If you’ve ever planted a tree, you recognize the value of water in terms of the life and sustenance of the tree. Water travels from the ground up through the trunk of the tree and into the fibers and pores in the wood. A live tree thrives when it is saturated with water, which makes up about 30% of the weight of the tree. Once a tree is cut for production, it is considered “green” and naturally full of water. Eventually the wood will begin to dry and reach what is known as an equilibrium with the surrounding environment. Moisture from both the pores and the cell walls leaves the tree at varying stages and result in shrinkage. While air-drying a timber stack can take place naturally over time, there is a much faster and more efficient way to dry most woods. It’s called kiln drying, or oven drying.
Reason for Kiln Drying
Reaching Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) is optimum, as this means the wood is at a point in which it is not losing or gaining moisture, but the fact is this value can change where you have varying humidity or temperature changes. Wood fibers essentially swell when they absorb moisture and then shrink when moisture is released resulting in expansion and contraction. As part of the wood production process in order to minimize the issue of ever-changing and transforming wood parts, companies rely on kiln drying to speed up the wood drying process and prepare the wood for manufacturing into various wood parts for resale.
Wood Manufacturing Process and Kiln Drying
Kiln drying actually one of the later stages in the wood manufacturing process. Once trees are sawed and trimmed into boards or wood pieces and irregularities removed, the wood is sorted based on it’s dryness. There are uses for green wood as well. The dry wood is stacked using spacers in order for air to circulate among the wood and placed into kilns for further drying in a well controlled environment. The final stages in preparing the wood involve planing and grading. Some types of wood can take 30 days or more to dry properly. The kiln drying process helps in the waste reduction as well as the lifetime of the wood. Kiln drying generally takes place in kilns that are of temperatures between 110-280 degrees Fahrenheit where production operators monitor the humidity, temperature, and the wood’s moisture content. It is important that kiln dried wood is in a perfect state for use in order to avoid expense, rework, or poor wood products.
Measuring Moisture in Wood
The process of measuring moisture in wood is a delicate process and can be deceiving. If an oven is set to the wrong temperature or only some sections of wood test correctly due to the varying moisture among wood parts, the readings may be inaccurate. Most manufacturers use moisture meters of varying types to measure the moisture content in wood based on the type of wood. Manufacturers rely on state-of-the-art moisture meters of varying types that use built-in temperature corrections, stored measurements for deviations, and computer generated controls.
Count on Timberpart
You can count on Timberpart for high-quality, perfectly kiln dried lumber used in the supply of new cabinet wood. If want to learn more about custom wood cabinets and drawers for your construction projects or supplier needs, take the Timberpart factory tour. We stand behind superior kiln-dried timber products and excellent customer services, and we offer competitive prices for every order. You’ll enjoy discounted bulk order pricing along with sale options up to 30% on selected parts. Timberpart has been servicing customers for over seven years, supplying fine wood products to customers like you. Visit us online to view our photo gallery and expert workmanship or submit a request, and let us help you fulfill your production needs.