How to Dry Oak Lumber How to Dry Oak Lumber

What You'll Need
Oak lumber
Cinder blocks
Roofing material
Plastic sheets

Oak lumber needs to be dried up once it has been cut. This is done in order to improve its look and prolong its life. If oak lumber is not properly dried it can start to crack or by time grow mold, and this is obviously highly undesired. Here we shall clarify how oak lumber can be properly dried to avoid such negative scenarios.

Step 1: Prepare Your Working Area

Start off by preparing the area where you intend to work. Such a job is best carried out in a place where there is very low humidity. You may opt to carry out the job outdoors although this is not very recommended since outdoor conditions will undermine the effectiveness of the drying process on a certain extent. However one may do so as long as the area is secluded and it must be covered with some sort of roof. If this is not possible then you will have to work in a garage or basement. This is obviously done so as to avoid any undesired mishaps that will ruin the work as in the case of rainfalls or other circumstances which may cause dampness. Once you decide where you will work, cover the floor with some plastic sheets. This will avoid and protect you wood from coming in contact with any moisture rising from the ground, thus effecting the drying process.

Step 2: Place the Cinder Blocks

When all is ready, place the cinder blocks a few feet away from each other, at regular intervals. You will form two straight lines.

Step 3: Lay the Oak Timbers Over the Cinder Blocks

At this point, start laying the oak timbers over the cinder blocks. This will form wooden spacers between the cinder blocks and the oak timbers, which are technically referred to as a rick stack. This is the lumber pile base.

Step 4: Start Stacking the Oak Lumbers

Once you are ready you can start to stack the oak lumbers you wish to dry onto them. Make sure to leave at least one inch of air space between each board in order to help the drying process. Apply stickers below and above each layer of lumber. Then continue to stack them on top of each other.  

Step 5: Allow Time and Enough Air and Ventilation

Allow enough time for the drying process to take place effectively, and help along by making sure there is a good amount of ventilation. If there is no window for a breeze to come through you should place a fan at the end of each row. This will help to blow air across and through the rick stack, enabling a better and more successful drying process. You can also use an electronic moisture meter so as to better monitor the drying progression.

Step 6: Place a Roof

You can also place a roofing layer on top of the pile for extra protection. You can use practically any layering material held down with weights.

By following these steps and keeping in mind these tips you can successfully dry your oak lumber.

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