Articles: Air Dried Beams – Constructional and Decorative

Beams are a top constructional resource commonly used not only for barns and garden structures but within the home as well. Oak is regularly used for roof joists, wall plates, ridge beams and sill plates because it has great structural integrity (When buying timber for constructional use please contact a structural engineer to make sure what you are buying is suitable).

Air dried timber is used for structural use which has already started drying and surface checking. Overtime, all green Oak will gain surface checks and it is more likely to move further. Although you can see the cracks in the air dried they do not take away from the structural integrity of the wood and they are still more than useful.

When people are restoring older buildings and places of public interest air dried beams are used because they are full of character and offer an old school appeal which could take years to develop when using fresh sawn beams.

The beams stand out from everything else in the room and quickly become a focal point. When treated and maintained correctly, Oak can last a lifetime and will continue to look astounding.

What are the differences between kiln dried wood and air dried beams?

All of our Air Dried Beams are left to dry for 1-3 years and, because of the drying process is over a longer period of time, they are available in larger section sizes than kiln dried wood. This is because the moisture content of kiln dried Oak reduces rapidly so the timber shrinks at an increased rate. The trade off is that while Kiln Dried remains un-aged throughout the drying process, air dried timber will have splits and cracks on the surface and the wood will have started to change colour.

Kiln dried is also not suitable for construction because of the smaller sizes that it is available in, so it is usually used for joinery and machined products.