Is S&B timber seasoned?
Most times yes, we only sell blanks we would be happy to turn, but the term ‘seasoned’ is a greatly misunderstood term so to answer more fully:
When we mill timber, it often has a moisture content (mc) of 50% (by weight) or even more. Over time, timber will balance to the surrounding air moisture and temperature.
In August in the UK, it will normally be about 16% mc. In December, it will be around 20%. In a centrally heated house, it will dry to between 8% and 10%, maybe lower.
Some cabinet makers specify timber kilned to this low mc, but for woodturning, many timbers this dry will turn like a digestive biscuit or can be brick hard, certainly more difficult to work on bowls and dishes than spindle work, so a little moisture helps and gives it some ‘life’.
We air dry and/or kiln our timber. We kiln to a minimum of around 14% so the major warping caused during the drying process has occurred before we saw it into blanks.
Even then, air or kiln dried, timber thicker than 2” is likely have a higher core mc, maybe 4% or more. We sometimes sell timber as ‘part seasoned’. This is timber that has been air dried for more than 6 months and will have a moisture content between 20% and 30%.
We buy in some ‘exotic’ timbers in various states of drying, from kiln dried to part seasoned.