Kiln-Dried Grading & Drying Process



Automatic Stacker - HMI sticks all lumber on an automatic stacker. Sticks are placed on one-foot centers to minimize warp and cup. All White woods are dried on breeze dried tm sticks and bolsters.



It could be said that the drying of hardwood lumber is an exact science - that no two people do exactly the same. What most would agree is that it is the attention to detail that determines drying quality. We believe that the lumber nature provides is worthy of our attention to detail.


Key Processes To Our Success Are:

Green material quickly placed in a building where our operators can control critical elements of drying. This is called pre-drying. Controlling the temperature, humidity, and air flow allows us to avoid defects including checking, stain, cup and warp. The result is uniformly dried lumber that remains flat and maintains its bright natural color.

Our Pre-drier contains 30 bays that hold in excess of 2,500,000 board feet of lumber in process. Zones are laid out to dry each species and thickness independently.

We pre-dry our lumber to 35% moisture. Final drying takes place in the kilns. There, the moisture content will be reduced to 6 - 8%. As important as final moisture is the uniformity of that moisture. Lumber that is 2% at its shell and 10% at its core may have a cross section moisture content of 6%, but is not uniform and has a great deal of stress. The conditioning process must relieve this stress. This is a process where steam is introduced to relax the shell and eliminate the stress that drying can cause. Our lumber is always conditioned and properly stress relieved. Conditioning adds 24 or more hours to the process, but is one of the details that makes up quality kiln drying.

We currently operate seven kilns that have a total capacity of approx. 600,000 board feet. The orchestrated efforts between pre-drier and kilns allows us to properly dry 2,000,000 board feet of lumber of various hardwood species and thickness per month.

Mr. Randy Rickmon operates our kilns and pre-drier. Randy is a graduate of the University of Purdue's forestry department. He has over 2 decades experience as our kiln dry operator.


HMI re-inspects all lumber from the poor face after drying and surfacing. All drying-related defects are down graded at this time. This insures that all lumber is on grade before it ships to your facility.

Quick Contact

HMI Hardwoods LLC.

430 Division St. Clinton,MI 49236

Toll Free: 1-800-327-2812

Local: 517-456-7431

Fax: 517-456-4931

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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