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Does Anyone Have Any Tricks To Drying Out Lumber?


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I just bought some 4x4's that I'm going to use to put my safe on to keep it off the concrete floor in my basement. However, these 4x4's are soaking wet. is there anything I can do to dry these things out within a weeks time? I put them in my basement and raised them off the floor with the dehumidifier right next to it for the past few days but I can't notice any difference. I took one outside today and stood it up in the sun to see if that helps any. Is there any tricks I can do to dry these things out or should I just not use them yet? I don't want to put my safe on wet wood because of obvious reasons. I'm going to be covering the wood with vinyl flooring before putting the safe on it but I would think that would be worse because it would hold the moisture in? This is pressure treated lumber by the way.

Thanks in advance,

Pete

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Being in the sun should definitely speed things up. I recently replaced some boards on my deck with new ones that were literally dripping wet with the pressure treatment liquid. We installed them butted tightly to each other, and within a week they had dried so much there was a 1/4" gap between them. I would think putting them in the sun, with something holding them up so they get air circulation on all sides, would be the best thing you could do for them.

Arnie

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Ah, heck, I'll throw my 2 cents in here on this, seeing how I know a little bit about wood and all.

Yep, leaving it in the sun will work. BUT, chances are your 4 X 4's were cut from the center of the tree. Look at the endgrain. If it looks like a Bullseye target, su'nuf it was cut from the center of the tree.

That little tidbit of info combined with the fact that pressure treated stuff is soaking wet will have that wood a'twisting and a'checking if left out in the sun to bake.

See having the center of the treee, the pith, in a piece of wood subjects it to all sorts of weird (drying) stresses. A "bullseye" board is guaranteed to check/split on you.

If you do leave it on the sun, rotate it each day so a different face of the board gets bombarded by sunlight each day.

Now, if builders would just think ahead and put a moisture barrier (visqueen or 6 mil poly sheeting) on compacted gravel before they poured the concrete floor you wouldn't have to worry about moisture wicking up through it and you wouldn't need PT'ed wood.

(oops, rant mode off, sorry. LOL)

PM sent PistolPete

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Thanks for the info. We are getting rain storm for tomorrow so I brought the wood back into the house. Next week the weather is going to be really nice without any rain. I'll put the lumber on my back deck on the rails so the air can get under the wood as well. I will rotate the lumber each day. Should I cut the wood to the size I need or should I keep it at the 8' length? Will it dry faster if it is shorter? Thanks for all your advice. So I can expect to have this lumber dry by next weekend?

Thanks,

Pete

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PistolPete, I would say that if you cut it now in its soaking wet state down to two 4 footers or whatever, the moisture is going to quickly leave the end grain of those fresh cut ends. Too quickly, probably making it split, check, warp, bow, although over 3 feet or so it can't twist, bow, warp, etc. that badly.

I suppose you could cut 'em and then seal there ends with latex paint. That will slow the rate at which the water or ACQ chemicals leave the wood.

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Since you are just using them to hold your safe off the floor a little warpage isn't a big deal.

Were it me I would put them outside but out of direct sunlight. Raise them up so the air gets all around them.

I bet they will be bone dry in less than two days.

al

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Pistol Pete:

Pressure treated wood in my book is to be used for direct contact with the elements as in soil water ect. Why would you need it in a clean dry basement?

Build a base frame from 2X4 lumber screwed together standing edge wise with lateral support bars every 8 inches. Top it with 3/4 plywood if you want and if you build it square and plumb it will hold up any safe you have. No need for pressure treated or the concerns over wetness you have.

My "platform" spans over 3 floor joists in my upstairs reloading room and is bolted down for security. It's trimmed with hardwood moldings to match the room and the safe (over 1000 lbs.) doesn't move a bit.

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I had already purchased the 4x4's last week so I'm committed to using them. I took the advice I received in this post and my 4x4's are now all dry. Now I just have to build my little shelf and find a way to get the safe into the basement.

Pete

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