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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see wood blanks being sold that still need drying time (few years) so the obvious question is how do they need to be dried? Been thinking of maybe getting one and leaving it to dry and use for a custom stock in a few years.

Separately, what is the nicest type of wood for a dark color with nice grain? Seems Black Walnut is really nice, what else? Does Burlwood work for stock?

Thanks

Edit - Just found some pics of Turkish Walnut and it looks amazing.
 

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Stack them up in your garage in the shade. Use a spacer between each blank. Then forget them for a couple of years. That's the cheap mans way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·


Yeah ok that's easy, but I live in NJ, NOT a dry climate so I don't want it to take a decade. And then how do you know when it's ready?
 

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Wood will never dry until it has been in a kiln.. I dont care how many years it has been in the barn loft at 110 degrees.. it has to be kiln dried..
 

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Use a wood sensor. You can buy them at any woodworking supply dealer, I think (can't recall exactly. I haven't stored blanks in a log time) about 7% moisture. That's a guesstimate. If your concerned about humidity, put them in a indoor closet, attic, or heater/boiler room. You don't need a kiln.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·


Actually a good idea....my boiler/utility room is always hot like high-80's and dry. That would be pretty good for it.
 

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I heard the ends need to be painted so they don't dry too quick.

worked on an air conditioning unit for a guy that owns a saw mill he has 4 buildings he uses a kilns, they use air conditioning because the lumber can dry to quick and the ends check and split, he showed me some examples, it was pretty interesting, not sure what is required for a stock blank.



tony
 

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Kiln Drying not going to work. It'll have to be a full load of the same species and thickness. Would be worried about drying to fast in there too.
Air Drying is the safest. Attic or basement. I'm in CT and bought two blanks from Mike Mann. He said Three years air drying down to 8 to 10%. Our winters here are dry 20% or less. Attic is where there going. Set it and for get it.
Black Walnut/Royal Walnut are dark and nice. Burled wood is a tough one. Not much straight grain. That's bad for the pounding our Trap guns take. I had a chance to buy a 100% burled Turkish down at Krieghoff International. Don said are you going to shoot the gun or look at it. I said shoot it. He replied "Put down that piece of burled" Dave T.
 

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I have seen a poor mans kiln. It was a sealed box that could take 8 or 10 foot boards. It had a clear top for what ever reason. It had a built in fan and a dehumitifier(sp). The hose was sticking out the side of the box so the water it made went out and didn't stay in the box. People said it worked great. You might want to think about it.
 

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I have a half dozen custom stocks that were built from blanks sourced from Ernie Paulson in Chinook, Montana. he would visit mills in California and Oregon to buy his "green" walnut and myrtle blanks and then bring them home and air dry them in his shed for at least 3 years. They never saw a kiln as he didn't believe in that method. They are all stable and I've had no problem with them. I restocked my Ljutic with a very nice piece of marblecake California English Walnut form him and have been shooting it that way for 18 years....
 

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vpr,

Responded to your email with the wisdom I've gleaned from 40 years of talking with, listening to and supplying blanks to some of the most experienced stock makers in the country. Let me know your preference regarding wood type, color, grain flow, layout, stripe and figure and I'll offer some suggestions.

Mike Mann
 

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I believe kiln drying came about to hurry up the process of drying lumber. It is not the best way to dry lumber, particularly furniture grade wood. Kiln drying is for mass produced, production line lumber. A friend of mine makes custom furniture and uses naturally dried saw logs from the upper midwest. He claims that kiln drying "washes" out the colors in walnut. Kiln dried walnuts can have a greyish color and they are more uniform in color. Naturally dried walnut is much, much nicer looking wood with an astounding array of colors in the wood.

I think you do want to seal the end grain so the wood dries more uniformly and not all via the ends of the blank.

John
 
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