Drying Wood for Pen Blanks

Cutting the blanks before drying yields quick results. March 3, 2006

Given a chunk of wood destined to be sawn into pen blanks, would the likelihood of cracking during the drying process be reduced by cutting into blanks before drying?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Yes, in most cases it would. A little paraffin wax or Anchor Seal on the ends would also help. The paraffin may interfere with subsequent finishing.

From the original questioner:
Thank you! If the grain is very complex, would waxing the entire blank be reasonable?

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
If you wax the entire blank, it will not dry for many years. But once dry, that would be an excellent finish.

From contributor D:
I cut many pen blanks from green stock, and then dry them in pen blank form. What Gene says is right on the money. I dip each end in Anchorseal, and then crisscross stack them near the ceiling of my heated shop, and they dry very nicely, quite quickly.