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March of last year. Our neighbor cut down a birch tree and i got a a piece of it to cut up for use later and at the time it sopping wet so i was curious how long does this take to dry. So i weighed all the pieces before i put them out to dry in the shed and ive been weighing them every month ever since so heres all my weight readings in microsoft excel and then i convert those to a percentage of initial weight and graft that and this tick mark here is one month after i started drying.
It and its already gone more than halfway to its final point two months three months and then at four months a lot of pieces except for the thickest. One the black line is 75 millimeters or three inches thick. They started to gain weight again because they got damp outside so i moved them into the basement and let them dry over the winter.
But realistically after about four months. Things were pretty close to their final weights already but they didnt converge on the same value and i think thats because the initial moisture content of the pieces wasnt quite the same because they came from different parts of the log.
So now adjusting it as a percentage of final weight. So the pieces start out about twice as heavy as they were in the final thing. And you can see they pretty much converge together and the thinnest piece here that would be the line in red basically even after a few days.
It was close to its final value. And then the next thinnest piece thats the purple line also came down pretty quickly after a month. It was just about there this is just after a few days.
So those are a good guidance for where they should end up because the thinnest pieces would of course dry the fastest. So once they converge everything is pretty much at equilibrium already and we can see here.
The weight is actually increasing again. And thats because the humidity in the basement is going up a little bit as it gets towards summer and these lines are all very close together. So i plotted this again on a different scale.
And you can see the red line kind of jumps around by increments because those are essentially one gram increments. But the other lines they pretty much follow each other very nicely conventional wisdom is that for every inch of thickness of wood. It will take one year to dry.
So this should have taken one year. And this should have taken three years.
But this only took maybe a couple of months to get to equilibrium. And this took maybe six or eight months so much much faster than expected now for these thick pieces. What may have happened is that the moisture is actually much more able to travel along the grain.
So it came out the ends instead of having to go through the sides. Which is to say if these pieces were much longer they may have taken quite a bit longer to dry. But still this is way way faster than youd expect them to dry of course.
If i kept the wood outside all year. It probably wouldnt dry very much during the winter. But still lesson here is wood can dry way faster than conventional wisdom says it should .
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