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Thread: Best way to dry fresh cut wood ?????????

  1. #1

    Exclamation Best way to dry fresh cut wood ?????????

    Hi folks,

    I been told the best way to dry green wood if you don't have a kiln is to buy a cheap Goodwill toaster oven and give it several cycles, like 10 mins on and 10 off ???

    I'm asking the experts here guys as I'm a at a complete loss as to how to do it, I have a big Gamle Oak Burl I cut green and wish to make some pen blanks from it and prefer not to wait 5 years for it to dry, so I am open to any ideas, even on how to build a cheap sun kiln ?? HELP !! I know I sound like a dummy and the truth is, when it comes to drying wood, I am !

    Thanks for your time and advice ahead of time!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gassaway, WV
    A microwave oven would be better than an toaster oven IMHO. It will still take a long time. I rough out a bowl or whatever and soak it in denatured alcohol overnight then set them on concrete floor for a week or so. Sometimes I try speeding up the process by microwaving and I guess it helps, I have had a coupe crack on me. They might have anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Willow Spring, NC
    I would think that if you cut the burl into oversized pen blanks, they would dry relatively quick. Especially with a DNA soak or the like.

  4. #4
    I think one of the worst ways to dry your wood, whatever kind it is, is to dry it impatiently. Hurrying the process especially newly cut green wood will surely cause cracking, warping, checking and even cell collapse. But it is your wood and you know how much degrade you can get by with and still be happy. Especially when it is green it is highly suseptible to damage if dried too fast. Be forewarned. Oak is one of the most finicky of woods to dry. You hurry you lose. Maybe you'll get at least one pen blank so all is not lost - maybe. Then again.....

  5. #5
    Drying pen blanks isn't nearly as difficult as bowls and vessels. I have dried quite a few pen blanks from green wood, because I am a wood hoarder and can't see throwing away nice wood. I don't make very many pens, but I have a lot of blanks! I cut my green pen blanks to 1 1/8 square and 6" long. Now I do the denatured alcohol method and will soak pen blanks as well, but I don't think its all that important on square stock that small. I will stack the blanks with gaps between them and stagger the direction every other level. Make sure there isn't a source of heat of moving air directly on them and they will likely be dry in 4-6 weeks. With the Dna method, I have seen maple and sycamore dry in 3-4 weeks.

    For oak I don't know that I wouldn't dab a bit of anchor seal on the end grain
    No, it's not thin enough yet.

  6. #6
    Thanks folks,

    What does the DNA do to them? Take out the moisture?


  7. #7
    Supposedly it replaces the water in the cells of the wood for Dna. Theory is that because Dna dries at a more consistent rate that water, it helps reduce stress on the wood while drying. Some folks don't think this method works or works well enough to validate the expense. I have tried several different ways and this method is most consistent and rapid than the other drying methods I have used. I am testing another method but will have to get back to the group after a while.
    No, it's not thin enough yet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    The trick, of course, is to heat up the wood without baking it. I've experimented with microwaving pre-turned blanks. Zapping it for just a minute (maybe two, but be cautious) then letting it return to ambient room temperature seems to do the trick. Watch out for any sappy wood, though, because it will ooze out and make a hard-to-clean mess in the oven.

    Personally, I like rough-turning the bowls then boiling it in water. There's a thread somewhere here that goes into detail, and I also reference Steven Russell's study on the subject. The rule of thumb is one hour of boiling per inch of thickness at the thickest part of the blank, but I generally go three or four hours. This process only does half the job, because then you need to pack it away in a paper bag and wait for the wood to dry out further. BTW, I also seal the end grains after boiling in wax.

    If anyone wants a copy of Steven Russell's article I have it in pdf format. Can't post it, but I can email it.
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners Guild
    West Puget Sound, Washington State

    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    north GA
    DNA is what i do too with all pen blanks from green wood.....

  10. #10
    For how long should it soak in DNA?


  11. #11
    12-24 hours is plenty for 1" square pen blank stock
    No, it's not thin enough yet.

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