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There is no doubt drying wood is very important not just in firewood but also for wood to be used in building furniture and for constructing homes.
Drying has many advantages; it can make wood stronger and free from pests and molds. Contractors and woodworkers choose dry wood over green wood and take every effort to efficiently dry or season wood before use.
Green wood explained
Green Wood is wood that has just been cut down. No drying treatment has been done yet on wood and therefore wood contains 100% moisture content. Green wood should be seasoned or dried to release internal moisture so that wood can be used in a more efficient manner.
Dried wood is wood that has less than 20% moisture content. To achieve this it must be seasoned or dried. You can do this by air drying and also through used to do this, one is air drying, and the other is kiln drying.
Air drying wood
Green wood that is left to dry in the air and under the sun results in air dried wood. It is the most common and the most traditional way of drying wood. It is simple, cheap but it takes a very long time to do so. Depending on the wood species, air drying can take up to a year to complete.
Air dried wood contains less moisture than green wood, but a little bit more compared to kiln dried wood. The latent moisture content in wood makes it easier to work with than the kiln dried. Air dried wood is a solid, stable and perfect for construction projects such as furniture. There is no tendency to over dry wood with air drying. Overdrying can cause significant damage to the wood.
Air dried wood is a much better alternative to green wood when wood is used as firewood. The long weathering process reduces moisture and other elements, making it efficient and safe to use as fuel. Dried firewood reduces the emission of dangerous gas and creosote which can damage and dislodge inside chimneys and stove flues.
Kiln drying wood
As the name implies, kiln drying is drying wood by placing in a kiln. Warm air currents (not directly exposed to fire) dries wood. Kiln drying is faster than air drying and usually, this is done by contractors and also for people who engage in the building trade.
Kiln dried wood is known as the industry standard for construction. It is the most consistent and stable wood material offered after the drying process.
People who are doing small woodworking projects such as those using chisels or lathes may want to consider using air dried wood as kiln-dried wood can be unforgiving on tools.
On the other hand, kiln dried wood offers the most efficient burning for fuel, it offers 100% heat efficiency.
Why use green wood?
Green wood is not all bad. Its 100% moisture content gives it the flexibility and softness that makes it easier to work with tools like a lathe. This type of wood is very kind on the chisel but keep in mind that the greener the wood the more likely it is to warp as the moisture dries.
You cannot use green wood as firewood because it would be very difficult to light because of its moisture content. And even if the green wood does light up, maintaining it could be very difficult as well.
Green wood should only be used if you’re trying to get a specific look or practicing your woodworking techniques. This is rarely used for fuel and structural projects.
Air dried wood can be used for construction and as firewood, it is more forgiving on tools compared to kiln dried wood. Kiln dried wood is ideal for construction and fuel, although this could be hard on tools so you should keep safe when using this type of wood.
Green wood is wood from a tree that has been recently cut down or felled. This type of wood has 100% moisture, therefore, it is not recommended to be used as firewood as well as for constructing and building different items that are made from wood. Green wood should be sufficiently dried first either by air or by kiln before this is used.