Our State of the Art Vacuum Kilns
Drying lumber is the most important, and most misunderstood part of producing furniture quality lumber. It is very important to have properly dried wood for use in furniture construction. Wood shrinks and moves significantly as it dries. Furniture made from wood that is not properly dry will likely warp, form gaps, and potentially pull itself apart. Even air dried lumber is not adequate in our area. The "equilibrium" outdoor moisture level for wood in the Houston area is 13-14%, depending on the season. The target moisture content for indoor furniture use is under 10%, ideally 6-8%. The moisture content of wood changes based on the environment around the wood. Indoor heating and air-conditioning makes our indoor environments much drier than the outdoors.
Another important aspect of kiln drying lumber is to kill bugs, larva, and fungus that is living in the wood. This requires a sustained temperature over approximately 140 degrees. Our vacuum kilns run at 160 degrees, and operate under a vacuum. The high temperate and lack of oxygen will kill any bugs, larva, and fungus living in your wood. All without the use of any chemicals.
Our vacuum kilns can dry hardwoods at a rate of approximately one week per inch of thickness.