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I was wondering if anybody has tried heat drying sticks? I noticed on the cover of Roy Underhills book The Woodwrights Shop that he is drying sticks on top of a woodstove... they are sittinh inside a pipe. Seems like they might still crack that way... anybody have any thoughts?
 

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Thats the risk checking if you rush drying. Some wood will dry like that without checking and some will split right down the whole length of the piece drying naturally. Experiment with the wood you have and see how it does.
 
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I've done some root knobs in front of heating vents around the house to good effect. Just kept rotating them in a slow even heat. Kinda like cooking a roast! As a side note, a old technique the Irish (and possibly the British?)used was to put their sticks up the chimney to season. Although I've been told that a turf fire does not burn too hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips! I have been experimenting. I have a gas fired hot water heat tank and the warm vent pipe goes right up through the living room. This last winter I leaned a few sticks against it and it seemed to work well. Just some minimal xhecking on the end... and I usually cut about three inches longer for this. So far so good. I have an outdoor woodburner and was thinking of rigging up something similar to what he has on the cover of his book. Will post an update later!
 

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If you have access to your attic area you can hang some wire shelving like you find at Lowe's It is a good place to dry sticks. It is dry and vented to allow for air exchange. As Sean noted drying will likely result in checking or cracking If it is not done in a controlled environment where temp hand humidity are managed. Even when air drying you want to seal the ends with wax or paint and leave 3 or 4 inches extra length on either end to allow for some checking.
 

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i think air dried shanks would give less shrinkage ,I always air dry but fortunate enougth to always have plenty to go at.

The sticks i am using at the moment are oner 2 years old nearly three . But its the hazel shanks never seem to check as you say.

I also dry them before i straighten them its a quick job just look at stickes videos there very good
 
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