Seasoning of wood
(Adapted from Mario Dal Fabbro's How to Build Modern Furniture, 1951, page 3: It is essential that wood be well seasoned before it is used. The usual methods are as follows:
Natural seasoning (sometimes called Air Drying): In this method sawn wood is exposed to free air after it has been carefully stacked, through a procedure called Sticking, best illustrated with a photo. While the seasoning is slow, wood processed in this way is the least subject to splitting, warpage, or decay.
Water seasoning: claimed as a "somewhat quicker method of seasoning consists of immersing the wood in running water for about one month". As this process occurs, "the water entering the pores of the wood washes out the sap". Following this process with water, the wood is dried in the open air.
Artificial seasoning: The quickest method for seasoning, this method the wood is placed in a drying Kiln. A current of hot air is allowed to circulate continuously between the layers of wood. In some cases steam is used.
Etymologically, seasoning, that is as a verb, as in "the seasoning of wood" dates to the 17th century -- the source being the oft quoted Joseph Moxon , in Mechanick Exercises (London, 1703; reprint, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970) (the OED shows 1679, but my edition is 1703) b. To become seasoned.
1679 MOXON Mech. Exerc. ix. 155 They generally Rough~plain their Boards ... that they may set them by to season.
1881 Cassell's Fam. Mag. VII. 511 An artificial method ... which has the effect of ageing the wood in a few hours, as well as if it had been kept seasoning for years. [from oed too, but needs checking -- why "artificial"?]
Title: Encyclopedia of architecture. A dictionary of the science and practice of architecture, building, carpentry, etc., from the earliest ages to the present time, froming a comprehensive work of reference for the use of architects, builders, carpenters, masons, engineers, students, professional men, and amateurs. By Peter Nicholson ... Edited by Edward Lomax and Thomas Gunyon ... Illustrated with two hundred and thirty engravings on steel, mostly from working drawings in detail. In two volumes.
Author: Nicholson, Peter, 1765-1844.
Publication Info: New York,: Johnson, Fry & co., [185-?].
Collection: Making of America Books
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DESICCATION, (Latin, desicco, to dry), the act of making dry; it is the chemical operation of drying bodies, and is effected in different modes, according to the nature of the substance. The term, Desiccating Process, has been applied to a patented invention, (Davison and Symington's Patent), for seasoning or drying a great variety of substances. It is said to have been used with success in seasoning wood.