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Using a Microwave to reduce moisture

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Newbie_Neil

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Hi all

Disclaimer: Please be aware that this is the method Jeff Meuwissen developed for his own wood drying. Some species of wood may give off toxic fumes. Anyone who attempts to dry wood by this method is accepting the risk of fire associated with micro waving wood. Anyone who follows these recommendations accepts all responsibility for their actions.

Drying wood for small projects in a microwave is an effective means of reducing moisture content and preventing post-assembly shrinkage and gap widening in your intarsia projects. Air dried wood will shrink in a dry indoor environment and gaps will widen. A piece you thought was perfectly tight will reveal gaps over time.

The amount of time that the wood is "nuked" depends on the initial moisture content of the wood and the total volume of wood you are nuking.

The full article is here http://woodworkweb.com/woodwork/contentid-10.html

Cheers
Neil

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS
 

Cutting Crew

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Hi N-N,

I visit the US a fair amount and enjoy listening to some of the weird and wonderful ways their turners use to dry wood. After lots of experimentation I now use a microwave to dry turned items, most of the timber I turn is wet/green and I for one do not enjoy part turning and then leaving items to dry for a year or more before final turning and finishing. So for me microwaving was the way to go.

I turn the walls of the pieces I make very thin, around 2 to 3mm and, depending on the timber used put the items into the microwave for upto 30 seconds on a medium power, take them out to cool and repeat the cycle until I achieve the "dryness" I'm looking for to take the finishes I use. Early experiments left me with cracked, scorched and on one occasion charcoaled timber.

I wouldn't recommend using the household microwave simply because of the abuse that you get after you've used it. I now have a second hand, large microwave installed in my workshop, ideal for me as a full time turner but nowhere big enough to put the items made by most woodworkers.

CC
 
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