Drying small pieces of wood

Unusual methods for drying wood, including boiling. February 28, 2001

I'm looking for a step-by-step process for drying pieces of wood 1 to 2 inches by 5 inches.

Forum Responses
There are many ways including boiling. There is a report by the US Forest Products Lab on various non-standard methods of drying. Write to their library.

When drying small pieces for croquet mallets and similar small items, the wood pieces are randomly put into wire mesh baskets and loaded into the kiln. In one case, the fellow would turn the baskets over every couple of days to allow for the pieces to readjust their position.

Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor

How about a microwave oven? Wood turners use the microwave for drying bowls.

I was experimenting with boiling mesquite. I boiled four different pieces:

A. 1" x 12" x 12" rough
B. 4" diam x14" burl log
C. 6" diam x 8" half log

D. 4" x 3" x 4" block

I had it at a rolling boil for 24 hours, then 24 hours drying at 120 degrees then 24 at 170 degrees.

Turned out pretty good. I have heard that it will weaken the wood.