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Drying your lumber

You can of course take your lumber to a commercial kiln to have it quickly dried to an exact moisture content.  Plan on paying approx $200 per 1000 board feet. This should take approx 2 weeks.

Air drying: The rule of thumb is 1 inch per year from the surface of the wood inward. The best way to air dry and minimize warping and twisting is to do the following:

  • keep your lumber pile off the ground with 4x4's or scrap dunnage
  • lay the boards down in neat layers with stickers in between each layer.
  • place a tarp on top of the pile, but not draped over the sides to allow max airflow.
  • place bricks or some other heavy objects on top of the tarp to minimize twisting during the drying process.
  • allow a full year to get the moisture content down below 20%

Building with green lumber and allowing it to dry in place might be the right option for fencing, pole barns, chicken coups, and other rough projects that do not need a high degree of precision.  Always use fully dried lumber for flooring, furniture, cabinets, counter tops and any other project where shrinkage would ruin your project.