Anybody planning to build a custom piece of furniture plans for it to last a lifetime. With the investment of beautiful wood and long hours of hard work, you want your piece to hold up to pass down to your children or not have any call backs with your clients. Once of the biggest factors in wood project failures is the quality of wood used and how dry and stable the wood is. If wood is not correctly milled and especially correctly DRIED you will have failures in your wood project. Whether it it cracks, bows, twist or finish failures all these issues leads from incorrectly dried wood. The methods of drying wood is extremely important to assure wood will be stable to build with.
We air dry all our wood slabs are air dried 6 months to 1 year prior to kiln drying. This is very important on thick hardwoods to cautiously reduce moisture content and reduce stress on the wood. With our new IDRY vacuum kiln we then will finish the drying process on certain dry schedules depending on the thickness, species and current moisture content. Vacuum kilns are superior drying as they "suck" the moisture out of the wood. Kiln drying is a tricky process as well to correctly dry wood with out "Case Hardening". Case hardening is heating up the wood to quickly and to dry causing a hard outer shell preventing from internal moisture content to release. You do need some moisture content in the kiln chamber to release moisture content in the wood. Also it is necessary to finish drying with a sanitation process. That's heating up the core of the wood up to 140 degrees to kill any living organisms.
You'll often see people claim to "kiln" dry their wood in home made kilns. The term "kiln dry" can be a general loose term. Yes you can have fans blowing in a warm shed with a home grade dehumidifier, but that is not a true quality kiln cycle. With out the core of the wood reaching at least 140 degrees there good chance that bugs and fungus will continue to live in the wood. 100+ degrees also helps release stress and tension in the wood reducing the movement from happening afterwards.
When you are investing hard earn money into your projects don't take any chances with wood dried in budget kilns. Ask question and be certain you are buying reputable quality dried wood that will make your projects hold up for a lifetime.