Re-Sawing or Re-Wetting Partially Dried Wood

Either would be a mistake. January 14, 2009

I have some walnut that's 2" thick, and has been air drying for about two months. I plan to use most of the wood in 1" thick portions. If I re-saw now to make it dry faster, will it warp?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor S:
It depends on a lot of things such as climate and difference in MC. I would re-saw it, sticker it, and put weights on it.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
If it has been drying fairly well you will get warp due to tension set that will be very hard to remove.

From contributor N:
You could try one board. I'd guess it would look like a couple of bananas after it was sawed, then maybe you could take them to a kiln.

From contributor F:
I've done that with cherry that was case hardened from air dry over a year. The remedy that will work is to re-saturate the entire board (soaking in water) like you would for bending wood. Re-sticker it with weights on top and let it air dry again. This re-trains the fibers to equilibrium to an even case hardening. If this takes time let it continue to air dry through 9-12 months per inch thickness if you can wait. You need a moisture meter to do it right.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Never re-wet partially or fully dried lumber with liquid water. It can create interior cracking in many cases. Note that case hardening does not develop in air dried lumber to any extent, as the humid nighttime conditions relieve it. Also, three months air drying for 4/4 is plenty of drying time. Drying it longer results in more defect development from sun and rain.

From contributor F:
Thanks Gene. I've read many different articles on century old wood techniques, and there are always room for more. I have a pile of good flitch cuts in quarter-sawn that started to cup that vary from 1/4 to 3/4 thickness 12 inch wide off the cants. They dried faster than I could get into stick; I call them my orphan boards. Any hope to salvage them for thin door panels and drawers? They are shaker style Im not using the water hydration method. My goal for all this is making the antique furniture for my home.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Q-sawn should almost never cup. Something strange is occurring. Therefore, I cannot say if there is hope for them or not.