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Age dried wood can be used in place of kiln dried wood?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by NoPaint, Oct 6, 2009.

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  1. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    So I bought some plans that teach you how to make a wood hot tub. Then I am going to make a wood fired heating system for it.

    Here is the question: I need to use "kiln dried" wood. This is so that when I fill it with water the wood swells up good and tight. Well I also want to save money doing this because a project like this is really not in the "necessary" stuff budget but more in the "fun-not needed" budget. Well on craigslist there is tons of wood that has been sitting indoors for 2 or more years. Some that have been sitting for 25 or so years! Would this stuff be as dry as needed or not? I assume kiln drying might just do what nature does but faster. No reason I can tell that wood that has been sitting wouldn't wick all the water out of itself.


    Next, the wood that has been recommended in order are Redwood, Douglas Fir, Cedar, White Oak, and Pine. Well on craigslist I can't get TOO picky. For example lots of cherry from time to time and such. Wouldn't really any wood work? Further, could I mix and match the wood?

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Much of the supposed kiln dried wood I used to build my house was anything but dry. I store lumber up in the rafters of my woodshed and it gets much drier than any kiln dried wood I ever bought except perhaps some specialty hardwoods for cabinetmaking.
  3. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    That is what I figured. When I go to the craigslist posters homes I will just make sure they were properly stored.


    Now on to the wood choice. Oak sure seems to do Jack Daniels barrels ok. I am thinking really any dry would would work for a huge barrel.
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Just out of curiosity, what is the advantage of a wood hot tub?
  5. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    To me the advantage is that I can make it for cheap. If I buy wood at market rate it will be around $1,000 in just wood. If I go by prevailing craigslist board foot prices I am looking at $300 in wood. Add in miscellaneous fasteners and such and I am looking at another $100 lets say. Then I want to make a stove out of an old copper pot to install in the tub. This will have a smoke stack and keep the water warm.

    All in all I think a cooler soaking experience than hopping in and hitting some switches. Plus I don't need jets.
  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Gotcha, so more of a boiler than a stove. How big a tub?
  7. m0jumb0

    m0jumb0 New Member

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    what do the plans call for to use for rings around the outside? my parents have a snorkel stove company tub and it uses 3/4" round bar with threads at the end and some special blocks that they thread through to tighten up the staves. i've been wanting to build my own tub, but that's been my stumbling block... trying to figure out how to keep things tight and round
  8. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like quite the fun project. Just something neat about a wood hot tub, heated with wood.

    My .02 on the wood - I think you'd be fine with most anything dry whether it is "kiln dried" or not. Most of the woods listed are fairly rot resistant or known to be decent around water...the ever popular redwood, then pine / fir with all the resin, oak - long used in the wine/whiskey industry, etc. I have heard cherry has a tendency to rot fairly fast and Id assume you'd want this project to last as long as possible. Mixing woods might give a neat visual effect, but I would wonder if there wouldn't be issues with the different woods expanding at different rates due to heat and or moisture. If you absolutely had to mix woods, you might opt for a solid 1/2 the tub in one wood and 1/2 in the other or 1/4, 1/4, etc that way you'd only have a few joints where the different woods touch - as opposed to say alternating staves which would mean every joint may be subject to different expansion.

    Anyway, post up some pics as the project progresses.
  9. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    The plans call for exactly that. Apparently that block can be purchased but the site I was given hasn't worked. I think just making the bands and even welding the ends would work. Make it just a bit tighter and hammer it on. When you fill it with water and it swells it will expand against the bands apparently. It says it takes about 4 days for it to fully expand and from there on it will be water tight.
  10. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    So would pine be ok? I found on craigslist there are people selling pine at $0.50 a board foot. At that price this whole project would cost close to nothing! Which pine is better white or yellow? The first tub is a trial run so I just want it to last a couple years. Would pine last a couple years filled with water?
  11. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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