Allow the washed lumber to dry completely then go over it with sandpaper to smooth any rough edges. Danny Lipford: Whether you have an old deck or a brand new one, it’s important to regularly apply a stain or sealer, so that you can keep your deck looking as good as possible and lasting as long as it should. And you never know what will turn up next, what crazy pattern a tree might produce, without rhyme or reason. cabmaker . The first thing you need to understand is humans have been successfully drying lumber for thousands of years, long before the advent of modern dry-kiln technology, which has really only been around on a broad scale for the last century or so. Some people lay their bunks right on the ground and you can do this, but it is very hard to get so many pieces level and then maintain that status through changing seasons and weather. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It is best to take your trees down after the sap is down in the fall and through the winter before it rises, and also to try to have your lumber sawn and on sticks for a while before the weather gets warm so the lumber isn't shocked by the extremes of summer heat. If you are drying a thousand feet of 4/4 lumber and planning to use 1' centers, you will need 275 sticks for that lumber. If the water soaks into the wood, then it’s dry and ready for stain or paint. I try to do this with all the lumber I use no matter what the source, because all wood is hydroscopic and wants to reach equilibrium with whatever environment it is in. When lumber is wet it expands in length and … A couple of buddies of mine say that I need to wait a year before staining my cedar deck…I would like to wait for a dry period in the weather and then have it stained (within 2 months of building it). How to Tell When the Pressure Treated Fence is Dry. Here at U.P. I was able to sand our large deck in just a about 15 minutes. From there, it was just a matter of baking the wood until the sugary sap crystalized and then hardened. You can speed the process by putting a small fan or two on the floor in front of the pile, but far enough away that the air moves through the whole pile. To dry a quantity of lumber containing 1" and thicker boards from 6" to 10" wide and 6' to 10' long, follow the procedure below to build a proper stack using the materials shown in Figure 3. There is no waiting period for today’s pressure treated wood to let chemicals leach out. This is the third and last installment of "Producing Your Own Lumber." Question. The best time to do this is when the log is freshly cut, or you can also seal the boards while the ends are fresh. To further speed phase#2 drying, point an electric household fan on your wood between work sessions. Personally, I sometimes like to stain oak with a golden oak stain. A heat source is necessary and can be as simple as a portable electric heater, but be sure to isolate the heater in a way that you aren't creating a fire hazard. As I stated earlier, air-drying lumber is not difficult. The top layers are prone to more distortion and these boards provide a measure of protection to the rest of the pile, so it is good to have a use for this material, often referred to as cover boards. By the way, stickers are typically 3/4" thick and 1-1/4" wide, and you don't want to use thinner sticks, because you need enough space for good air flow. I have found that placing the stickers at 1' intervals results in flatter lumber and fewer problems and is worth the extra work and greater number of sticks used. Staining pressure treated lumber is not rocket science. This is another reason for overhanging the tops. Put a sheet of heavy (at least 4 mil) plastic on the ground to keep moisture away. Darker woods such as cherry and walnut are not as susceptible to staining, but immediate exposure to warm weather will stress any wood and increase the degrade. Solar kilns work fine in most places on a seasonal basis, because they perform best in warmer and sunnier weather. 8/4 = 2 inches rough cut Seal all sides I would use a varathane, marine product as it will be subject to outdoor elelments like a boat would be.
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