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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last Oct I found a broken limb from an Ash tree - and brought a chunk home - not nearly long enough for a cane but I was hoping I could some day use it in some way.

I brought it inside (from the garage) last evening and discovered in the drying process some of the bark is beginning to "shrink" away from the inner core. So it's tightening up - which is a good thing, I guess - but I wish it was 100% dry - or dry enough to work.

Have any of you guys attempted to use the kitchen stove/oven as a kiln - to dry shorter pieces?

If so, any specifics?

Thanx

-neb
 

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you 'can' on low heat like 100-200 depending on how dry it already is.

What happens is the heat may not reach core wood as quickly, so you will have outer wood drying and really wet inner wood that wants to release its moisture. The resulting heating of wet inner woood leads to cracking and checking. It isnt so much about temperatures as it is about evenness over time. Even in the garage left for a year this can happen naturally.

You can do some things to try and prevent this, but you are still taking chances.

As a general rule, If I feel like I need to speed up anything, drying, carving, staining...I'm already setting myself up for a failure :)
 

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I just took a look online. The recommendation seems to be against using an oven. Too much chance of splitting the wood. Also a lot of wood species stink when they're being dried. I live less than a mile from a sawmill that cuts alder and maple. I can smell those woods in the kiln. It's not a real pleasant smell, just short of obnoxious.

How thick is it? The recommendation is a year per inch of thickness. I think there are variables that affect that though.

Smaller pieces dry quicker than larger pieces. You can rough in the shape of what you want, wait for the now smaller piece to finish drying, then finish it. You may discover it's already dry enough too.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I'll just wait until summer time and see if it's dry enough then.

thanks guys

-neb
 

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I store the keepers in the garage. Some say a year per inch of diameter, if the wood was cut green. For green wood, if the stick is nice enough to warrant the expense, I have a PVC tube that I use to immerse it in Pentacryl wood stabilizer. That is supposed to penetrate the wood, and replace much of the water in the cells, thereby decreasing the shrinkage and checking. I haven't done that in a year, but the few sticks that I treated that way turned out great. One of my favorite everyday hiking sticks is a beech that is beautiful primarily because the bark remains firmly attached. I think that the Pentacryl may have something to do with that.
 

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For use of drying wood inside the home using a Microwave or Oven...

Step 1: Check with wife.

:)
 
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The oven I have only goes as low as 170'. Certainly too hot. How long does a commercial kiln normally cycle? One day, two? Too long for a home oven. Also, a walking stick won't fit in the average oven or microwave.
 
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