Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Microwaving Wood

Carrying on from the Hawthorn I picked up and then cut up. Today I used our workshop shared microwave to assist in speeding drying of the Hawthorn it I hope will also kill some grubs.Its an old National large volume, plate doesn't rotate and settings tricky our son in law gave it to us. (Sue also uses it for dying her fiber)

WARNING Never use the same microwave you cook food in!
Always assess moisture in the wood first (fresh cut means high moisture) and then set the microwave to size and density and temp then period/time.
Microwaves cook from the inside out and sap and moisture will ooze out so be warned it can be hot. Wood will ignite in a microwave if left to long and to high a temp is selected.

I always start off using medium/high and approx 15sec if size of wood is approx 50x50x150 and often do this 3 or 4 times checking how warm/hot the timber is (ours does not rotate so have to physically turn each time I open the door).
The larger the piece I increase to High temp and with blanks as large as 180x180x150 I set it for 1 minute checking every 15 to 30 sec sometimes I'll allow a full minute and do this 3 times, checking every 60 sec for how warm the wood is.

 Small pen blanks I stack chris-cross fashion go slow and mod temp. Shrinkage will occur in all wood when moisture is removed. Some cracking/checking also.

As you can see I just put the wood in some suggest paper bags others plastic bags.

I have now re-stored the wood in a box and will check it in a month or so, instead of having to wait a year or more before I can turn it. Summer in my garage/workshop will aid any drying time
even without use of the microwave this was simply to speed things up.........oh and yes the bugs.

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