Kiln Drying Service in Sterling, Virginia

At Free Country Designs serving Northern Virginia and the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia we provide kiln drying services using the iDry vacuum kiln. We offer kiln drying services for any size project. Whether you have a single slab or are a commercial wood worker with a whole kiln full of wood needing to be dried we can accommodate. We can add single pieces of wood to an existing kiln load or if you would like to hire out the whole kiln that is fine also. Using our kiln, we can take green lumber to dry in a matter of weeks instead of the usual months or years needed with air drying or standard dehumidification kiln drying. We can kiln dry wood at a rate of one week per inch of thickness. With most species of wood, we can go from green wood to 8 percent moisture in two weeks with a two-inch thick slab. You can choose a slab from a tree in our yard or yours and have it sawn, kiln dried, and ready to start building in an average of two weeks.

What Is Kiln Drying?
Kiln drying takes place in a closed chamber as opposed to the alternate method of air drying, which occurs in open space.

Using the iDry vacuum kiln allows wood to dry more quickly than a standard kiln. The iDry vacuum kiln works by removing moisture from throughout the entire board, while traditional kilns pull moisture from only the surface. This reduces an effect called case hardening which is when the outside of the wood dries before the inner part causing stress in the board. In the vacuum, the boiling point of water is reduced, and heat is applied directly to the lumber, which forces the moisture out of the core of the wood. It is then turned to vapor that flows through the fibers of the wood into the circulating air inside the kiln.

To properly kiln dry lumber, our expert team maintains strict control of temperature, airflow, and humidity within the iDry vacuum kiln. By carefully monitoring of these factors, we can dry your lumber uniformly and to the precise moisture content required for your project. Kiln dried wood is ready for use as soon as your desired moisture content is reached so you can start your project right away.

Standard wood drying methods include air drying which takes on an average 1 year per inch if thickness of lumber being dried. In the case of air drying on the east coast of the US a moisture content on only about 12 to 14 percent can be reached.
That was fine when we lived on log cabins with no forced air heat. The average home in this modern day needs wood to be used as fine furniture to be dried to approximately 8 percent moisture to ensure it does not shrink when it is moved from the woodworkers shop to your final destination.

Another method of drying wood includes a combination of air drying and dehumidification kiln drying. This is also a good option and can achieve the same results as a vacuum kiln but with a much longer waiting time. Lumber often needs to dry for approximately 1 year in the air outside then sit in the dehumidification kiln for another 3 months. We can offer the same results in 2 or 3 weeks instead of 15 months. This helps you get started on your woodworking project almost right away. Dehumidification kiln drying also has a much higher percentage of wood crack during the drying process than a vacuum kiln due to the physics of how each work the vacuum kiln has a much lower percentage of warped and cracked wood at the end of the drying cycle.

Benefits of Kiln Drying
If you own a woodworking or furniture business, you know how important quality lumber drying is. You can increase your cashflow and the profit margins for your business when you don’t have to wait months or even years for wood to dry properly.

Some of the benefits of kiln drying your timber include the following:

  • Much faster than alternative methods
  • Higher-quality end product
  • Kills bugs, pests, eggs, larvae, and mold
  • Doesn’t require harsh chemical treatments
  • Helps prevent the wood from warping or developing small cracks over time, resulting in extremely durable furniture
  • Minimizes defects in the wood, increasing its workability

Call now or email for more information and to receive a free quote on our kiln drying services.