Seasoned Wood: What You Need to Know
Air-drying and kiln-drying both yield top-quality lumber
Synopsis: To wood technologist William W. Rice, it doesn’t matter whether wood’s been air-dried or kiln-dried, as long as it’s seasoned properly. He talks about wood and moisture basics and the differences between kiln-drying and air-drying. He suggests controlling temperature and humidity, if possible, indoors. He explains how to stack your wood and how drying conditions affect its color. He talks about checking moisture before bending or gluing wood and how differences in moisture affect finishing and workability. Then he addresses letting the wood acclimate to the place in which it will be used.
As a consultant and wood technologist, I’m frequently asked whether air-dried or kiln-dried wood is best for making furniture. The answer is short and simple: It doesn’t really make any difference, as long as the wood has been seasoned properly. Both methods produce good cabinet-grade material that is difficult, if not impossible, to…