Henry Hansen Farm              Silver Falls, Oregon

Frequently Asked Questions








Do you do mobile sawing (move our saw to your site)?

No. It is not economically feasible given our equipment, and most customers' needs. Look in the Oregon Forest Industry Directory to find a mobile sawyer near you in Oregon.

Is my tree worth bringing to you for sawing?

The cost of having your own wood sawn, dried, milled and finished is probably higher than what you would pay at a lumber store for a generic product. However, if you have an unusual species or logs from trees which have special significance to you, call and ask for an estimate.

Dimensions softwood & hardwood, thickness


How do I store lumber after it's cut?

Do I need an end coating or sealer on my logs after cutting?

End-coat your hardwood logs immediately after falling & bucking if possible! It's generally not necessary for softwoods, unless you have high-value logs and are going to store in hot weather or for long periods. We use and recommend Anchor Seal. There are distributors in Oregon, but if you're local and need a small quantity, call us.

Stickers & Air Drying & Stacking

Do you sell stickers?

Yes, we have air and kiln-dried stickers. Typically, it will be cheaper for you to sort through the 1x2 bin at the big box store. Ours are sorted-out as stickers, dried, then sorted again, so you won't get pieces you can't use.

Our air-dried stickers are rough-sawn, nominally 7/8" x 1.5" x 48", and moisture content between 12 and 16%. Our kiln-dried stickers have a moisture content of 8%. Prices are on our Products page.

1/4 saw vs rift vs flat/live & vgrain

Woodweb has many good tutorials on this subject.

How large of logs can you cut?

Our sawmill cuts logs up to 27 inches diameter, cants up to 23 inches wide, and slabs up to 25 inches wide. We cut logs of larger diameter down with a chainsaw mill to fit on the bandsaw mill. Lengths can be up to 22 feet long.


Does my lumber need to be kiln-dried?

If it's hardwood, probably yes. In the Pacific NW, you are not likely to the wood moisture content (MC) to an acceptable level for indoor use without kiln drying.

If you have softwood and using for interior work (cabinetry, molding, etc.) probably yes. Dimensional lumber (2x, etc.) will air dry during summer in Western Oregon to acceptable levels for outdoor use.

If you have beams, timbers, or posts for indoor construction in a house they should usually be kiln-dried. Traditional timber frame - no ( timbers worked green and let dried in-place). Some modern timber framers oversize timbers and dry first, then re-saw to desired dimensions and cut joints dry.

Should I air-dry my lumber first?

For our own lumber, we air-dry hardwoods first if possible. Cabinet-quality softwoods (e.g., vertical grain fir) are kiln-dried as soon as possible.

How long does it take to dry lumber?

This depends on the species, lumber dimensions, and how dry it is when it arrives at the kiln. Softwoods dry on the order of a couple weeks if their moisture is around 30%. Hardwoods with high moisture content must be dried more carefully, and can take a month or more. Call if you'd like an estimate, or to know when we can work your lumber in.

What kind of kiln do you use?

We have a Nyle 200/Woodmizer De-Humidification (DH) kiln, built-in to a 24' refrigeration container. It is operated electrically, but is able to re-use heat generated from condensing moisture to heat the wood. More details on DH kilns can be found at the Nyle website

What kinds of woods do you typically dry?

Oregon Maple (Big Leaf, Oregon White) and Douglas Fir are the most common. We have also dried poplar. cottonwood, Red Alder, Grand Fir, Western Hemlock, Oregon Ash, walnut, and cedar (Western Red, Port Orford, Incense).

How should my wood be prepared before drying?

Can I mix lumber thicknesses, lengths, or widths in a load?

Can I mix lumber species in a load?

Not if you want the best quality lumber from all. Some species have very similar drying schedules to each other but the particular drying rates of a load will vary, effecting the final quality of the product (e.g., color variabilities in red alder).

How much should I dry my lumber?

If you're taking the wood to a mill works or cabinet maker, ask them what moisture content (%MC) they want in the wood. Typically it will be 7-9% ,so that it can be worked properly and will not change dimensions as it sits in its final location. It's important to know the final location for the wood, as it will slowly drift to a moisture content influenced by the site's relative humidity (RH). Typical homes in the US average around 50% RH, which corresponds to an effective moisture content (EMC) of 9% in wood. Wood dried to 12% may make it through the planer, but will shrink as it drifts down to 9% in your house. Here 's an abbreviated chart which gives the relationship between Relative Humidity (RH) and Effective Moisture Content.













How do you measure wood moisture content (%MC) of wood?

Moisture content is how much water a piece of wood has in it that can be dried out. It's expressed in percent, and is calculated by:

( (wet weight - oven-dry weight) / (oven-dry weight) ) X 100

For example, if I have a piece of wood that weighs 2.5 pounds and it's final weight after drying (in an oven until it's weight does not change) is 1 pound, the original moisture content was: ((2.5 -1)/1))*100 = 150%

Wood MC is most commonly measured by electronic devices, available starting around $100. These are typically not accurate when the MC is over 40%, and kiln operators use weighed samples to monitor the drying process. If have hardwood that's over 40%MC, expect to lose a couple pieces for weight sampling. Electronic meters are used in the kiln for final drying stages, and small probes are inserted into pieces throughout the load to measure MC in the core (center) of the lumber.

How much will wood shrink when dried?

This depends on species, how it's sawn, and start/stop moisture content. Oregon State University has a free calculation spreadsheet here, but feel free to call if you have questions.

How should I store my lumber after drying?

Kiln-dried lumber should be stored in an enclosed, heated building. The space should be kept about 25F above outside temperature to slow re-absorption of moisture. It can be dead-stacked (just a pile, no stickers) once the MC is below about 18%.

Where do I get my lumber planed, molded, sanded, etc. once it's dry?

We currently do not offer these services, but there are many mill works in the area who do. We'd be happy to provide information on our experiences with these mills, or you can search the Oregon Forest Industry Directory.

How much or little can I dry?

The per-load maximum is 2000BF for softwood, but is typically a bit less due to stacking issues with varied length lumber, etc. Larger quantities can be dropped-off to run in multiple loads, but check first to be sure we have storage space available.

The smallest amount is dependent on how much you're willing to spend to power the kiln for the drying period. The most common request is for single mantle pieces, which are also one of the most problematic due to their thickness and needed kiln time. It is usually not reasonable to do these unless we can batch a load of similar pieces together.

What is stress relief in lumber, and do I need to do it?

Stress relief in lumber is typically done to counteract casehardening - where the drier outer shell of lumber is stressed by wrapping around a wetter, more expanded core. Wood is dried until the core moisture is at the desired level, then moisture is added rapidly back into the kiln air to bring the outer shell moisture back near the level of the core. We do this as part of the normal kiln-drying process.

What is pitch setting, and do I need it?

Pitch setting evaporates resins in softwoods so they don't gum-up your tools or seep out over time and ruin finishes. In our kiln this is done after the wood is dried by taking the wood temperature up to 160F for a day with the fans running.

What about bugs?

We can kill most bugs in wood by heating the core temperature to over 130F and holding it there for a few hours. Not all drying schedules reach this temperature, so if we detect insects we will ask you if you want us to do a heat treatment.

What about mold and fungus?

If wood arrives with visible mold and fungus, the best we can do is stop it from spreading. In many cases it is only on the surface of the wood, and can be removed in the planing process. Very wet (over 110%) hardwood with visible mold/fungus is the toughest case, as the temperature needs to be held down in good mold-growing territory until the moisture drops below about 35%. If water is running out of the wood when you fall the tree or saw it up, be sure to stack the lumber with stickers and cover the top of the stack until you can get it to a kiln!


Do you sell peeled logs?

Not normally. We sell logs that will be used as peelers at a mill, but not logs that are peeled. Check craigslist under materials in your area for peeled logs.


Are you selling firewood this year?

It tends to go out quickly, so call or email to check on availability.


Do you have any X by Y's in stock?

We normally have 12' 2x4 and 2x6 fir in stock. Most other dimensions will have to be custom sawn. Call and we can get you availability information.

Note that by default we do not have our lumber inspected. If your application requires it, we can call an official inspector in for an additional fee.

Hardwoods in stock are typically listed on our product page.


How do I get my lumber to Silver Falls?

Most customers bring their lumber in on trailers, pickups, or flatbeds. If you live in the Salem/Silverton/Stayton/Sublimity area we can probably provide transport for a fee. Our forklift is rated for 8000lbs, but bolstering your stack with 4x4's every couple feet is a good idea, particularly if you have many dimensions in the stack and can pre-sort them a bit.

How do I get my logs to Silver Falls?

Logs over 18' can be brought in on standard self-loading log trucks - call if you'd like recommendations. If you can get smaller logs onto your own trailer or truck, we should be able to unload them.