Q.  Someone told me that it's not good to put walnut directly into the kiln as some air drying is necessary to allow the wood to darken. Is there any truth to this? After kiln drying, is the wood stable?


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A. In general, the color from moderate (not too fast and not too slow) kiln drying at warm temperatures will not be lighter than from slow air drying. Any difference is small. For this reason, walnut lumber is often steamed (200 F or hotter at 100 percent RH) before any drying, but not always. When not steamed, the white sapwood can be thrown away or else darkened when finishing.
All species of wood will move after kiln drying if their moisture content changes. MC changes result because of relative humidity changes. So, kiln drying does not affect stability after drying.


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