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Dream Burls
03-27-2013, 07:43 PM
Can anyone speak to drying wood with the use of denatured alcohol or a microwave? Seriously, I spoke to a guy in Georgia who told me he had great success with both these methods.

Twistington
03-27-2013, 08:09 PM
I have dryed pine in the microwave from fresh cut to dry weight when i studied wood science, this is really tricky due to the huge potential to mess this up. But the result was good. :)

Mike9
03-27-2013, 08:29 PM
Microwave not so good - vacuum with a heating pad very good. You don't need to pull a lot of vacuum either just enough to lower the evaporating point of water to like 90 degrees.

Dream Burls
03-27-2013, 09:35 PM
What about soaking the wood in denatured alcohol? Ever heard of that?

Notaskinnychef
03-28-2013, 09:12 AM
saw this article, pertains to bowls specifically but i would assume most principles are the same.

http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/turning/articles_473.shtml

also from another site there is a discussion specifically about the alcohol method

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/626253-Denatured-alcohol-to-dry-wood

Dream Burls
03-28-2013, 09:27 AM
These articles are just what I was looking for. Thanks alot. Think I'll stick with air drying for now.

Burl Source
03-28-2013, 04:18 PM
The faster the wood dries, the more movement and chances of warping, cracking and cell collapse.
If you go too long in the microwave it will char or combust.
Walnut can be pretty entertaining in the microwave.
One time I put a block of walnut in the microwave when I was new.
When I took it out there was a small open burl eye with smoke coming out of it.
This had me curious so I took it to the bandsaw and cut it in half.
Inside was a glowing ember like a charcoal.

We use a microwave when making freeform carved bowls.
They carve a fresh/green bowl to almost final size.
Then a short time in the microwave.
This removes a good bit of the moisture but also distorts the shape of the bowl.
(a good thing if you want a random shape)
Then they do the final sanding and finish.

Dream Burls
03-28-2013, 04:30 PM
Thanks Mark. This guy I spoke to seemed to have perfected the process. He said he could take a green piece of wood and be working on it the next day. I think I'll go it the old fashion way.

Burl Source
03-28-2013, 06:43 PM
Thanks Mark. This guy I spoke to seemed to have perfected the process. He said he could take a green piece of wood and be working on it the next day. I think I'll go it the old fashion way.
He was probably a wood turner.
NEVER NEVER follow the advice of a wood turner when it comes to handle materials.

Dream Burls
03-28-2013, 07:18 PM
Yes, he's a wood turner. Could you elaborate a little on why to not take that advice?

Burl Source
03-28-2013, 09:33 PM
Wood turners would turn a green banana if they could get it to stay on the lathe.
OK, now that I have stereotyped all wood turners and shown myself as a wood bigot.......

What is acceptable for turners is a lot different than what is acceptable for knife handle makers.
Wood that is not completely dry is easier to turn than dry wood.

Unless a turner is making very thin walled bowls or hollow form vessels it really doesn't matter if the wood moves a little.
But.....on a knife if a scale moves 1/8 of an inch it is considered garbage.

I am probably exaggerating a bit, but what is good for turning is not always good for handles.
Just a different standard of what is acceptable.

Dream Burls
03-28-2013, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the explanation Mark. You da man!

Burl Source
03-28-2013, 09:47 PM
Luthiers are the closest to having the same standards as needed for handle material.

Marko Tsourkan
03-28-2013, 09:56 PM
I read once about building a chamber where you have a heater and dehumidifier and a fan. This will bring down the MC quite rapidly.

Burl Source
03-28-2013, 10:39 PM
I read once about building a chamber where you have a heater and dehumidifier and a fan. This will bring down the MC quite rapidly.
That is what I do with some woods. Works best with maple. Some other woods will still pull itself apart.
Mine is a modification of the Dept of Agriculture's plans for a dehumidification kiln.

Dream Burls
03-28-2013, 11:21 PM
If you bring down the MC using this method will it stay down or will the wood be prone to "soak up" moisture if it's not stabilized.

Burl Source
03-29-2013, 04:59 PM
Moisture content will go up and down until the wood is finished or stabilized.

Marko Tsourkan
03-30-2013, 08:29 AM
once it's dry, if you expose wood to humid environment, it will soak up some moisture. I would guess by 2-3 MC points

apicius9
03-30-2013, 02:13 PM
Luthiers are the closest to having the same standards as needed for handle material.

They also have the best woods...


I read once about building a chamber where you have a heater and dehumidifier and a fan. This will bring down the MC quite rapidly.

That's what I am doing here, I just call it a shelf next to an open window where the trade winds go by :)


once it's dry, if you expose wood to humid environment, it will soak up some moisture. I would guess by 2-3 MC points

That's why my wood out here will never get as dry as it mightin the desert, but it's easily dry enough for stabilizing. An added benefit of me working so slow is that in the meantime my woods all season well... :)

Stefan

Dream Burls
03-30-2013, 05:42 PM
That's what I am doing here, I just call it a shelf next to an open window where the trade winds go by :)
Stefan[/QUOTE]

That's a good one. Got a good laugh out of that. Also a bit jealous.