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should 5 year old waxed wood blanks be dry?
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Thread: should 5 year old waxed wood blanks be dry?

  1. #1
    Senior Member hobbitling's Avatar
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    should 5 year old waxed wood blanks be dry?

    I recently acquired a second hand box of exotic tropical hardwood blanks (1.5" x 3" bottle stopper blanks) that are entirely encased in fairly thick wax, on all sides, with the thought that they could be used for knife handles. The shipping label says they were bought in 2008, so they are about 5 years old, but they have been in wax the entire time. I'm assuming they were wax coated because they were at least somewhat green, possibly very green. They were bought by the original purchaser as an assortment box, one of those 50 blanks for $100 deals that many wood suppliers have.

    So my question to you fine people is this: Should they be dry yet? do waxed blanks dry at all in 5 years, or are they as green as the day they were coated. I'd hate to start making things with them, only to watch them warp and crack. How should I proceed? Go ahead and use them? remove wax from side grain and let them sit for a while?

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    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    can always cut one open and look. Do you have a moisture meter? I'm told they work well.
    Chewie's the man.

  3. #3
    Sponsors Dream Burls's Avatar
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    Depends on the wood and how/where they were stored. Really no way to be sure except to measure their moisture content with a reader. You probably don't want to buy one since good ones are over $100, but maybe you know someone who has one that you can borrow. Otherwise, it's pretty much guess work which could lead to some big problems. After 5 years, for pieces that small, odds are they're are dry, but why gamble when you don't have to.
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    Senior Member hobbitling's Avatar
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    No moisture meter, but I'll ask around. I suppose I could just take one test piece one from each species and remove the wax, then weigh them every few days or weeks and look for checking and warping. But I'm itching to start using them.

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    Sponsors Dream Burls's Avatar
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    Check with you local high school shop class or see if there's lumber yard nearby that might have one you can use while you're there.
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  6. #6
    Sponsors Dream Burls's Avatar
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    This might also work for you although it will destroy the piece:


    weigh it very accurately;
    bake it in an oven at a temperature of around 100C;
    weigh it at intervals until there is no further loss of weight;
    remove it from the oven and record its final weight. (This is known as the "oven dry" weight).
    The moisture content can then be obtained from the following equation:

    MC% = (initial weight - oven dry weight) x 100
    oven dry weight
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