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Thread: Drying small wood slices

  1. #1

    Drying small wood slices

    I'm planning on making a small project with wood slices. The wood will be green when I cut the slices and they will be less than 4 inches in diameter and 1/2" thick. They'll also be of a couple of different species. What is the fastest/easiest way to dry the slices? I can handle cracking and I don't think it will be particularly bad given the size of the pieces. I've tried researching here and other places but haven't found much info of pieces this small.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Try boiling them for about 20 min then air dry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I've dried small thin wood in a freezer with a defroster. Cut your oysters, sticker them into a small stack, and put them in the freezer. The freezer immediately freezes them. Then the defroster slowly removes the ice. (You've probably seen this water removal in an ice tray that's sat unused for months in the freezer.) The ice in the slices hold them flat while the drying is going on. The only downside to this process is that it takes time. Of course, thinner slices dry faster.

  4. I know people that dry them in a microwave. Might want to research that. The guy had no cracks in the coasters that he dried.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    There are also folks that use a DNA soak, I have used it in the past but I have forgotten timing etc. Something you might research.

    Edit: Found this site on DNA: http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/r...cles_473.shtml
    Last edited by James Combs; 11-18-2018 at 6:18 PM. Reason: Added research link
    ____________________________________________
    JD at J&J WoodSmithing
    Owingsville, Kentucky

    "The best things in life are not things."

  6. #6
    End grain pieces 1/2" thick will air dry pretty fast, may not be worth the trouble trying to speed up the process.
    _______________________________________
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  7. #7
    I'm glad this thread started. My wife is out of town visiting her mother and I want to kiln dry some construction grade 2x stock in the oven. Lol

    Has anyone tried this? I'm curious to know how bad I'll stink out the house.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Costa View Post
    ...My wife is out of town visiting her mother and I want to kiln dry some construction grade 2x stock in the oven. Lol
    Has anyone tried this? I'm curious to know how bad I'll stink out the house.
    Make it smell like Christmas. Unless it's pressure treated.

    You might check out the fridge kiln. Cindy Drozda has info on this as do others. For her PDF "Low-tech Drying Kiln" ask Google politely for cindy drozda refrigerator kiln and he will direct you. Or maybe Google is a she. Or an AI. Or a space alien.

    JKJ

  9. #9
    Once I mill the 2x to an inch thick I'll bake some wood brownies for the holiday.

  10. #10
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Orwell, NY
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    I used to make coasters from slices of small trees and still do occasionally. These are usually 1/4" or a bit thicker and up to 4-5" in diameter. Some species work better than others for me. White ash, black cherry and staghorn sumac have been the best for me. Maple doesn't crack a lot but it often loses its bark. I lay them out on plastic bread trays like bakeries use to make deliveries, we have a bunch on hand, or an old window screen works fine too. I made a batch of 330 sumac coasters this summer for someone's wedding, it was a custom order since I don't usually make that many at a time. I cut over 400 and dried them, it took about a week in the summer but in the winter a couple of days is enough for 1/4". I turn them over each day so they dry more equally. I had to reject about 50 before and after sanding, mostly because of loose bark, and a few that cracked.
    Zach

  12. #12
    I cut some small branches (3 inch) from a red maple in January or February on a really cold day and then put the branches in the barn all summer. In October, I sliced them into 1/4 slices on the table saw and lost no bark and had no cracks that were not already there. Sold bags of 24 at a community yard sale for $6 a bag and sold all 6 bags. I did use a cheap soldering iron to burn Christmas designs on one and hung it over the bags.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Hilbert Jr View Post
    I cut some small branches (3 inch) from a red maple in January or February on a really cold day ...
    That's probably the key to success - cutting in the winter when the sap is down and the tree is dormant. Woodturners who like to make things and keep the bark on do this. Cutting in the winter can help keep holly white too.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Milwaukie, OR
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    For small turnings and small pieces I use an old fridge with holes poked into both sides and a 110 volt light inside to warm it up. It usually takes a 1-2 weeks and the pieces are dry enough for finishing.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    the fridge kiln seems like a neat idea... I found a fallen applewood tree off the ground and cut it up.. the 2-3" in diameter are going to be coasters and such. some stuff is 5-6 in diameter, not sure what i'll do with it yet. was also thinking of trying carving spoons and the like, maybe making cutting boards out of the strips.

    Tom porter, how is your project going?

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