Free Wood & How to Dry It for Woodworking in a Small Shop

Free wood is a cornerstone of my business model as I couldn’t be competitive with a 20-50% cost penalty. Plus using what’s available offers lots of diversity and fun experience. It doesn’t cost much more than a little knowledge, planning and patience to dry wood even in a small shop.

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Referenced Videos:

20 Minute Bowl – https://youtu.be/hwu0R5a1QGc
Make a Kiln – https://youtu.be/Du5YGAtVL3k
Rough Turning – https://youtu.be/xYm8-taV998
Shelving – https://youtu.be/04cmpJsBzrk
Tree to Bowl – https://youtu.be/E6tCVQP1DDY
Tree Butchery – https://youtu.be/5zQsF9UrQ5Y

Wood and Moisture Relationships – Oregon State University (pdf download) – https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/downloads/td96k297v
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20 Replies to “Free Wood & How to Dry It for Woodworking in a Small Shop”

  1. I like your videos but dang bro I wish you would get to what the title is about and not talk on about your sells pitch and the problem with lumber mills.

  2. damn i do it similiar make knife and use almost only local wood i harvested myself, but i am not as profician in drying it

  3. I have no pretense that I will ever get into this hobby to this extent, but I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed watching your video….and yes, learning something as well. I am a retired federal wildlands manager here in western Massachusetts…..and it never fails to amaze me how much beautiful lumber is felled by power companies, summer windstorms and winter blizzards. And for the most part, it ends up in a wood stove or simply left to rot. Maple, beech, oak, cherry….up to 15, 20, 25 dbh — and more — in some cases. You made a wonderful case of a personal connection to local species, amigo! Bravo-Zulu on a great presentation!

  4. The desert has lots of trees. I’m high desert and have some of the best junipers like alligator juniper and cedars. We have crap wood like piñon pine too, but it’s great for medicinal teas, fat wood, and sap salves. Everything has a use. I’m just learning about woodworking for a hobby and I’m excited to get started. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This may be a silly question, and I'm think it is as I ask it, how much does bark no bark matter? Someone in my neighborhood cut down some thin trunk trees (6" at the most and 3" the least) and just for fun and learning I thought about taking it and drying and hopefully using it. I don't have a lathe so most likely it would be for boxes and such. Should I remove the thin layer of bark or does it even matter? Or, should I even bother?

  6. Super stuff. I felt very upset when I found a guy chainsawing up hardwood that floated in off the sea at Troon as he said he was intending to burn it as firewood. Grrrr. All I could think of was how nice it'd be if instead of burning it all he cut it up and made blanks for a woodturner and only burned the waste materials instead.

  7. Great video! Such informative content, well presented too. 👍🏼 Can you offer any insight on recognizing fallen tree species? Since most trees in my area would fall in the winter or early spring from rain storms, there are no leaves to help identify what species have fallen.

  8. AWESOME content and presentation! I am now a new sub to your channel. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and talent!!

  9. Great video. I'm a cheapass when it comes to buying wood. But, I'm fortunate to own some property with trees I can harvest. And, it helps to have a good friend that owns a sawmill. It's a pleasure to make pieces from catalpa, mulberry, honey locust, elm and many other woods you're not going to find at the store or lumber yard.

  10. What if I didn't cut the logs into blanks before they started splitting? I have some pecan, cypress, and maybe cedar/juniper. I don't have a chain saw and only a 5" resaw capacity on my bandsaw. I've thought about getting just a cheap electric or battery powered chainsaw just for occasional use in my garage for cutting up blanks.

  11. Instead of coating the wood ends, how would it work if you cut it longer and let it crack? Then cut it to a proper length. I read somewhere that most wood needs to be cut to length our it will twist in log form worse. But there is a couple of species that needs to be in log form until it dries because it will twist badly when cut in lengths.

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