apart. A large piece of wood like that will take a while to get hot in the middle. The outside will dry too fast and check very badly if the RH is not controlled. When setting pitch I hold the wood at 140 to 160 degrees for 24 hours and keep the MC at 16 to 18 percent. I vote take them to a kiln if you want them dried or heat treated.