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Drying Wood


Janel

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We who carve wood are able to find resources around where we live. The wood may or may not be good for our carvings, but it is interesting to try the local resources.

 

Are there different ways to dry various types or wood, or is there one sure way to make certain that the wood does not check or split while the moisture exits the wood?

 

Members with knowledge or experience, please give us some guidelines for the important first steps for preparing wood for carving.

 

Thanks!

 

Janel

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Hi Janel, I don`t do a lot of woodcarving but when I do get wood, I hang it in my basement or stick it on the rafters for a few years. The local West coast people that I sometimes carve with., frequently carve fresh cut, green, wood for masks or plaques. ,and Totem poles, (yellow, red cedar, maple and alder, etc.) They rough out the carving and then put it in plastic garbage bags when not working on it. (I sometimes do this also. ) They keep the bag open so moisture evaporates and has an exit at the opening. They watch and adjust the opening to control the speed and amount of evaporation until carving is complete. In the old days they used to cover poles and canoes with seaweed to control drying time. I don`t know the total drying time, but when I do it, I can have a finished carving in a few weeks and let it dry slowly for a few weeks more. The thinner the carving gets, the quicker the dry time. This is not working at the carving all the time (they will have several on the go at one time) It sure speeds up drying time. It is a good idea for experiments anyway. sometimes stains wood which can be interesting. Something to think about and it takes practice. Cooch

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