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Author Topic: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock  (Read 8375 times)

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Offline cbla

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Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« on: December 18, 2014, 06:34:40 am »
Hello All,

New to the forum and wished I found this site years ago. I have 5 Eastern Hemlocks that I need to take down. I plan on getting them milled to 1" boards for a outbuilding. These will be air dried. I plan on cutting them this winter and mill them in the spring. Will air drying them over a east coast Canadian summer have the lumber at a usable level by the fall?

Thanks for any advice

Offline DaleK

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 06:51:11 am »
What part of the building? Around here the only way we use hemlock is to nail it up green, right off the mill. If it isn't fastened down it's almost impossible to keep it straight as it dries, and it gets hard and splintery fast.
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Offline cbla

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 06:53:53 am »
most likely going to  use it for board and batten. how much shrinkage would occur putting it up green?
thanks

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 07:03:10 am »
Probably enough to get your little finger in,about a inch. Green is the way to go with hemlock. I use it some. I used 10 inch boards and 4 inch batten on a horse run in. I liked the looks of the wide batten better. I did have to cheat on a few boards that was that quite 10 inches.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2014, 08:23:48 am »
I saw 15-20 mbf of this species a year and sell it green or air dried.
I find that a board sawed at 12" dries to about 11 7/8" or slightly under.
Put up green is a good way to go, but I have no issues with warpage when air drying.
It will dry about 80 percent of the way in about 5 or 6 weeks IMO.
Maybe Doctor  Gene will weigh in on this.

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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 08:56:08 am »
One of the issues with many trees of eastern hemlock is that they get the bacterial infection which weakens the wood (interior checking, end splits, planer defects and more) and also results in wet pockets (high MC zones after drying).  This is more frequent with older trees and trees grown in wet sites; and trees not in a forest, but on the edges or in a pasture, etc.  This issue is only in the butt log.  Much of the problem is passed on to the next person if you sell it green.  We never had warping issues with eastern hemlock.  But the wet pockets mean extra long drying times and a risk of over-drying the "normal" wood.

Board and batten is a great way to use green wood, but be sure to nail it only on one edge so the other edge can move.  Hemlock shrinks, on the average 6.8% in width for a flatsawn piece, going from wet to bone dry.  I would suggest you use no less than 6% shrinkage, so on a 10" wide green piece, it will shrink a bit over 1/2" when dry.  Of course, you need the batten to hold the edge, so you will need a good bit more under the batten when dry to hold the lumber onto the wall.  One important consideration are the nails or screws used for the batten...always use fasteners that will not corrode and stain the wood.  If you use a nails, use a nail design that will hold well- -do not use a plain, shinny shanked nail, as they can pull out too easily.  You will want a large head too so the nail cannot easily pull through the batten.  If you have never done B&B before, talk to a good builder for advice...there are a few special tricks that will help.  (Examples:  Even though the lumber is green, still leave a very small space between boards.  It would be best if there are horizontal framing members to provide a great nailing surface.)
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline cbla

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2014, 09:38:26 am »
Thanks for the info!

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2014, 07:20:08 pm »
Galvanized nails work for me.

 

 

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Offline cbla

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2014, 07:41:20 pm »
those boards look sweet. did you put anything on them or let them grey with the weather.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2014, 07:49:52 pm »
Used motor oil is the stain I used. I "stained" it after really 2 summers. I built it in the winter and let it dried out and stained it the following summer.
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Online Peter Drouin

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2014, 09:38:22 pm »
It will dry straight If you had straight logs. :D :D :D :christmas:
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Offline cbla

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2014, 05:34:37 am »
straight logs = straight lumber with Eastern Hemlock? After all the advice I will put it up green. Now for flooring with Hemlock is it just too splintery? Even if planed?   

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2017, 07:26:15 am »
Used motor oil is the stain I used. I "stained" it after really 2 summers. I built it in the winter and let it dried out and stained it the following summer.
Hi thecfarm.  I've not heard of this before.  I know some people use motor oil to treat post ends before putting them in concrete but never heard of using it as a stain.  So, straight out of the tractor?
Constantly reinventing the wheel...

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Air Drying Eastern Hemlock
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2017, 01:16:27 pm »
Yep,straight out of the truck. I guess it could be tractor oil too,if that's what I had.
Had a horse that like to chew,oil stain kinda slowed that problem down some.  steve_smiley
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