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RDOwens 11-08-2009 06:45 PM

Drying Oak
 
Back in August a buddy of mine cut down an oak tree. He and I cut up some of it and I stacked it out back.

If I understand, it takes about six months to dry out to be used. It's not covered. Is there anything special I should do with this to dry it?

I appreciate your thoughts.

baldbill 11-08-2009 06:51 PM

directions..
 
I would reccommend that you have it tested first, the whole lot could be contaminated. I would be willing to help a fellow bretheren out by volunteering to test it for you, I will dry it out in my smoker and test the ash and send you the results.:-P:-D

baldbill 11-08-2009 06:56 PM

put it where it won't get wet or cover it to protect it from the elements, mostly rain. Just find a dry place and stack it and in a few months its ready to go, again, I will test it for free!!

Hell Fire Grill 11-08-2009 07:11 PM

If it was mine I would let it season for a minimum of a year. Because the density of oak will not allow the water to escape as fast as alot of other hardwoods. After two years of seasoning oak is at its prime, in my opinion. Keep the wood stacked off the ground, on pallets or whatever, and covered.

If your going to have baldbill test it make him come and get it.

RDOwens 11-09-2009 06:34 PM

Thanks, guys. I should look to get this stack off the ground I suppose.

I appreciate the assistance.

Hugh Jorgan 11-09-2009 06:39 PM

Are you going to be using the oak as flavor wood or the main fuel? If a stickburner or offset, I would say everyone above is correct. However, if I was just going to be using it for flavor chunks, I would go ahead and cut them to size. That way it will dry a little faster.

bbqbull 11-09-2009 06:50 PM

Are the logs split in half???
Splitting logs in half will halve the drying time.
I always stack the split wood bark side up to help keep the rain off it, always tried to tarp the top row if possible.

Remember the smaller the pieces, shorter drying time, look for small cracks in the ends of the logs which means its drying down and probably ready to use.

BobF 11-09-2009 06:57 PM

Off the ground, and if possible under a shed. If its covered with a tarp, find a way to make a tent of it so you get airflow under the tarp.

h20loo 11-09-2009 06:59 PM

RD- when I get some special wood and I'm in a hurry to use it I will cut it into small pieces and put it safely in the furnace room. I use long strips to space it and its amazing how fast it dries out.

Hugh Jorgan 11-09-2009 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by h20loo (Post 1080913)
RD- when I get some special wood and I'm in a hurry to use it I will cut it into small pieces and put it safely in the furnace room. I use long strips to space it and its amazing how fast it dries out.

I have some apple and pecan chunks and short sticks beside my gas hot water heater. The little closet it's in off the back porch stays very, very dry.

Rich Parker 11-09-2009 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bbqbull (Post 1080905)
Are the logs split in half???
Splitting logs in half will halve the drying time.
I always stack the split wood bark side up to help keep the rain off it, always tried to tarp the top row if possible.

Remember the smaller the pieces, shorter drying time, look for small cracks in the ends of the logs which means its drying down and probably ready to use.

Now thats worth the price of admission! Thanks Bull

bbqfans 11-10-2009 12:18 AM

Rdo..........;}-
 
BBQBULL is right, split cures quicker. Take a piece and start it by itself and see if and liquid boils out of it,if so it's too soon, if it burns with no liquid, uas it. Hickory is the one to watch,even split it takes a long time...

Teleking 11-10-2009 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hell Fire Grill (Post 1079973)
If it was mine I would let it season for a minimum of a year. Because the density of oak will not allow the water to escape as fast as alot of other hardwoods. After two years of seasoning oak is at its prime, in my opinion. Keep the wood stacked off the ground, on pallets or whatever, and covered.

I agree 100% with a minimum of 1 year and better for 2 years for oak.

MushCreek 11-10-2009 01:49 PM

Moisture exits a log through the ends- so fast, in fact, that they seal the ends of timber so it won't split during drying. If it's flavoring wood, cut it into rounds, and it will dry pretty fast. A friend of mine builds guitars, and uses a dehumidifier in a large closet to dry the wood. Most of the moisture is gone in a month in his rig.


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