Close inspection of black cherry (Prunus serotina), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and northern red oak (Quercus rubra) lumber, before and after kiln drying, revealed the factors that can affect the quality of kiln-dried lumber from small-diameter logs. Species-specific kiln drying schedules, with temperature and humidity modifications formulated by a kiln drying expert, were employed in this study to determine whether alternate drying protocols could improve the drying outcomes. Comparing lumber grades of individual boards before and after drying indicated that overall grade loss in the kiln was common but was affected by both species and the applied drying schedule. Most lumber defects were attributed to stresses that occurred during the drying process and were more prevalent in the post-drying inspection, with bow defects being the exception. The modified kiln schedules improved the drying defect outcomes for the black cherry and red oak compared with the conventional schedules for these species. For the sugar maple, the schedule-based improvement was less consistent. For the black cherry and red oak, the percentage of boards whose grade decreased using conventional kiln protocols was approximately 10% lower than that of the lumber that was dried using the modified kiln protocols. Sugar maple had a smaller change of 7%.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Waste Management and Disposal