The seasoning and kiln-drying of wood is such an important process in the manufacture of woods that a need for fuller information regarding it, based upon scientific study of the behavior of various species at different mechanical temperatures, and under different drying processes is keenly felt. Everyone connected with the woodworking industry, or its use in manufactured products, is well aware of the difficulties encountered in properly seasoning or removing the moisture content without injury to the timber, and of its susceptibility to atmospheric conditions after it has been thoroughly seasoned. There is perhaps no material or substance that gives up its moisture with more resistance than wood does. It vigorously defies the efforts of human ingenuity to take away from it, without injury or destruction, that with which nature has so generously supplied it.
In the past but little has been known of this matter further than the fact that wood contained moisture which had to be removed before the wood could be made use of for commercial purposes. Within recent years, however, considerable interest has been awakened among wood-users in the operation of kiln-drying. The losses occasioned in air-drying and improper kiln-drying, and the necessity for getting the material dry as quickly as possible after it has come from the saw, in order to prepare it for manufacturing purposes, are bringing about a realization of the importance of a technical knowledge of the subject.
Since this particular subject has never before been represented by any technical work, and appears to have been neglected, it is hoped that the trade will appreciate the endeavor in bringing this book before them, as well as the difficulties encountered in compiling it, as it is the first of its kind in existence. The author trusts that his efforts will present some information that may be applied with advantage, or serve at least as a matter of consideration or investigation.
In every case the aim has been to give the facts, and wherever a machine or appliance has been illustrated or commented upon, or the name of the maker has been mentioned, it has not been with the intention either of recommending or disparaging his or their work, but has been made use of merely to illustrate the text.
The preparation of the following pages has been a work of pleasure to the author. If they prove beneficial and of service to his fellow-workmen he will have been amply repaid.
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