Properly Kiln Drying Antique Wood

Properly Kiln Drying Antique Wood

Rare, antique wood must be handled with great care.  One reason why Goodwin is considered the industry gold standard is our meticulous kiln drying process. There are many reasons for properly kiln drying the wood to a consistent moisture content, including eliminating and preventing mold and bugs. Our founder and company sawyer, George Goodwin, ensures each board is properly kiln dried and precisely milled to the highest standards.  Let’s take a look at our signature kiln drying process.

Prepping the Wood

We examine each River-Recovered® log and reclaimed board or beam to ensure we are preserving the best and most beautiful sections of the wood. Our company sawyer, George Goodwin, carefully saws the wood.  The ends of the boards are then sealed with a wax-based product to prevent cracking and checking.

Air Dry

The sawn wood then needs time to properly air dry. It takes a few weeks for River-Recovered heart pine to achieve its ideal moisture content. River-Recovered heart cypress can take several months due to a higher fiber saturation point.

Pre Dry

After air drying, the wood is then sent to Goodwin’s ‘pre-dryer’, which is comprised of 16 fans (4’ across each) that blow air across the boards in stacks. We allow 1” between each layer to ensure the air circulates around each board.

Dehumidification Dry Kiln

Antique heart pine and heart cypress is very dense. Kiln drying fast with steam causes cracking and checking. Goodwin has invested in a dehumidification dry kiln that dries the wood slowly over the course of several weeks to ensure the ideal moisture content is achieved without affecting its quality.

Monitor Moisture Content

The moisture content of the wood is monitored several times a day. We slowly increase the temperature until 140 degrees is consistently achieved across the entire load. Once the wood comes out of the kiln, we let it relax for a few days before milling it into our signature River-Recovered and reclaimed heart pine and heart cypress.

The following video shows pallets of River-Recovered and reclaimed wood being placed into our dehumidification dry kiln.  Enjoy!