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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got around to using my home made (and homely) steamer and bender or straightener. The steamer is just a piece of round duct with insulation wrapped around it and a wall-paper steamer attached. The rig for straightening is just an old stand from a floor fan, some scrap iron pipe and a one inch EMT conduit bender mounted on top. I've only done a few sticks so far but I can report both have worked better than I expected and you can see the ones hanging in the waiting room if the weather holds tomorrow. And yeah, that is the messiest shop ever and those pic don't even show the worst of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A failed experiment I fear. I had roughed out a knob stick in Honeysuckle and it was too wet so it started to split instantly. Wrapping it in foil slowed the destruction but I think the damage was done.
 

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I know boiling helps prevent cracking in other difficult woods. Steaming should do the same. It might be worthwhile to steam your honeysuckle before you dry it to help relieve some of the internal stresses.

You can also slow the rate of drying by sealing the ends or covering it in sawdust or wrap it in brown paper bags.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Honeysuckle is a special case in my experience. It does not respond well to attempts to straighten it, takes forever to dry, and cracks even after it seems to be dry. But, it is plentiful and grows fast so every year I still harvest a few sticks and try whatever the technique of the moment is. Hope springs eternal. I guess it's like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, it feels so good when you stop. Some day I'll stop. I do have good news on the steaming front. Maple does really well as does Locust (both Black and Golden Honey Locust) and Autumn Olive. Not so sure about Burning Bush but I may not have gotten it hot enough. I still have a few to try, Walnut, Holly, Sumac, Cherry, Plum, Oak, and Hickory, all are ready for the next round with the steamer.
 
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