We offer kiln-drying service to our clients using our multiple state-of-the-art dehumidification kiln units. Our kilns dry lumber to about 8% moisture content. Currently we operate our kilns between months of April and December. If you wish to kiln-dry your lumber please contact us and make an appointment to bring in your wood. You can check out our kiln schedules here.
How much it costs
The cost of kiln-drying is primarily based on the amount of your wood, but varies slightly depending on the type and thickness of the lumber. Basically the thicker and/or harder the lumber is, the more time and energy it needs to kiln-dry. To get an estimate please call or email us and provide details on the lumber you need kiln-dried.
How long it takes
From the time your wood is dropped off, it takes on average about two months for it to get kiln-dried. Once a kiln is loaded and launched, depending on the load it takes 3 to 6 weeks for the lumber to dry. Having multiple units gives us flexibility to have frequent drying schedules. However, since most of drying orders arrive in small bundles, and at different times, it is hard to predict exactly when a kiln will have a full load. Average waiting time in such cases is about a month. You can check out our kiln schedules here.
Once your lumber has been kiln-dried it would be best to pick it up at earliest convenience, so it's not affected by the elements sitting in our lumberyard. If you don't have immediate plans for it, you can store it in a dry place, preferably off the ground. To keep the dried boards from additional humidity, it would be better to stack them without stickers. You have the option of having it dressed and flattened in our woodshop. We also offer laminating (glue-up) service to manufacture larger panels (such as table-tops and shelves), and can mill your lumber into flooring boards or other custom moldings if needed.
Kiln-drying is an essential service in woodworking, and is a very critical step in defining the quality of lumber. It reduces the moisture content of the lumber to about 8%. It also sterilizes the wood and eliminates all the bugs and fungi that might live inside the wood. A kiln-dried wood is clean for being used in a household. It is also stable for furniture-making and other woodworking projects where maintaining the shape and dimensions are important. Using wood that is only air-dried can lead to warping, checking, and damaged joints and surfaces over time.
After a tree is cut, the logs are milled into lumber. To avoid checking the end of the boards during the drying phase, it's recommended to seal the ends of the logs or boards. For proper kiln-drying, it's better not to exceed 3" thickness. One might decide to mill the logs into thicker lumber, however the core of such lumber won't be completely kiln-dried. There's a common misconception that if the logs were lying around for a while the lumber will be partially dry. The fact is that logs keep most of their moisture and drying only starts after the log is milled into lumber.
After milling, the lumber needs to be stacked, separated by stickers. Ideally dry hardwood stickers should be used. Softwood or not-dry hardwood stickers may stain and mark the green lumber. If needed we can provide the stickers and stack the lumber in our lumberyard. Sticker-stacking the lumber prepares it for drying, which includes air-drying followed by kiln-drying.
Air-drying is done by placing the sticker-stacked lumber outside while covering its top with a sheet of tin to protect against the rain and the sun, and preferably some weight on the top to help keeping the lumber flat. A few weeks of air-drying reduces the moisture content (MC) of the lumber from 60-80% to 20-30%. It also helps the chemical interactions in the wood to stabilize and prepare the wood for kiln-drying. Lack of proper air-drying may result in stains, and excessive checking and warping of the lumber. Proper air-dried lumber takes a relatively short time to kiln-dry and results a better quality of lumber. Some people believe that air-drying is enough, and kiln-drying isn't necessary. Fact is, that air-drying can do only so much, and won't bring down MC of the wood lower than 12%. To have a stable wood for use in the household and in furniture-making, MC must be brought down to 6%-8%, which is only reachable when a kiln is used. Furthermore, air-drying won't eliminate the bugs and fungi that may live inside the lumber. For that, the sterilization phase using high temperature is used at the end of kiln-drying.