Trying 3 methods of red oak seasoning

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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,008
Marshall NC
Regarding my non ventilated wood shed:

The walls are white pine. The floor is pt Southern Yellow Pine 2x6s.
No mold grows in there, even when just loaded up with green wood. But it does get pretty humid. When you fill it up with green wood, at night you get condensation on the steel ceiling, and it drips onto the floor. This goes on for about a month. There might be a quart or two of water on the floor, and on the wood pile in the morning, a week after you have loaded it up with green wood. However, with the door shut, that will all evaporate by 11 am. And that water vapor passes right through the walls and floor. Floor a minimum of 16 inches above the ground.

If I am at home on a nice sunny day, right after I have loaded it up with green wood, I will wait until about 5 pm, for it to get really warm in there. Then I will open door to let the hyper humid air out. I will leave it open until dark.
When I was designing and building the wood shed, the idea was to make it non ventilated, and to rely on heat from the sun, and the ability of water vapor to pass through non painted and non stained wood.

I was designing a fan for the woodshed. Put a solar powered vent fan up high in the gable and a couple of intake vents down low. It would be good to blow out that warm humid air, there for about a month when you have just loaded the shed with green wood.
However the shed works fine as is, and to add an electric fan would be complicated. So I never installed the fan. Simpler is better than complicated.

We have had a cold, snowy winter and I have used up the entire left side of the wood shed, so it is time to replenish it. I will do a photo essay on it, going to fill it up with black walnut this time.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
Regarding my non ventilated wood shed:

The walls are white pine. The floor is pt Southern Yellow Pine 2x6s.
No mold grows in there, even when just loaded up with green wood. But it does get pretty humid. When you fill it up with green wood, at night you get condensation on the steel ceiling, and it drips onto the floor. This goes on for about a month. There might be a quart or two of water on the floor, and on the wood pile in the morning, a week after you have loaded it up with green wood. However, with the door shut, that will all evaporate by 11 am. And that water vapor passes right through the walls and floor. Floor a minimum of 16 inches above the ground.

If I am at home on a nice sunny day, right after I have loaded it up with green wood, I will wait until about 5 pm, for it to get really warm in there. Then I will open door to let the hyper humid air out. I will leave it open until dark.
When I was designing and building the wood shed, the idea was to make it non ventilated, and to rely on heat from the sun, and the ability of water vapor to pass through non painted and non stained wood.

I was designing a fan for the woodshed. Put a solar powered vent fan up high in the gable and a couple of intake vents down low. It would be good to blow out that warm humid air, there for about a month when you have just loaded the shed with green wood.
However the shed works fine as is, and to add an electric fan would be complicated. So I never installed the fan. Simpler is better than complicated.

We have had a cold, snowy winter and I have used up the entire left side of the wood shed, so it is time to replenish it. I will do a photo essay on it, going to fill it up with black walnut this time.
Have you ever considered putting a dehumidifier in there?
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,008
Marshall NC
Dammit you shouldn't have said that! I have a dehumidifier. If I just run a 50 foot extention cord out there I would have power out there.
A dehumidifier not only dries out the air, also warms the place up.

Now, in a few weeks I am going to load up the left side of the wood shed with green wood. Two piles, 7 1/2 feet long, 7 feet high.
Certainly 4,000 pounds of wood. Maybe more. And green wood is 50 percent water by weight, is it not?
So that is about 2,000 pounds of water. About 250 gallons of water. And it is going to be pretty dry in 8 months. So, about one gallon a day of water goes through those walls in the form of water vapor. Yes that is a ton of water through the walls and floor in 8 months.

Actually, in the first month probably 2 or 3 gallons of water per day are going through the walls. In the 8th month, probably a quart a day.

So 3 gallons a day to start off with. My dehumidifier will fill up the bucket in about 10 hours and that bucket holds about a gallon and a quart.

So, yes, that would be effective to run that dehumidifier at least for the first month. Could run it at night. With the sealed up woodshed, the heat generated by the dehumidifier would be kept inside the shed.
See, at night, in the first month when full of green wood, the water vapor is still passing through the walls all night long. No problem.
The problem is, the steel roof gets cooler that the warm humid air inside the wood shed, so some of the water vapor condenses on the ceiling. Sunshine hits the roof next morning 8am, all that water evaporates.

Here I am, all happy with my solar-powered wood drying shed, and you go putting ideas in my mind about wiring it up and adding the dehumidifier.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,057
Texas
@Simonkenton, I love your pictures of your woodshed, and your description of how it works. I think part of the beauty is that the wood seasons so efficiently in the time that you're finishing one burning season and beginning another. Dehumidifiers use an awful lot of power. Sure, it might dry the wood faster the first month, but why? You're not having problems with mold or rot, you say, and your wood is ready when you need it. Why spend the money to wire up a dehumidifier and run it? (I can see an argument if you're behind on your wood supply, of course, but I'm still not sure I would choose a dehumidifier over the fan ventilation in that case.)
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
@Simonkenton, I'm not sure if I should apologize or say you're welcome for asking about a dehumidifier. LOL Since I've been reading up on kilning wood and wood sheds, it was a thought that I've been meaning to ask. I was sure it's been considered before by someone, I seem to never have an original thought, although I I tell myself all the time that I bet no one else ever thought of that! LOL I think a dehumidifier would have it's place at certain times, in certain conditions. I'm working on a kiln, pretty much based on @Woodsplitter67 concept, and I've been meaning to ask him if he's ever considered trying to incorporate a dehumidifier in the middle of a couple rows before covering with plastic. I just hadn't gotten to that point yet, but I guess I am now. @DuaeGuttae certainly states a good case for "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

And if you do try it, we hooked up a drain line from the dehumidifier in our basement to a floor drain, so we don't have to stay on top of draining the bucket.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,081
Woolwich nj
@Simonkenton, I'm not sure if I should apologize or say you're welcome for asking about a dehumidifier. LOL Since I've been reading up on kilning wood and wood sheds, it was a thought that I've been meaning to ask. I was sure it's been considered before by someone, I seem to never have an original thought, although I I tell myself all the time that I bet no one else ever thought of that! LOL I think a dehumidifier would have it's place at certain times, in certain conditions. I'm working on a kiln, pretty much based on @Woodsplitter67 concept, and I've been meaning to ask him if he's ever considered trying to incorporate a dehumidifier in the middle of a couple rows before covering with plastic. I just hadn't gotten to that point yet, but I guess I am now. @DuaeGuttae certainly states a good case for "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

And if you do try it, we hooked up a drain line from the dehumidifier in our basement to a floor drain, so we don't have to stay on top of draining the bucket.

there is no reason to add a dehumidifier. The warmer the air the more moisture it can hold. for example.. it could be 85 degrees at your house and humid say 80% and its sunny.. the inside of the kin the temperature is alot higher.. say 130.. so the humidity would be say 40%.... so even though it feels uncomfortable out.. the air in the kiln is really dry.. this is what is helping season the wood so quickly...
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,008
Marshall NC
I am probably not going to add a dehumidifier, but it is an interesting idea.
I need to get to work whacking up black walnut and refilling the wood shed but we are having a snowy winter, ground near the shed is wet and has 3 inches of now on it I prefer to split wood in dry weather.
 
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ohlongarm

Minister of Fire
Mar 18, 2011
1,552
Northeastern Ohio
I seasoned red oak in one year that was incredible, I got some greenhouse plastic, made in Israel, covered the stacks half way down the stack in direct sunlight. One year 18% the water that evaporated out of the oak was unbelievable. A nursery near me gave me the plastic and the owner suggested I try this method, it worked.
 

Eric Minnis

New Member
Dec 25, 2020
46
NC
I may have to try that sometime. I burned a few pieces of this red oak and got a little bit of moisture out of the ends when burning. I went back and really buried my moisture meter in fresh splits and the readings went up to 19% on average so I will give it another year. The plastic you mention would allow me to season red oak in a year for sure.