How to Prepare Wood for Processing?

 February 23, 2024

By  Kyrie Mattos

The wood obtained from the felling of trees allows the trunks available, which, once deprived of the branches and bark, are subjected to seasoning. This process is essential to allow them to release the water inside, which is present in very high quantities. Working a wooden board with high percentages of humidity would mean having a finished product subject to swelling and twisting. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a living room piece of furniture, strips for a parquet floor, or planks that will make up the structure of a prefabricated house: any type of use would cause the wood not subjected to seasoning to deform.

To allow it to release the water present in the cells, it is therefore necessary to subject it to drying, which can be natural or artificial. In the first case, the timber is neatly stacked in planks protected from rainwater and direct sunlight. Spacer strips are inserted between one row and the other to allow for greater air circulation. In the second case, however, the stacks are placed in special ovens, inside which hot air is introduced through heated panels, which allows the wood to release the percentage of excess humidity.

Natural or artificial drying of wood?

This last solution makes it possible to have timber suitable for any type of processing in a short time. Just think that a stack exposed to the air can take several years before it can be considered workable, while inside temperature-controlled chambers, the process takes a few days. But that’s not the only advantage of artificial drying of wood. It is also necessary to think about the possibility that the pile will be “affected” by fungi or other pathogens. In the event that this “presence” is not identified in time and does not lead to the removal of wood waste, the risk of seeing the entire pile contaminated would be very high.

Another aspect that could lead to preferring the artificial drying of the wood rather than the traditional method concerns the percentage of water that we can remove. If the stack is placed in an open area that is sufficiently ventilated and sheltered from rainwater, we could get wood with a percentage of about 12%. To go below this threshold, it is necessary to provide for natural aging processes in closed places. This percentage could still be too high for some types of processing, such as the creation of furniture and interior furnishings.

WDE Maspell is an Italian brand that has been a leader for many years in the design and manufacture of machinery for drying and thermo-treating wood, capable of solving every need of companies operating in the sector.

Kyrie Mattos


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