View Full Version : Microwaveable Wood
My dad gave me this tip over the week.
I was asking him about tring out wood for later carving and he suggest that I should but the smaller pieces I have in the Micro wave for 5secs or so each day.
It is just about enough to heat the core and helps to speed up the triing process by give the wood a quick start.
I am not sure how long it would take as the would depend on the wood and it's moisture content but it would be certainly faster the leaving in the hot press for few months or even a year.
All though on this are welcome and be safe it only need a few seconds a day and make sure there is no metal (nails etc.) in the wood.
I've microwaved wood before, 5 sec each day is very reserved. I would say 15 sec a few times a day, you just need to get the temp of the wood back down before you nuke it again. Start off slow.
Here's a mention on it http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com. au/showthread/t-7731.html
I thought 5 was bit low a good tip all the same.
My uncle (a semi pro wood turner) nukes his wood all the time. Just wait for the wood to cool completely before doing it again. The problem arrises when you the moisture starts to steam and boil the wood, breaking down the fibres. 15-30 secs is fine depending on the wood.
Remember don't let it get tooooo hot, and wait till cool before doing it again.
I brought back a trunk from the bay tree this weekend (three sections each about 3' long and 4" diameter) that I was going to leave in the cellar to dry. I'll have a go at cooking a piece of it.
I seem to remember reading elsewhere that you should weigh the wood before you start cooking it, and weigh it after each dose of microwaves. When the weight stops decreasing, you've reached the dry state. But for this to work, I suppose you need either a fairly big piece of wood, or a very accurate weighing scale. My electronic kitchen scale weighs in 2 gramme increments :(
Or you could buy a moisture meter from Craft Supplies.
Good tip except for I've got two, 6 foot long stout staffs of sycamore and one of willow seasoning. Not really practical in a microwave.
I have seen a picture somewhere of someone microwaving the end of a 5 foot long bow stave prior to bending in a recurve. They punched a hole in the front door and stood well back :shock:
Microwaving wood is also a good way of getting rid of woodworm. Normally you'd have to heat it to 60 degrees centigrade throughout, but since microwaves work by heating water, fats and sugars, you get the little buggers straight away. Proofing with woodworm treatment will only kill the beetles as they emerge from the worm holes...not ideal!