Drying of submerchantable length dimensional lumber Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vh53wx856

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  • As lumber producers are faced with a diminished and increasingly expensive raw material, the need to maximize resource recovery will increase. Trim-ends (particularly from waned boards) often contain some of the highest quality wood in any given log and lack functionality only in length. This waste, traditionally chipped for pulp, can be finger-jointed into lumber if the material can be dried properly for gluing. This research explores how different length submerchantable pieces dry relative to each other and merchantable lumber when subjected to typical commercial drying schedules as well as how trim-ends in two different charge configurations perform in a conventional dry kiln. Sixteen -foot long, Douglas-fir boards in nominal four, six and eight inch widths were used to produce simulated trim-ends in 0.5-, 1.0-, 1.5-, 2.0-, 2.5- and 3.5-foot lengths. Eight-foot-long boards were also dried as a comparison to the simulated trimends. One course of each width was stacked tight while a second was stacked with a 0.375 inch space between the ends of the blocks. Four charges were dried using United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended schedules for high and low grade Douglas-fir. Eight by four foot, self stickered aluminum racks with slots corresponding to each of the sampled widths and a wire-mesh box (random piled), loaded with actual trim-ends and subjected to the USDA low-grade Douglas-fir schedule, were compared. Although it was demonstrated that length affects the final moisture content of pieces with similar anatomy and initial moisture content, it is not a significant factor in determining the mean final moisture content of the average charge of short blocks. Using the methods in this experiment, sorting by length would not be necessary. Current commercial kiln schedules are likely in appropriate for drying short pieces. An applicable schedule should be developed using real time moisture content monitoring in the kiln (i.e. load-cells). Providing a space between blocks can significantly accelerate the drying rate of fresh lumber and may have a greater effect when combined with an appropriate kiln schedule. The aluminum racks and the wire-mesh box exhibited comparable final moisture content deviation when used to dry trim-ends. The space efficiency of the wire-mesh box was it primary disadvantage and was approximately 63 percent that of the aluminum racks.
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