Wood Drying

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Scott

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Joined
Dec 12, 2003
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Blackfoot Idaho
Hi Everybody! If you haven't seen it yet, we posted a nice article on Wood Drying by Daniel Yourdon. The link to it is on our main page (just click "Home" in the menu up above!). He discusses three of the main ways to speed up drying of your wood pen blanks.

I have tried the boiling method, but I did it mainly to stabilize the wood. No, not inject resin, just boiling it to make it less unstable. Woods that have a tendancy to warp and crack can benefit from boiling. I've had good luck with apple and cherry doing this.

I haven't tried microwaving or freezing, although I've heard of both. I heard of the freezing in a demonstration by Vic Wood of Australia. The method seemed to work really well for him. He put the wood in a plastic bag and froze it for 24 hours. Then he opened the bag and set it in the refridgerator. Just opening the bag a little bit but not removing the wood keeps the drying slow enough that it doesn't split. I think he figured this would cut the wood drying time down to about two weeks.

Last year I bought a food dehydrator at a yard sale, and I've been thinking about trying it on some pen blanks. I thought I'd seal the end grain with wax, and then spread them out in the dehydrator and let er rip! I may end up with a bunch of splinters, or maybe some really chewy fruit leather, but it might just work!

Does anybody else have any interesting experiences in drying wood?

Scott.
 

wdcav1952

Activities Manager Emeritus
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Mar 18, 2004
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Location
Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA.
Scott, I tried microwave drying with some Holly I cut in the woods. I ripped it into a 2 x 2x 6 block. I weighed the wood on a postal scale, then put it in the microwave on defrost for 2 1/2 minutes. Let it cool completely, then weigh it again. Repeat until the weight is the same 2 or 3 times in a row. I turned it tonight, and it looks good. BTW, it took about 18 cycles. Hope this helps. William
 

Daniel

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Jan 1, 2004
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Reno, NV, USA.
the largest piece I have done was almost 3" square. it two evenings of cycles so I have no idea how many that ended up being. but 18 sound like a pretty close number. thicker pieces do take allot more cycles I fugure the moisture has farther to migrate to the surface. two days beats a yer that i've waited for air drying for some woods though. also be careful withthe larger pieces of wood. they are the ones that tend to split on me.
 
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