Drying your own wood

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Phixius

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Joined
Mar 21, 2019
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12
Location
Georgia, USA
Has anyone tried or succeeded in drying your own wood for pen blanks.
Building your own “kiln” or “dehumidifier”
 
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PenPal

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Nov 29, 2006
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2,094
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Canberra, A.C.T., Australia.
There are so many ways of dying your own timber.

Step 1 is to paint the ends with proprietry sealers made for the purpose. Water based paint also works fine.

Best success usually comes when timber is stacked upright off the ground under cover from above.

Stacked on the flat with separating sticks between.

Everything depends on temperatures,sun position ,and finally location.

It needs to be gradual and like the mating of Elephants takes time.

For pens I use my roof space with continuous small fan blowing through the stack. You will know when by measuring the weight of a sample stack when the weight stays the same.

Rough instructions for great success for me.drying timber this way.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
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276
Location
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
I have used a dehydrator meant for drying fruits and vegetables. The one I have is a very low heat design. No heating element, just the heat generated by the fan motor from what I am able to tell. One can scarcely detect warmth in the airflow. The times I have used this method it appeared to work very well. The drying period was reduced to days. I did not use a moisture meter. The pens were turned immediately after removal and turned out well.
 

larryc

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Oct 2, 2009
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Location
Mableton, GA (Near Atlanta)
For those of us who don't have the luxury of waiting (don't buy green bananas) there are a couple of methods using a microwave oven or a toaster oven. Search this forum for the details.
PS: Check your email
 

MRDucks2

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Jul 17, 2017
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1,687
Location
Franklin, IN
I most often cut and timber pieces that are green to dry at the beginning of winter here in Central Indiana. Shop has central heat and air, so the furnace running in the winter time drops the bottom out of the moisture content in the air. I can slice and sticker the wood and it be dried to stability in about 90 days or less.

During the summer I will generally use a toaster oven as needed. I am going to try a new idea I will share if it works.

The winter time drying may not be an option for you in Georgia as it is the result of temperature change between the cold air and it being heated.


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Last edited:

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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6,025
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
That is one of the issues I have struggled the most these last 13 years, air dry wood exposed to the weather is the slowest and the one method that will give you the higher percentage of unusable wood due to rot. Air dry wood under cover with good ventilation is the second-best option but is slow, depending on the wood type, you can expect from 6 months to 10 years )I have Olive logs cut 13 years ago with green and wet wood still at the logs centre.

Microwave, oven, dehydrators are used for very small amounts of wood, a good fan-forced oven between 1 and 3 days does a great job but there is no way to prevent cracking and bowing, I use it a lot for wood that I want to stabilise or cast but to get the moisture out of wood in a controllable environment, quicker and in a safe manner, you can not substitute the proper dry kilns, you can make one out of an old fridge, only you need is a heat source lamp and a small fan, details on building one are available online, I have a large fridge that I got to make a dry kiln many years ago but I endup filling it with other stuff that I have no other place to put it safely so, maybe one day...!

Cheers
George
 

Phixius

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Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Georgia, USA
A vacuum kiln is another option you can make. This little book explains how. On the to do list someday.
Very interesting/interested but does t ship to my address according to that link...
 

budnder

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Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
350
Location
Chicago/Tucson
I cut fresh wood into blanks, then maybe let it sit for a few days before I dry it in a 200 degree oven for two days. I cut the blanks a bit oversize (1" vs. 3/4") to allow for them to warp a bit. Maybe 1 out of 10 will warp so much they're not usable. I've not really tried much experimentation to figure out how long the blanks should sit before going in the oven, if it makes a difference at all. I like to cut

On the warping, I think it makes a big difference if you have rip cut (with the grain - less warp) or cross-cut (across the grain - more warp). It depends on the figure in the wood, but I typically cut diagonally - something in the middle of a rip and cross - not sure what the term for that is.
 

Curly

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Nov 20, 2010
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3,406
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Sorry about the link confusion. I figured you guys would know that you would need to change the .ca to .com. In my case if I find it on .com I can still order it but then have to deal with longer shipping times and possible tax and fees at the border. I sometimes have to do it anyway if it isn’t sold through the .ca site.

At one time you could buy direct from the author but I couldn’t find a link for that on his site.
 
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