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Can You Dry Lumber at Home?



It is possible to dry lumber at home in a variety of ways, although some special equipment may be required.

Air-Dried Lumber

Lumber can be air-dried by arranging it in square stacks, each layer separated from the others by small bits of wood called stickers. This enables air to circulate as freely as possible through the stack, speeding the drying process. The stack should be topped with a hard roof, or constructed under an open-sided canopy, to keep direct sunlight and rain off the lumber. The main potential problem with air-drying is that it is difficult to control the speed of the drying process. Hot, dry, and/or windy weather means that the lumber may dry too fast and warp, while in a humid climate the lumber may never dry out completely.

Kiln Drying

Kiln drying involves placing the lumber in a heated chamber to speed the evaporation of moisture from the wood. This process is faster and easier to control than home drying. It is possible to build or purchase a small kiln for home lumber drying. Different kilns use different heat sources, including electric coils, solar rays, or wood-burning stove. Some models of kiln incorporate dehumidifiers, which extract moisture from the air, to further speed drying.



“Kiln Drying.” Food and Technology Fact Sheet. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2011. .

“FOR-55: Drying Wood.” Learning, Discovery, Service | in the College of Agriculture. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2011.

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