Kitsap ​Dry Kiln

Questions & Answers

Answers to common questions we get at Kitsap Dry Kiln.

General Topics

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes.  When we send your invoice from our secure, online Quickbooks accounting system, it provides an online payment link where you can pay your bill with credit or debit cards; Visa, Mastercard, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or even Apple Pay. 

We prefer to be paid in person by cash or check, but we welcome credit cards too.

Can we pickup our wood now and pay you next week?

Sorry, but no.  We require payment for kiln drying before you pickup your wood.  For milling jobs, we will provide your invoice on the last day onsite and require payment at that time.

I want to buy custom lumber and timbers, do you sell them?

No, we only provide sawing and kiln drying services of your lumber, slabs and logs.  If you need to purchase speciality lumber, beams, posts or timbers, we can recommend a sawyer in your area.

What are drying defects, and can we avoid them?

Many defects are often not observed in green lumber and are first noted after the drying operation; they are often called “drying defects” even though most defects have started in the tree, log, or green lumber. Defects that begin with the logs include knots, ring shake, bark, mineral streaks, pitch pockets, compression and tension wood, juvenile wood, and spiral or interlocked grain, all of which form in the tree, directly influence the grade and value of each individual board.

There are defects that can be introduced during drying, though we take special care and use proven practices to avoid drying-induced defects.  Learn more in our paper titled "Lumber Drying Defects" under the Resources link.

What percentage of lumber normally has defects?

Across the lumber processing industry, it is expected that 3-5% of the lumber that is processed will be defective. We never expect that 100% of the lumber or slabs that are dried will be without defects.  For more information, please see our paper "Lumber Drying Defects" under the Resources link on this website.  

The most common defects we see are due to compression/tensioned wood, large knots, and warping of lumber that includes juvenile/sap wood.

Drying Lumber

How much time will it take to dry my lumber?

Wood drying time depends on the species / wood density.  As a point of reference, here are some typical drying times for Douglas Fir from green to  less than 10% moisture content: 

1" lumber - 7-10 days
2" lumber - 10 days to 2 weeks
4" lumber - 2 to 3 weeks
4" slabs - 3 to 4 weeks

How thick is the maximum you dry?

Generally, we do not dry lumber thicker than 4" thick (16/4).  We will however, dry softwood posts up to 6" x 6".  As a point of reference, most all beams and posts larger than 4" thick are sold green.  To effectively dry a large timber, you need a microwave kiln, but these are extremely expensive and rare in the US.

Why don’t you dry big timbers?

A few reasons.  1) It ties up the kiln a very long time, and we have other customers to serve.  2) Drying large timbers can be unpredictable in terms of checking, warping and twisting.  Often large timbers include a "boxed heart" which is the center of the tree rings, or "pith" within the timber.  Severe checking/splits and warping will be associated with drying these boxed hearts.

If there is a backlog of kiln loads, how do I get on your wait list?

Simply communicate with us.  If your lumber is ready to go (having already been cut) and we can agree as to when you will be able get your lumber here (either by your delivery or our pickup), we will get you in the queue.  We often like your lumber here a week before it's scheduled to go into the kiln so we can pre-stack it with stickers so it can be loaded on the kiln cart.  Contact us to discuss your job and our backlog and we can work out your schedule

Drying Slabs

I bought some green slabs, can I dry them now?

Yes and no.  It is recommended that slabs, particularly hardwood slabs, be air dried to 20-25% Moisture Content (MC) before kiln drying.  The reason is that by having your slab at 20% MC before the kiln drying are more stable, and will be less apt to warp, split or check.  For more information, please see our paper "Drying Live Edge Slabs" under the Resources link on our website.

How much time will it take to dry my slabs?

This really depends on the hardness of your wood.  Cedar or Doug Fir 4" slabs can dry to 10% Moisture Content in about 3-4 weeks.  Hardwood slabs 2" thick can take about the same amount of time.  

Loading / Unloading Lumber

I have a lot of lumber, can you unload it from my pickup?

Yes we can, provided we can 1) slip our straps under your load, so lay down some blocks (dunnage) in your truck bed before you load it.  And 2) the total weight of the lift is less than 2200 lbs.  Green wood is heavy, so if you suspect a full load might be more than 2200 lbs, simply separate the stack with additional blocks (dunnage) so we can pick it off in multiple lifts.

If you bring your load without blocks underneath, we will be happy to help you unload it by hand onto the forks of our skid steer.  (HINT) Remember to put blocks underneath (and within) the stack.

How large of load can put on my trailer and still have it unloaded?

As much as your trailer can carry.  Keep in mind that we can unload 2200 lbs at a time, so if you have more total weight, please separate the load with dunnage so we can make multiple "picks" to unload your load.

Green lumber is heavy.  In the case of Doug Fir, it weighs 41 lbs per cubic foot (or per 12 board feet).  So to put this into perspective, if you have 16' boards in a stack 3' wide...  13" tall would be close to the maximum 2200 lbs that we can lift.  So with every foot of stack, place a 4x4 or double 2x4 boards on the stack before adding more lumber.  

Also, most flat bed trailers are about 7 to 8 feet in width.  It is best to make side-by-side stacks that are 3' wide.  In this way, we can pick a stack from each side of your trailer with our 4' forks.

And ALWAYS REMEMBER to place dunnage on the bed of your trailer before stacking any lumber, so we can either get our forks underneath or slip a strap underneath to lift the load out.  

If your trailer has raised fenders (most do) and if we cannot get our forks underneath the bottom stack, we will use straps under a 2x6 to lift the load up.  Same goes for wood in that bed of a pickup, we again will use straps.

Can you pickup or deliver my lumber?

Of course.  We do charge $2 per mile round trip to cover our fuel and vehicle costs.  We use a deck-over dump trailer that is 8' wide by 14' long, and we haul up to 20' boards in it all the time.  If you do not have a means to load the wood, we will help you load it at no charge, however if you leave the loading up to us alone, we will charge our shop rate of $95/hour for our labor.

When we deliver your lumber with our trailer, all the lumber is securely strapped in a bundle and we can slide it right off the trailer onto dunnage.  

Saw Mill Services

How large of log can you mill?

The largest dimension logs we can mill is 32" on the fat end and 20' long.  Keep in mind our kiln can only fit 19'6" boards in it, so we would trim longer logs down to that dimension.  For the butt-end of a western red cedar, that flares out, we can cut these to about 36" by shaving off the sides of the flared butt before we start ripping the boards.

I would like a quote to mill my logs, can we do this over the phone?

No, we always will come to your site to be sure there is room to bring in our equipment and room to move logs around.  Then, we measure the length and diameter of all your logs.  We will then determine the total board feet in your job and provide you an estimate of costs for the milling.

When we saw your logs, will will transport your lumber to our kiln for no charge!

What is your mobile sawmill service area?

While we dry wood for customers from all over Washington state, our saw mill service area is much closer to our our location.  We service central and north Kitsap County, and east Jefferson County.  Outside of this area we do know very good sawyers that can mill your logs.  Give us a call and we can refer you. 

Do you mill logs year-round?

Our mobile saw mill season runs from April until early November.  However, we can refer you to our sawyer partners who do mill all year round.

Do you mill logs if I am not interested in kiln drying?

We do not.  However, we can refer you to our sawyer partners who would be happy to mill your logs.

Can you recommend other sawyers in the area?

We know sawyers in Pierce, Kitsap and Jefferson counties.  Contact us for a referral.