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How to Dry Lumber for Quality and Profit

Kiln operators, supervisors, and others associated with industrial lumber drying have benefited from How to Dry Lumber for Quality and Profit since 1949 when it was first offered at Oregon State University.   In this, the 75th annual offering, there are separate courses for kiln personnel and non-kiln personnel.

Both courses are monitored, and the instructor is available for questions. Audio explains each slide. There are quizzes embedded in each lesson. These help the learner know if they understand the material. PDFs of all course materials are downloadable for future reference.

Why lumber drying is important

Drying is needed to make most lumber suitable for use.  Drying results in dimensionally stable wood with increased strength.  Properly dried lumber is without warp, splits, mold or insects, and the pitch is set.  

Reducing downfall from #2&Better to #3  by 1% can add $250,000 annually to the bottom line of a large sawmill in normal times and much more at current lumber prices.  It is important to dry properly and efficiently.

The costs associated with drying are significant.  

  • It consumes 70% of the energy used to convert a tree to lumber
  • It represents 10-15% of the cost
  • Value loss due to warp, roller split, and jams at the planer can be significant.  

Lumber drying for kiln personnel

This course is divided into 12 modules each with two to eight lessons. The learner also completes four of eight suggested discussion assignments by posting an experience or example related to the topic. You can read the detailed Lumber Drying for Kiln Personnel course outline. The course is designed to be self-paced and can be started anytime.

Those signing up prior to October 9 can opt to participate in a webinar version. 90- 120- minute webinars will occur on Wednesdays at 8:00am:

  • October 18
  • November 1
  • November 15
  • November 29
  • December 6
This course requires 20 to 30 hours to complete.

Lumber drying for non-kiln personnel

Quality drying is a mill-wide effort. This course is for personnel who need to interact with the kilns but not operate one. It will benefit personnel who prepare lumber or load and unload kilns. It would also benefit maintenance personnel and managers in other departments. You can read the detailed Lumber Drying for Non-Kiln Personnel course outline. This self-paced course can be completed in under two hours.

calendar
On demand. Access any time.
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Asynchronous
location
Online
price (2)
Kiln Personnel:$795
Non-Kiln Personnel: $99
795
Additional Information:

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Instructors

Mike Milota

Dr. Mike Milota is the owner of Wood Moisture Solutions, LLC providing training and consulting for the lumber industry. He is Professor Emeritus, Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University. He is a registered professional engineer in Oregon, although has now retired the license.

Mike attended Iowa State and Oregon State Universities, then started his career with the Masonite Corporation in Chicago in the wood composites industry. He then worked at the US Forest Products Laboratory in Madison Wisconsin after which he was on the faculty at Oregon State for 29 years. Mike's main research focus was lumber drying, but he also worked in lifecycle analysis and measuring air emissions from processing wood products.

This is Mike’s 35rd year organizing the lumber drying workshop at Oregon State and he has conducted many on-site workshops for sawmills.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.