August 22, 2008

Okay, didn’t see a huge moisture change but really didn’t expect to.  This piece is large.  Now the second one has a 48 hour soak, going to strap it, dry overnight and see what happens.  The other thing I’ve been thinking on is “boiling” them.  When steam bending wood, especially green, I boil it, then steam it.  It bends great, but it also dries really fast (24 to 36 hours).  I think it cooks the cells and allows the moisture to escape easier, anyway, it works…..stay tuned.

Okay, the step back.  Did not get the faces done, had people in and out and Sherri had a horrible “computer” day.  I also experimented with some Aspen and the walnut coloring.  It worked great.  Had to do a pre-stain wash coat to prevent blotching, did my 50/50 water base finish then my dye, then the stain, dead on.  I love finding new ways to do things.

I did get the frames ready to go on, also had to start getting dye and color on two tables, a bed and that “messed up” chest.  Need to get them gone as well as this step back so I can get the kitchen done.

This blog has turned into one of those “insight” into the real world ones. There is simply not enough hours in a too much to do day thing.  But hey, the computers are working, problem is ours don’t cut wood so gotta run.

“If the world bites you in the butt, bite it back.”

Catch ya Later!

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10 Responses to August 22, 2008

  1. Denis Rezendes says:

    sounds busy as always. i heard about the computer problems. the things never want to work when you need em to! well i better get to work too. got a couple of bushes to do that were supposed to be done last week 😉

  2. To help speed the dry could you shave the sides down remove the bark get it closer to your working size? Less material to dry out that way? Gets to the center faster?


  3. kevinjaynes says:

    Ace, that is the best way of course. Rough turn it green and then speed up the drying process by submerging it in a drying agent overnight. This is not new, but not “widely known” either. I have spoken to several turners ove the past few years who have close to 100% success rate with this method. Charles and I are wanting to push the envelope and see how where the limits are. There is not a lot of empirical data on Acer Negundo in most areas so we are plowing new ground, at least to us.

    I have had some good success with 2″ and 3″ cookies using a combination of the overnight soak followed immediately by a moderate microwave treatment (best so far has been 30% on 70% off defrost cycle), then subjecting them to extremely high volume airflow (17,000 CFM) for two hours, then seal them with wax. You would think this overall aggressive drying would have cracked them open like the San Andreas fault but so far I have had great results. I have taken 2 and 3 inch cookies down to as low as 8%MC this way in half a day after coming out of the soak. . I have *not* cut one open and taken core MC readings, but will do so on the next one. I believe with a 2″ and even 3″ cookie I am reaching the core with all but the air flow. The alcohol certainly goes through it like a sieve.

    It is quite likely the thickness of the cookies Charles is tackling is too great for these proedures, but as long as we do not encourage defects I believe it will speed the drying process. He is trying to find a solution for me more than himself. He can rough turn it and use this process and be done with it. My dilemma has been during the hot moist summers my thick cookies tend to mildew, and putting them in my DH kiln has proven futile.

    If we had a microwave large enough to accomodate these cookies, I think we might strike paydirt. For my thinner cookies, the microwave phase of the process has been the enabler. They come out simmering hot, bubbling moisture up through the end grain, and the 17,000CFMs sucks the moisture right out like a vaccum effect almost.

    Okay, that’s what we need to do Ace. We need to tell Charles it’s impossible to build an economical moderatley sized vaccum kiln from scratch. 😉

    Seriously, we are very grateful for all your efforts Charles and Sherri. Y’all keep having fun. We are!

  4. charles neil says:

    yep , kevin is correct pushing the limits here and “sneaking up on it, but check this site out guy seems to be using alot of neat things and an obvious good turner .

  5. charles neil says:

    Humm ..think im going to get the ‘turkey fryer out’..seriously , this is exactly what I was talking about ,makes alot of sense,but i am going to rough turn some walnut , not going to risk this Box Elder,just too nice to risk..thats why im going easy here ,do not want to waste this stuff its just incredible

  6. I have an idea, why couldn’t ya light that cookie with a match to burn the alcohol off just like you do to raise a dent in wood? Could that help get rid of the alcohol and the heat would help the dry?


  7. intheworkshop says:

    hey Ace..ya know you actually can do removes the alcohol, but it can maybe dry the outside very quick and cause what is called “case hardening” where the outside dries and seals itself and the inside remains moist….same thing as baking bread or a cake…and i have known it to be done on smaller turnings where they have been rough turned withgood success ,what we really need to do here is to let these big boys dry a little more..they are large and were very wet ..Box Elder is a water loving tree and its inital moisture content was really high ,but its drying ,its lost about 4 lbs….hummm wish i could lose 4lbs that easy

  8. kevinjaynes says:

    I thought about soaking one in gas and lighting it off. I joked about it with Charles but I also was half serious. Gas is too impure though the denatured is a better choice. I also think they could case harden. Maybe 1″ and 2″ cookies would be possible. I am gonna try it. Crazy as it sounds because the first guy who said “let’s soak some wood in moonshine” was probably laughed at. If Charles had been there he would have said “Not my shine!” haha.

    Now for an update on my experiements. I soaked two quitar sets in the vat of denatured alcohol. They were off my scale before going in so at least 36%MC. I let them soak over thursday night and put them in front of the 17,000CFM fan for a few hours yesterday, sealed the ends with wax, and stickered them. . I just read them and 3 are at 12% and the other is at 14%. No checks at all. They are rift sawn so less chance of cupping than if flat sawn, so I was not suprised to see they had remained flat. Next I’m going to throw the higher value 1/4 sawn guitar sets in there and get them down. Granted, these are only 5/16″ thick but there is no way I could have safely gotten them down to 12% this fast that I know of other than a vaccum.

  9. intheworkshop says:

    well Kevin i am uh ..shall we say familar with the liquid nectar of corn…and have used it for many things …and drying wood is one of them ..or at least it seemed to be dry ,cant really remember..ha ha …..

  10. Hey Kevin:

    Did you get a chance to flame the cookie yet? I was curious if you tried it? Inquiring minds want to know…


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