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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some Aspen stock I harvested in late August. I have read on a couple different forums it is a pleasure to work with and similar to basswood to carve. I know I can't do anything to speed up the drying process on the stick sized pieces but I did cut some smaller chunks to use as carving materials. I am planning on cutting a couple pieces into topper carving size and then throwing them in the microwave to facilitate drying. Anybody else ever try this? If so to what result?

I'm gonna do it when the wife's not around, in case it starts smoking!

Maybe I oughta just carve the basswood I bought. Nah, what fun would that be?
 

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Ok I've done a bit of drying in the microwave. I placed my small pieces in on a paper towel in the nuker and I would only run it for a maximum of 40 seconds, then with gloves or oven mitts on pull it out and let it cool down.
The wood if it's even a bit green is going to be hissing and spitting vapour out from the wood as its nuked. It will probably be close to 30 min before it's ready and cool for a subsequent zap. I keep going at it at for 40 second intervals until you don't see or hear any steam vapor anymore.
It's then I stop as I have burned the wood by continuing occasionally. I have heard of guys starting their wood on fire so be careful. Better to experiment with the time in nuker, vs. type of wood, and how green it is.
Hope this helps.

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Sean. I started the aspen pieces last night after the wife went to sleep. Three zaps at 30 seconds each time. I'll tell you what aspen in a microwave smells B-A-D!! Smelled worse than that flaming Greek cheese!

Mark
 

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There are several threads on here concerning speeding up and stabilizing wood -- some expensive and some pretty cheep. You might do a little search. JJireh talks about the soap solution -- I haven't tried it yet. I've used Pentacryl with success, but it is expensive.
 

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Mark I have used the Microwave with wood for pen blanks. The first thing I would recommend is using low setting. Time depends on thickness of the wood. I was drying 3/4" square 5" long pieces..I rap the wood in a paper towel. And used 40 seconds. Let the wood cool and did it once more and let it sit 24 hours. I repeated that process until there was no notable moisture in the paper towel. Drying to fast will crack the wood and to much heat can burn it. I have done both.

Aspen does carve well most of the painted stick pictures in my gallery pics are aspen sticks. It holds detail well.
 

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...also you might want to buy buy your own nuker if this works out for you drying wood. I'm just saying.
 
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