Oak score: 2 years down and still not seasoned!

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by albin, May 12, 2008.

  1. albin

    albin Newbie

    A friend of mine cut down an oak about two years or so ago. We went and got a small pickup load of it this weekend. The stuff that was cut up and stacked on the side of the trail was punky and didn't look good, so we just cut the parts that was still in the air.

    The wood looked very solid and new. I split it up and started to use some on my smoker yesterday and I heard the dreaded HISS! It looks like the 2 year down oak still has some moisture in it.

    Now that it's split and stacked, any idea how long it will take to dry out?


  2. albin

    albin Newbie

    I didn't take the stuff that was stacked, it was too rotten and punky. We cut the ends of the tree that were still in the air from where it fell.

    6-7 months? That pretty much kills it for this summer then. Anyway to quicken the process?


  3. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Split 'em small , stack with cris crosses for good air flow , up off the ground and in lots of sun. Still takes lots of time though , I've got some apple I cut last winter and some pin cherry I just brought home that I cut last fall. It'll be a while , but once you start collecting , you can get a year ahead if you try.

    Gonna try some pre burning to help speed up this years stuff so I can use it.

  4. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You COULD "grill" it too. But the short lengts split will take a couple months tops.
  5. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A lot depends on the conditions where you live. If it is fairly humid, mild summers, and not very windy, it could take quite awhile. If you lived by the mill where I used to work as a dry kiln operator with 100+ temps from May to September, lots of wind and 15% humidity during the day, I would bet you could airdry it in 6 weeks. We used to airdry 4/4 (1" thick) Ponderosa Pine lumber fresh off the log, stacked in the airdry yard to 19% in 2 weeks in the summer, but pine is a softwood and oak is a hardwood and gives up its moisture a lot slower.

    To maximize the airdrying process, you want to stack the lengths on thin strips called "stickers" which were 1x2 strips that the lumber was stacked on to allow more airflow. Use whatever you have available, just something to increase the airflow between the splits. You could crisscross the splits but stacking the splits all one way and using something else to hold them apart will help them dry faster. The lumber and stickers were stacked in alternating directions. Stack your wood where the prevailing winds will blow lined up with the splits that you are trying to dry -- not crosswise which would seem to make more sense. Put it in a place that gets gooe airflow when the wind is blowing -- where I had my smoker on Saturday would make a GREAT spot for airdrying lumber but that's another story.

    Of course all of this isn't absolutely necessary. People dry firewood just stacked normally all of the time. I am just suggesting this if you want to dry it as fast a possible without access to a dry kiln.

  6. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    stack the split wood bark side up to shed rain and aid in the drying process too!Like this.

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