why some wood cracks while drying

For a long time I was puzzled why woods from elm, mulberry, hackberry were not used as much even though in plentiful supply. And with my
recent experience of using timber beams of hardwoods I think I may have answered that question. For I find that drying these timbers some of the crack horribly. Perhaps it is my method of drying them, perhaps exposed too much to the sun.
Is there a science study of how wood beams dry and avoid cracking. Some of the mulberry and elm have fissures in the beams so big that I can stick my hand into the fissure crack.
So is this cracking due to my novice drying or is it because some wood cracks badly in drying and that is why they are seldom used in the commercial industry. Or does industry glue up the cracks of timbers and I just never noticed.
So anyone have information as to wood drying and avoiding huge cracks.
Archimedes Plutonium www.iw.net/~a_plutonium whole entire Universe is just one big atom where dots of the electron-dot-cloud are galaxies
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Perhaps it is my method of drying them
*** Yes, it is * * *

*** Yes, there is. PvR
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a snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Yes, there is a technology and art of wood drying.
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felled wood if it is squeezed in a vice. Bound water which is contained within the cell walls. It is the second of these, bound water, that gives us the headache of drying wood.

at different rates. Also wood will lose water from the surface the surface at a faster rate than from its core. The result - splits in the ends and sides. It is possible to try and compensate by painting the end of logs so that water lose is slowed down. However, this will not prevent wood splitting. It is also advisable to leaf freshly felled timber for a number of months and let it lose some of its water naturally, before sawing in planks of 100mm (4 inches) or less.
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felled wood if it is squeezed in a vice. Bound water which is contained within the cell walls. It is the second of these, bound water, that gives us the headache of drying wood.

at different rates. Also wood will lose water from the surface the surface at a faster rate than from its core. The result - splits in the ends and sides. It is possible to try and compensate by painting the end of logs so that water lose is slowed down. However, this will not prevent wood splitting. It is also advisable to leaf freshly felled timber for a number of months and let it lose some of its water naturally, before sawing in planks of 100mm (4 inches) or less.
Yes thanks. I have about 30 logs of 12' long and varying diameter of 0.5 to 1'. I chainsawed the bark off from about half of the green cut logs and those are the ones with the worst cracks. One of the logs is a piece of old dead elm which had no bark on it and it has no cracks. About half of the logs still have the bark on them and have no visible cracks, at least I cannot discern cracks under the bark. So I am guessing that on all fresh cut logs, to leave the bark on. And perhaps if I come across a very great straight log of a hardwood that I leave the bark on and further, I wrap plastic on bark so the water escapes more slowly.
Another factor is that I have them in full sun, which I should have them in shade.
Archimedes Plutonium www.iw.net/~a_plutonium whole entire Universe is just one big atom where dots of the electron-dot-cloud are galaxies
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On 16 Aug 2005 23:20:16 -0700, a snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Your best bet is to consult with an old-time wood-turner, or failing that, a cabinet maker.
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Apply some ethylene glycol to the wood, especially the ends and knots. About three applications a week apart should suffice. This will act as a humectant, keeping the wood from drying too fast. Used antifreeze is a cheap, available source. Once you have done so, the only coating that will work is a polyurethane. Steel fasteners will rust more easily in wood so treated, so use zinc-coated, stainless steel or brass fasteners.-Jitney
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