Wood is a great material to work with, whether for construction or for burning, but with both uses, it’s important to fully dry the material first before using it. This process is known as wood seasoning. It can take quite a long time to remove all of the moisture, but if you’re wondering how to season wood quickly, there are a few steps you can take. In this article, we will be looking at the best ways to season wood, and how you can get a faster result.
Why Does Wood Need Seasoning?
As a living organism, trees continually pump water through their trunks to feed themselves. This means that’s once it has been chopped, there will be a significant amount of water present in the wood.
Wood in this form isn’t practical for use. If you try to burn it, it will be tricky to light and produce massive amounts of smoke. If you try to build with it, it will be likely to warp or bend as the moisture evaporates. Seasoning the wood means that it shrinks before use in a controlled way.
Wood that has been dried is much stronger than moist wood, and it’s also a lot lighter, which means transportation costs are reduced. Paints and varnishes are much easier to use without the presence of moisture, and the wood is far less likely to develop mould or grow mildew after it has been dried.
Ways to Dry Wood
There are two main ways that wood is dried, either by letting it dry naturally or by using a kiln. Drying naturally can take a long time, especially with damper timber, but it can be done in a more controlled way than when using a kiln. The process for creating the best type of wood, therefore, takes a lot longer. Reducing the seasoning time by any method will result in an inferior product.
For example, the best way to season firewood will take at least six months. Before you dry it, you should shape the wood to the right size for where you will be burning it.
This means cutting the length and splitting it to the right size. Usually, you will want pieces to be no more than six inches in cross section. The wood must be properly because if bark surrounds it, the moisture will be retained.
You should then stack the wood to it is exposed to the sun and means cutting the length and splitting it to the right size. you will want pieces to be no more than six inches in cross section. The wood must be split to dry because if the moisture will be retained. You should then stack the wood to it is exposed to the sun and wind, and then leave it for at least 6 months, or longer.
How to Quickly Dry Out Wood
Waiting for a year for your wood to dry out may not be practical, so there are ways to shorten the time. As previously mentioned, you could use a kiln. This method is often used at timber mills by large manufacturers who don’t want to keep large amounts of inventory lying around while they wait for it to be ready. It can be costly and won’t be as effective, but it’s what you’ll usually see in stores when buying panels for building furniture.
In the example of drying out your firewood, there are some principles to understand that will help you dry it out quicker. First is that the more the surface area of the wood, the quicker it will dry. This doesn’t include the part covered by bark, because it’s a protective layer, rather the inner part that is exposed by splitting.
The more you split the wood, the quicker it will dry. If you had thin slices, for example, they would dry extremely quickly, but they aren’t as useful, so it’s a trade off between speed and size.
Exposure to sun helps to dry the wood by warming it and causing the moisture to evaporate. You want each piece to get plenty of sunlight, so the more you can space it out the more effective it will be.
This principle is also important for airflow. A breeze will blow away the moist air that contains the water that has evaporated, and make room for more water to be absorbed into the air. The more air that flows past, the more water that can be removed.
The final piece of advice to dry wood quicker is the first step you will take, and it’s about the type of wood you use in the first place. If you are buying the wood, make sure you get product that is already fairly dry. This will mean that it’s closer to a usable state already and won’t take as much effort from you.
How to Season Wood Quickly: The Final Verdict
Wood isn’t as useful when it’s been freshly chopped, so it’s important to dry it out before working with it. When it’s dry, it is stronger, easier to shape, and better to burn on a fire. If you’re looking for how to season wood quickly, there are a few tricks you can use to reduce the time you need to wait, but it’s always going to be a time consuming process.
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