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How to Dry Lumber for Quality and Profit

Registration for 2022-2023 courses will open August 1, 2022.

The workshop is offered at three levels, Complete, Basics, and For non-kiln personnel.  Each is monitored and the instructor is available for questions.  There are quizzes embedded at the end of each topic.  These help the learner know if they understand the material.  PDFs of course material are downloadable for future reference.

Lumber Drying Complete

This is the most comprehensive level and designed for workers managing kilns.  All topics in the Basics class are addressed, usually in more detail. In addition, there is more information on modifying kiln schedules, statistical bases for moisture measurements, energy savings, airflow analysis and other topics. 

In this class, you'll complete four of eight suggested discussion assignments by posting an experience or example related to the topic. There are eight webinars where almost half of the material is presented and discussions can occur. Overall, the course requires 20 to 30 hours to complete. The course will occur from October 11 to December 10, 2021 with webinars at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time on the following dates:

  • October 12, 2021
  • October 19, 2021
  • October 26, 2021
  • November 2, 2021
  • November 9, 2021
  • November 16, 2021
  • November 30, 2021
  • December 7, 2021 

Webinar participation requires a computer with web access, speaker, and microphone. A camera is also useful. The minimum requirements are a computer with web access and a phone connection (but this is does not work well). The content is described here.  

Lumber Drying Basics

This class is for individuals working at kilns. It is comprehensive enough for most operators. The narration time is 6-1/2 hours and, with quizzes, 10 to 14 hours are needed to complete the class. It is self-paced, although completion in 5 to 8 weeks provides the best learning. The content is described here.

Lumber Drying for Non-kiln Personnel

New for 2021. Quality drying starts well before the lumber enters the kiln. This level is for personnel who need to interact with the kilns but not operate one. It will benefit personnel who prepare lumber and load and unload kilns. It would also benefit maintenance personnel and managers in other departments. 

Why lumber is dried and how kilns work are covered and the impacts of sorting, stacking, and handling on kiln performance are discussed. Handling of dry lumber is also covered.  Examples of the costs of poor practices are included.  The narration time is one hour and the course can be completed in under two hours. It is self-paced. The content is described here.

Basics and Non-Kiln Personnel Courses: Always available.
price (2)
Complete: $735 (+$60, registration fee)
Basics: $495
Non-kiln personnel:$99
Additional Information:

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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 in lumber drying, but he also worked in lifecycle analysis and measuring air emissions from processing wood products.

This is Mike’s 33rd 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.