The term “seasoning woods” is just another way of saying “drying woods” and this process is nearly carried out on woods that are used for the making of furniture as well as those that are used for construction. Unseasoned woods are indeed physically more adorable. However, one thing that you have to consider about them is that they can weaken and dilate and could be subjected to decaying if you fail to prepare them well.
Moreover, unseasoned woods are also prone to pests and insects. When you season your woods, you can potentially preserve them and liberate them from pests. But the question now is – how long does it take to season wood?
The Process of Seasoning Woods
The most common method when drying out wood is through seasoning. This is the process where the wood is simply left outdoor to naturally dry out over a lengthy period. But with regards to how long does it take to season wood – well, the answer could vary. Although basically, it will take around 6 months, at the minimum, to fully dry wood. However, you should understand that this is simply a figure. There is a chance for it to even reach beyond 6 months.
Each kind of wood has a unique moisture content, thus, it can be quite complicated to tell specifically when it can fully dry. Moreover, several factors could affect the duration of the seasoning:
Kind of Wood
As mentioned earlier, the kind of wood can tell both the original moisture level and the duration of the seasoning. Deciduous species like Ash or Oak will normally take a long time to the season as compared to softwoods from the pine trees.
Deciduous trees are longer to cultivate as compared to coniferous trees. This characteristic has led to denser logs. And consequently, denser logs take longer to dry as compared to those that are uncompressed.
Typically, seasoning softwoods can take around 6 months. Seasoning hardwoods, on the other hand, will take longer but is within one year.
Nevertheless, there is an advantage for seasoning hardwood – despite taking a longer period to fully dry. Since hardwoods are known for being denser, you can expect them to last longer when exposed to fire. They can also generate more heat and create cleaner burns resulting in minimal smoke.
Time of Cutting the Wood
Many may not know, however, the natural content of moisture of wood may differ throughout the time of the year. During the summer and spring seasons, the level of moisture is higher. Likely, the level of moisture is lower when it is winter season.
Your wood’s starting level of moisture plays a big part in the seasoning process. The higher your wood’s moisture content is, the longer it will take to season. Hence, it is recommended to cut your woods when it is winter season.
Setup of the Wood
To dry out the wood well, the stack should have one side that is exposed to the atmosphere. Sun and wind are the main players that make headway for the seasoning. With one side exposed, it lets the wind facilitate the drying of the wood throughout the time of the year.
How to know if you have Seasoned Properly?
Just by simply checking your woods, you can tell already whether it has fully dried. Locate for rifts that develop in the wood’s end grains. The cracks emanate from heartwood to sapwood. This is an indication that your wood has dried already. However, radial inspection is only one of the several ways to check whether you have seasoned properly. You should perform this method along with other ways.
It is also important that you check the color of the wood. Woods that are seasoned properly exhibit darker colors. If you took time to notice the transformation of the color, you may have seen that the color transforms from white going to yellow, then going to gray. The fresh fragrance of wood is an indication that your wood is still far from drying.
Once cut, woods will naturally dry as the protective bark inhibits the moisture content from dispersing. By breaking your woods into little parts, you can have a bigger surface area which leads to lower density. Thus, you can season woods quicker.
How long does it take to season wood? At this time, you can have a proper answer to this question. The process of seasoning can take time, so you will be needing a lot of determination and patience here. You have learned also that several factors could affect the rate of the seasoning process. Thus, the length of time to season wood may vary.
Although seasoning could take time, you should never disregard the value of this process considering the various health threats when burning unseasoned or greenwoods.