Drying Olive wood

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Jeremy Nako

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I recently bought some Olive waney edge wood slices. Around 30mm thick and the longest is around 600mm.

They were advertised as having been air dried for over 18 months, and that's probably correct.

However.. having measured them, they all show moisture content of between 14% and 18%.

I had originally planned to square them off with Epoxy and use them as charcuterie or serving boards.

However.. I'm guessing that with these moisture contents that not advisable ?

What sort of moisture level WOULD be suitable ?

Is there any way to speed up the drying process without specialist equipment ?

Shoot me down (gently !), but I have a heat press used for sublimation work - would that work at a very low temperature and a long 'cook' ?

Be gentle - I'm new to this !
 

Jones

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A hobby type moisture meter may not be that accurate . A moisture content of 14-18% would be normal for wood stored undercover outdoors in winter such as in an unheated shed or garage. Bring it in to a heated house and it should drop to 10-12% in a few weeks for 30mm thickness which should be ok to use with epoxy.
 

Trainee neophyte

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@Trainee neophyte can you help here as you are probably drowning in the stuff?
Just cut up 2024 and 2025 firewood and stacked it neatly. Lots of big lumps put to one side for making into fun stuff.

Normally olive wood is cut in the winter, so 18 months of drying would suggest 2 good, hot summers, wherever it is from originally. On that basis the only moisture you have is whatever it picked up in transit and sitting around in Blighty before you bought it. I would suggest a couple of weeks in the house and see what it does. The chances are that it will want to move a bit because it is probably not from a vertical trunk, but lateral branches which means lots of inbuilt tension, and almost certainly a number of different pruning cuts have been made over the years so who knows what it will do. Always a voyage of discovery.

A photo would be fun to see. Never have too many pics of olive wood.
 

Woodmatt

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A hobby type moisture meter may not be that accurate . A moisture content of 14-18% would be normal for wood stored undercover outdoors in winter such as in an unheated shed or garage. Bring it in to a heated house and it should drop to 10-12% in a few weeks for 30mm thickness which should be ok to use with epoxy.
So if you bring the timber in for a month and dry it to 10% and take it back to the shop to work on presumably its going to start taking on moisture again so is it a case of take it in and out of the house while you work on it or how quickly does the timber change back to the higher level
 

Jones

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Timber will gain or lose moisture till it's in equilibrium with it's environment , which will often change seasonally indoors and out. How fast that happens depends on timber type, size any coatings and the environment it's in. House dry timber will probably be a bit dryer ( have a lower mc) than kiln dried or the various grades of shed dry so will absorb moisture when taken back to the shed.
 
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