We have been drying and milling lumber since 1985.
We Kiln Dry Hardwood Lumber 4/4 and 5/4 to the moisture content 6% to 8%. Such as Red Oak, Ash & Cypress.
Softwood for furniture grade 4/4 and 5/4 is dried to 12% to 14%. Such as Pine.
The time it takes dry is dependent on the amount of moisture in the material. The wetter it is the longer it takes. For example dead green oak 4/4 or 5/4 takes about 4 to 5 weeks. If the material has been air drying for approximate 6 weeks the moisture should be about 30% to 50%. This would take about 3 to 4 weeks to dry. If the material has been air drying for approximate 6 months the moisture should be about 20% to 30%. This would take about 1 to 3 weeks to dry. If you have had the material stored in a hot tin barn for 6 months the moisture content is not going dry down to 6% to 8%. It’s only going to dry what ever the surrounding air is which is almost all ways wet here is Southwest Louisiana.
If you build any furniture or cabinets out of material that is going to be stored in side your house where the air conditioner and heat is on, that has not been kiln dried the boards are going to shrink and the joints are going to open up.
The capacity of our kiln is approximate 3000 board feet in one charge. The longest material we can get in the kiln is approximately 23 feet. The type of kiln we use is a dehumidification kiln, which does a very good job on minimizing degrading. The kiln is forklift loaded this only takes about an hour to unload and reload.
We use an old Woods Brothers 406B Surfacer, that was manufactured in 1917, set up to surface the top & bottom S2S, up to 14 1/2” wide, after the material goes through the kiln. The quality of the planning job is about the same as framing lumber. We mainly use this to clean and flatten the material so we grade the material.
We use a home made rip saw to cut a straight edge on one edge and also a moveable saw to cut the other edge. Example to cut out blanks for the molder.
We use a 15” single head planer to do finish planning. The quality of this planer is almost like it has been sanded.
We use a single head shaper 3 hp. to mill edge profiles. Example to make cabinet doors, walk through doors and other edge profiles. Bid per job.
We use one of two profile grinders to make and to resharpening knives for the molder and shaper cutter heads.
We use a Hermance (four head cut all four sides all in one pass) molder to produce most of our moldings that includes flooring, crown, base, siding, quarter round, shoe, ect… We have approximately 400 sets of knives.
I am currently working on a catalog to be out soon.