Lumber drying options and efficiencies

The Wood Doctor's favorite references for making decisions among lumber-drying options. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

I have been reading about the different drying processes and would like to know what my best options are and relative cost and time turn around for each process.

There is a good overview publication ($7, I believe) called "Making Management Decisions in Drying" available from the Virginia Forest products Association, 804-737-5625, P.O. Box U, Sandston, VA 23150. However, for small qualities of wood, there is really only one choice--a solar kiln. Plans are available for free (I believe) from the Department of Forest Products at Virginia Tech, Ramble Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0503. The electric dehumidifier is a possibility for the more active and larger drying operation--perhaps 50,000 bf per year up to 1 to 2 million BF. Larger operations may still use DH or may go into a boiler and/or wood burning system.

We have a list of publications on drying. Send $2 to me at the Dept of Forestry, UW-Madison, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706.

After reviewing the book and other information, please feel free to contact me again with specific questions.

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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