Author Topic: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad  (Read 615 times)

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Offline BowEd

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 11:34:07 am »
I know I've been shooting douglas fir for a long time[at least 5 years] and like them a whole bunch.They make great footed shafts too.The only way I can get that old old douglas fir supply here is to acquire an old door from a house that's 80 years old.Reducing by hand is my way 1 at a time.
Beadman
You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
Ed

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 03:52:07 pm »
Thanks Bryce. chuck@heartwoodbows.com.

My supply should last me years.

Offline TSA

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2017, 04:52:00 pm »
here, i'll give a little input as well.
Now, remember this is my opinion, based on my experience, albeit experience gained from running  hundreds of thousands of shafts.
 i have used Ipe, Hickory, ash, poplar, birch, Lodgepole pine( chundoo), osage, fir, Hemlock, sitka spruce, and even a few  Yew.
now most of these have just been a few dozen or more  shafts for experiments- but i ran maybe a thousand fir, have run a lot of hemlock and pine , and even more Sitka.

there are a lot of good arrow woods out there- but i still think the best arrow wood, is the one you have in your shop!!

But, just talking about Fir, and methods to work it.

in my experience, these coastal woods like to be around 11 or 12 %MC. perfect for yew staves, perfect for other rain forest conifer woods. i find at that MC, they are most stable, shatter less, and cut easier. We keep our grading room at a very specific MC, so that the shafts stay at around 12%.

now drying wood: there are a lot of opinions on this. the risk with commercially dried woods, is that you dont know how they were dried, out of a "spaghetti mill"- they can dry a load of 2x4's in 24hrs- imagine the torture in those boards.
another thing about kiln drying, is that just before the boards are removed, the temp. is spiked- this is to ensure a total bug kill, and to set the pitch- that will do damage to the boards- for sure.
ANY HEAT during the process of drying will damage the cell structure of the wood to some degree or another- this will vary from piece to piece, dependant on so many factors, ie:starting MC, finishing MC, temp attained, duration of high temp, quality of wood etc etc

Thats the very reason that we wont kiln dry any of our wood.
talk to musical instrument makers, or shaker furniture makers or coopers- they will tell you they dont want kiln dried wood- for the very same, excellent reasons.

when I ran fir- which is an awesome arrow wood by the way, I found it to be a wee bit brittle, but then Hemlock can also be- i find their characteristics very similar. Good hard hitting shafts, but just need to keep them from getting too dry!
when I had raw fir shafts in Alberta- they got so dry that they would just shatter on impact so badly that i was scared to shoot them, and i tossed a large armful of fir shafts, not wanting to take the risk, or run the liability.


when we started out many years ago, we started with one of those Veritas dowel makers ( not the tenon cutter) and they work quite well.- the issue with them is,( and this is the biggest problem with DF, as the manufacturers that make shafts from DF will recommend the use of  sanding jig raher than a pencil sharpener type taper tool) that DF does not like the cutting tool running across the grain, it will produce a lot of tear out, tool chatter and will shatter.

most of the Df shaft manufacturers will use tools that cut with the grain. eg: routers or molders- now they have some advantages, the main one being incredibly high productivity, but also have their own host of issues- the biggest one is producing shafts that are out of round- shafts that are slightly oval, which play heck on a cresting jig- but in all fairness dont  affect its flight characteristics.

so thats the background, now what to do with your fir board?

1. i would get the MC in the right place- store it in your bathroom and monitor its MC.
2. build a dowelling jig, using a router and a hand held drill.
3. stay away from the cross cut tools for Fir.
4.seal up the shafts as soon as they are made, to retain the mc, and keep it stable.

keep us posted
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 05:05:08 pm by TSA »

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2017, 07:56:55 pm »
Wow! Now that is some serious advice. Thanks TrueShaft

Offline Bryce (Pinecone)

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2017, 10:06:44 pm »
I can say that my shafts fall below 12% probably even down to 3% all the time when I hunt the 2/3rds of Oregon that is desert. Yes our west coast is usually 100% humidity lol which has its pros and cons. But I've never had one shatter! And I miss and hit rock walls often LOL
Yew is a great arrow wood, no one ever wants to take straight clean yew slats to make arrows. But I've saved some straight trained bolts to run through the surewood shop and LET EM FLY!


I got all your emails guys. When I get a couple mins I'll send y'all the jig plans.
Deer Island, Oregon

Offline DC

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2017, 02:16:42 pm »
Bryce, The wood was perfect grain and between 26-30 rpi. Pretty tight for fir I have seen. Surewood does it best. I see they hand split their fir to season. I like the ease of the two blade shaft maker but guess if I want to use this wood hand planing is the way. How long does it take to hand plane 120 shafts? Maybe be done in a few years.

Russ, sounds like we had the exact same experience. Wish I talked to you before my purchase. You paid $5 more than me. I may give your idea a try.

The 3 shafts that did survive are around 55-58# spine at 11/32

Do you need all 120 now? Hand planing can go pretty quick. Make a "V" groove jig to hold them, maybe 1/2 hour each. I'm guessing, I never kept track when I was planing them.

I was way out on time. I just made an arrow shaft so I decided to time myself. I planed it in a "V" block to round and rough size. Then I grabbed it in a drill and bought it to finished spine on the belt sander. Took around 10 minutes start to finish. I didn't rush but I didn't do anything else either :D
Vancouver Island

Offline Jim Davis

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2017, 02:19:13 pm »
+1 on the need to cut DF with the grain. I cut my squares to 3/8" and run them through my router setup, as suggested above. I also use a sanding disc setup to taper the nock and point ends.

As for kiln drying, lots of us get one area of an arrow far hotter than that to straighten a kink.

BTW, would somebody tell me where they are buying DF and paying $80-$85 for a board!!!??? When I buy lumber for shafts, I buy spruce dimension lumber with good grain and if there are knots, they are spaced at least 30" apart. 2X6s often have good sections.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 02:29:32 pm by Jim Davis »
Jim Davis

Kentucky--formerly Maine

Offline TSA

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2017, 05:23:33 pm »
Jim, the issue is not so much the heat- but having said that waaay too much heat will destroy any wood, but its rather the heat  being applied while the mc of the wood is very high, and the heat is used ( and sometimes steam is used in the kilns too) to expel the moisture in the wood, and as time is money in the mills, this is done at a rate that the cell walls cannot handle. The consequences are an excessive expansion of the moisture in the cells                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and the very rapid movement of the moisture from the core of the piece of lumber towards the outside that it actually ruptures the cell walls.
moisture is intended to move through the tree naturally via the  slow and natural process of osmosis, when it is forced, there is damage.

Offline DC

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2017, 07:40:14 pm »
What does kiln drying do to the arrow wood as far as spine and weight are concerned?
Vancouver Island

Offline willie

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2017, 09:01:46 pm »
wayne, have you looked into low temp dehumidification "kiln" drying?
Code: [Select]
https://www.nyle.com/lumber-drying-systems/lumber-kiln-drying/dehumidifcation-kilns/

Offline TSA

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2017, 05:29:50 am »
DC, i dont know how it effects spine-others may have input. it may or may not have a significant effect. i just know that the structural integrity is effected.
as for weight , that will simply be defined by the wood mass plus the water- same as any piece , irrespective of how it was dried, i guess.

Willie, i will take  a look at that link, many thanks.
i am just adverse to any heat usage- i hear you about the lower heat. the higher the heat the greater the damage, so lower heat would mitigate some of the damage for sure.
all wood drying kilns have a dehumidifying aspect to them. As the moisture is expelled from the wood, it needs to be replaced with lower MC air.

if the "drier" had No heat and just a dehumidification process, that would be the best, as now you are relying on the process of osmosis.
(no ill intent, but just a quick explanation of osmosis, its the process of moisture migration from a high pressure area to a lower pressure area in an attempt to stabilize the pressure- as i remember the explanation from high school hundreds of years ago!!)
this system would work the best, but would not be commercially viable- the process would just take way to long.
i would hesitate to even call that a kiln, as the word kiln implies the use of heat. i would simply call that an air  drier

Offline Bryce (Pinecone)

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2017, 09:19:31 pm »
It's transference of water or other solvent through a semi-permeable membrane, in this case; the cell wall;)
Deer Island, Oregon

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2017, 07:11:28 pm »
Update: I took the 1/2-" squares of fir and rounded the corners on my table sander. Most made it through the Veritas after that.

Offline TSA

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Re: Kiln dried Douglas fir = bad
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2017, 09:47:17 pm »
good job, success!! :) :)
i need to make a correction here, after a bit of head scratching, and after what Bryce said,  the term "osmosis" is the incorrect term- my apologies.
osmosis relates to a transference between two different concentrations of solute.
more correctly, what we are talking about is simply moisture moving from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area, much like the weather, or like wood finding EMC ( equilibrium moisture content).
thanks, this has been a great thread- glad after all this - Loefflerchuck has had success with the shafts!! :OK